News Flash: NYT Points out that GM is Slow

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Jump-Start or New Battery for G.M.? – New York Times

Interesting point made by the New York Times about GM and Nissan-Renault. Most everyone has focused on cost-cutting opportunities, but the writer here highlights the cultural and/or operational differences that lead to Nissan being much faster.

Back in April, I wrote about my frustration that GM's Rick Wagoner knew that everyone loved the Camaro that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show and it was a “no-brainer” to build it, but they were going to think about it anyway. Argh. Slow cycle time, slow time to market…. not good. That's one area where GM is getting killed.

Consider, for example, the way the companies approached developing two hot sports cars. In 2001, with its financial problems just beginning to ebb, Nissan showed a concept version of its 350Z at the Detroit auto show. The car, whose design won rave reviews, was on sale just 20 months later.

G.M., which won similar applause for the concept version of the Chevrolet Camaro at this year's Detroit show, has spent the months since then exploring whether a business case could be made to justify building the car.

Consider, for example, the way the companies approached developing two hot sports cars. In 2001, with its financial problems just beginning to ebb, Nissan showed a concept version of its 350Z at the Detroit auto show. The car, whose design won rave reviews, was on sale just 20 months later.

G.M., which won similar applause for the concept version of the Chevrolet Camaro at this year's Detroit show, has spent the months since then exploring whether a business case could be made to justify building the car. Even if the G.M. board approves it at Friday's meeting, a production version is not due for three years, analysts say.

Wow, GM bureaucracy at work. It took about 90 days to get from “no-brainer” to potential GM board approval. Then THREE YEARS to get it out to market? Toyota and Nissan are getting products out to market so much faster — that was true when Machine That Changed The World was written and it seems true now. Here is an article that talks about

Forget cost-cutting. GM needs to streamline its processes company wide, to get more nimble — getting bigger hardly ever leads to getting more nimble. It's not just getting lean in the factories that counts, it's becoming a “lean enterprise” that matters.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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