Submitted to Prof Ganesh N Prabhu (New Product Development) 12th July, 2011
Abhishek Sonane, 1011297 Namrata Keshwala, 1011254 Nirmal Preethi G, 1011257 Pavan Kumar Uramandith, 1011337
The case elaborates on the different options considered by BMW regarding the manufacture of its prototype vehicles. Historically, BMW 's prototypes were handcrafted by highly skilled artisans in the company 's shop. A proposal had been made to alter the process so that prototypes are made in a way that can better uncover potential problems that may arise during final production. While the new approach is expected to make production start-up of new models smoother and reduce quality problems, there is some concern within the company that it will lead to less flexibility to change (and improve) designs during the development cycle. Through our analysis, we have tried to address the following issues: Different ways of competing on quality in a luxury product segment and how the product development process affects each of these The notion of a prototyping strategy and the role prototyping plays in linking development strategy and manufacturing strategy
The segment of automobile industry in question was the luxury car market where cost plays a very small role. Generally, the luxury segment was defined as the market of automobiles with a retail price above $ 20,000. Companies in this segment competed on features like acceleration, comfort and handling and intangibles like perceived quality and image. Major players in this industry were Daimler-Benz, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, BMW etc. BMW differentiated itself on the basis of its engineering and technical prowess. The evolution of BMW in the luxury car segment and the change in competitive scenario is included in Appendix 1 and 2 respectively.
Product Development Approach
BMW tried to achieve the following objectives to compete with the