Matching strategies in car assembly: The BMW-Rover-Toyota complex

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Coffey, D.


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 5, Number 3, p.320-335 (2005)



This paper considers a case in which an attempt to organise a Toyota-like production regime proved to be a poor choice for an assembler seeking to evolve a model platform that would be marketed on the basis of customisation and build-to-order. The case analysis throws light on a specific phase in the history of the British car industry, but more generally it offers a basis for reconsidering the associations often made between 'flexibility' in assembly, and the defining characteristics of a Toyota-like system. The paper argues that the literature on car assembly has become desensitised to the need for careful strategic matching between marketing objectives and product supply policies because of a misdirected assumption that Japanese assemblers are flexible-assemblers. It develops this point in the context of an analysis of scheduling lock-ins and customer lead times in mixed-model assembly, illustrated by comparative assembly data. Copyright © 2005 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

GIS Gerpisa /
4 Avenue des Sciences, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette
+33(0)1 47 40 59 50

Copyright© Gerpisa
Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Juan Sebastian Carbonell, Lorenza MonacoGéry Deffontaines

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system