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The book is a McKinsey perspective (from ca. 2003) of how the automotive sector will change in the years to 2015. Given the company behind it, one can expect - and the work delivers - supreme attention to detail, both graphically, as well as numerically. Reading it several years after its publication (and around halfway to the target date), the prognoses of what will happen when seem to be spot on, too.
The book follows the various changes to be expected in the automotive business over a 12 year period, starting from the customer and then moving towards internal processes and changes in the relationships between OEMs (car manufacturers) and their suppliers. While someone with plenty of experience in the industry will not necessarily find the book eye opening, it constitutes a good summary for a person planning to enter the industry from outside, or someone with an interest in the field. In that way it goes beyond many advertorial attempts other consulting companies make in this field, in the sense that it is a good and sufficient product in its own right, and that it does not only represent a marketing pamphlet for consulting services.
In terms of content there is a surprising section at the end, wherejust before the final summary two typical sample interviews from a factory worker and engineer are reproduced. These are definitely good and add content but are neither appropriately introduced, nor subsequently put into context in light of the rest of the book. In my opinion they discredit some of the other content somewhat, as one gets the impression that much of what is done at the management level (which the rest of the book is about) does not really improve thing that much when it actually comes to car manufacture - some of it being even harmful.
I would not see it as an organising principle for the car manufacturing of the future, it is however, an adequate referrence work for people, who do not have experience in all the areas of car production and who are looking to inform themselves about the topic broadly.Read more ›