Blog: Dave LeggettGM's global vehicle development programme

Dave Leggett | 16 April 2007

Jim Queen was good value for money earlier today. He spoke at some length about how GM is approaching vehicle development these days and it's bringing some big cost savings, as well as a change in culture. He was quite passionate about that last thing.

Although particular regions take the lead on certain 'architectures' - (small/mini car = GM-DAT Korea; compact, mid-size = Europe; large RWD = Holden, Australia; mid-size and large trucks = US; international mid-size truck = Brazil) there are checks and balances to make sure that the end products rolled out locally are the best that they can be in terms of meeting local needs. International reprsentation on engineering teams is a part of that. But Queen acknowleged there are always compromises and it's about getting the best overall solution.

There were some interesting observations on how certain companies maybe encourage others to cut product development times and Queen was quick to point out that Toyota lately has had to reevaluate after getting into difficulties.

He also said that it took GM to get into a mess for it to change its ways on product engineering. GM is far from being alone in that. If the profits are rolling in the pressure to change anything is small. The full interview will be written up and on just-auto as soon as I get the chance.

Link to a news item I have knocked up on one aspect of what was said is below.

Jim Queen
Statue of legendary boxer Joe Louis greets SAE delegates at the Cobo, Detroit

US: Cadillac needs a flagship not in current portfolio – Jim Queen


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