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The old QIP program at Chrysler (1980s-90s) taught everyone is was not only permissable to question decisions with no repercussions but more importantly, were EXPECTED to question decisions. You were responsible for your work and to respond to questioning of "why" things were done in a certain way. Managers could not just change something because they "didn't like it", sound technical and engineering reasons were the way things were changed.
Chrysler Culture has admittedly progressed beyond that point, but it still remains to be a core operating principle (at least till Daimler stomps the last vestiges out). This is where another of my concerns lay.
If I was to approach my boss at a Japanese company I worked for and question one of his "decisions" in a meeting, as we would do at JTE, I would not only lose face, but probably be escorted out of the building immediately. I cannot hope for Chrysler guys to lose this ability (after all, that's what produced the early 1990s turnaround and all the great products of that time) as it means (to me anyway) that they are not then responsible for their work, and degenerate to the level of warm bodied robots, unable to make their own decisions.
This would lead to another mass exodus of the most talented people (after all, how much "putting down" can you take?), in my opinion. Shelling out the company in this manner may please the Germans, but plays havoc with the quality of the product.
Quality issues also abound, hidden from public view, at Mercedes. If you look at Jim Harbour's manufacturing reports, MB has even more corrections per thousand than most manufacturers' Thailand plants—let alone Chrysler. The difference is that MB spends 4-5 times the number of hours on vehicle rework ("why not do it right the first time?"—the single biggest question drilled into us in QIP) in the plants than any other manufacturer, except (perhaps) than Rolls Royce. This kind of "German Quality" we DO NOT need or desire.
A close look at the common problems at the Mercedes SUV plant is telling. It has one of the highest rates of problems per vehicle in the world. This is borne out by the fact that Mercedes SUVs have the lowest customer satisfaction index of ANY SUV in the world. Do we really want the Mercedes people telling us what quality is?
The same issue exists, on a much lower level, with Mitsubishi. Hiding warranty and repair records from MITI is not the proper way to "win friends and influence people."
Chrysler 1904-2018 •
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