3D-Printing Cars in China

3D-Printing Cars in China

April 8, 2018

LSEV will be the world’s first car made almost entirely with 3D-printing, and it’s due to go on sale in late 2019.

Priced around $10,000, the LSEV has a top speed of 43 mph, and can travel 93 miles before needing to be recharged.   The vehicle is being made in a joint venture between a Chinese Polymaker company and an Italian-based manufacturer, X Electrical Vehicle (XEV).

Both a postal service company and a car sharing service have already pre-ordered 7,000 of the LSEV. Some experts predict that electric vehicles may make up 35 percent of global new car sales by 2040.

This post is based on the Star article, World’s first 3D-printed car due on roads in 2019, by the TechNews team, March 26, 2018, and the Ecowatch article, Bringing the LSEV to Life – The 1st Mass Produced 3D Printed Car, by Lorraine Chow, March 19, 2018. Image sources: Izabela Habur/E+/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions

1. How does the product design of the LSEV support the manufacturer’s low cost strategy?

Guidance:  It’s one thing to say, “Let’s have a cost leadership, or low-cost, operations strategy.”  It is another to design a Continue reading

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American Chains Famous for Quality in China

American Chains Famous for Quality in China

March 30, 2018

Why are American chains like Pizza Hut, Starbucks and McDonald’s experiencing fast growth and strong success in China?

Three key reasons: Strategic adaptations to the Chinese market and tastes, careful location planning, and adaptation to local cultural preferences in product and service design.

The Chinese have a great desire for goods and services they can trust.  Although some Chinese competitors have entered the market with copycat fast food offerings, many Chinese still want the authenticity, consistency, and high quality of well-known Western brands.

This post is based on the Eater article, Why China Loves American Chain Restaurants So Much, by Clarissa Wei, March 20, 2018. Image source: Ingram Publishing.

Discussion Questions

1. How do the operations strategies of Pizza Hut differ in China versus in the United States?

Guidance: Whereas Pizza Hut is a relatively less expensive, casual, fast food eatery in the United States, in China it’s an upscale, date-night spot that often requires reservations. Thus, a focus on high quality and service is important in China, whereas in the U.S. the strategy is more focused on short processing time and low cost.  This is true, interestingly, even though the standard of living and Continue reading

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VW To Rev Up Tennessee Plant

VW To Rev Up Tennessee Plant

Volkswagen (VW) will invest $340 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant to build a new sport utility vehicle (SUV).  It will be a five-passenger SUV in the same family line as its seven-passenger Atlas.

With the steel and aluminum tariffs on metal produced outside North America, it makes sense for VW to shift more manufacturing operations to the U.S..

This post is based on the Reuters article, VW to invest $340 million in Tennessee to build new SUV, by David Shephardson, March 19, 2018. Image source: Cultura / Image Source / Monty Rakusen.

Discussion Questions

1. What are the strategic implications of VW’s capacity investment in its Tennessee plant?

Guidance: Discussion points include achieving economy of scale in SUV production, expanding market share for large vehicles, offsetting steel and aluminum tariffs by shifting more manufacturing operations to the U.S.

2. What are the facilitating factors for VW to expand its global operations in the U.S.?

Guidance: Factors include steel and aluminum tariffs on metal produced outside North America, surging demand for SUVs in the U.S., and VW looking to rebuild its image in the U.S. after the diesel-emission scandal.

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