GM partnering with Nissan Renault? Jim Womack doesn’t think it will help:
“It’s hard to see how this deal has anything to do with doing a better job on any of those fundamentals” such as building better automobiles, said James P. Womack, an industry analyst at the Lean Enterprise Institute. “It’s a big spin opportunity to make something happen in what otherwise appears to be a fairly desparate situation for GM.”
Getting bigger doesn’t mean they’ll have improved any processes or value streams, eh? As Tom Peters would point out, getting bigger NEVER results in getting more nimble.
A professor from Maryland says (how do they find these guys to quote?):
“And second [after labor costs], GM has a legendary bureaucracy that drives up product design, marketing and administrative costs,” Morici said.
The beginning of the article laid it out:
Detroit is considering a potential mega deal, creating an international car-making colossus by combining the forces of General Motors, Renault and Nissan. Think of it: a combined 15 million new cars annually.
Isn’t GM already an international colossus of mega-mega size? Getting bigger and being able to squeeze suppliers even more is the answer?? Maybe if you view the world through a “cost” lens. But, when viewed through the “lean value stream” lens or the “effectiveness” lens, I don’t see how being bigger helps.
People are wondering if the “charismatic” CEO approach is really sustainable, even with Ghosn:
There is also the untidy fact that while Ghosn set the world on fire at Renault and Nissan initially, the performance at both companies lately has been disappointing and market shares have dwindled.
Firing people and firing people up…. that might just a one-time “special cause” activity. Have Renault and Nissan really changed their processes for the long term to build real sustainable change? Sometimes a guy like Ghosn (or maybe a Mark Fields, of Ford) bounce around from role to role because they are good at lighting fires and making short-term change rather than building something sustainable?
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