Supply Chain For The Automotive Industry

The supply chain for the automotive industry integrates four groups of players: original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), first-tier suppliers, sub-tier suppliers, and infrastructure suppliers.

As the automotive industry shifts from a traditional local business model to a global one, OEMs and their suppliers are experiencing much disruption and many challenges.

Key challenges faced by automotive companies

Transforming from local to global

Increasing globalization drives increased operational complexity. This requires a focus on integrating technology and processes which is costly and time consuming. While growth is clearly a goal of many automotive executives, cost reduction continues to be an important driver. The challenge is to balance these needs as well as managing supplier partners, product quality and local regulations.

Automotive companies are often restricted by local content and compliance regulations, requiring the establishment of multiple support centers across the globe. Local supply chain networks are required for accessing local markets and ensuring that products meet market-specific requirements.

Low cost country sourcing

More and more supply chains originate in low-cost countries, primarily in Asia and Eastern Europe and as a result, traditional organizational structures and business practices are being challenged. The aim is to achieve greater scale and cost efficiencies while capitalizing on rapidly expanding markets such as China and India.

Outsourcing is clearly a long term strategy. The attraction is lower employee costs and an educated labor pool. However, there are additional factors to consider such as extended lead times, quality assurance and protection of supply that need to be managed.

Transport

In local supply chains transportation is a low percentage of overall costs compared to parts and labor. Most companies do not consider transportation a core competency and outsource it to third- or fourth-party-logistics companies. Globalization increases both inbound and outbound (move) activity so transportation costs increase as a percentage of overall costs. Some automotive companies are considering taking control of their logistics network.

Risk in the automotive supply chain

Supply chain risks have increased due to globalization initiatives. Automakers (OEMs) are passing more responsibility down the chain to lower-tier suppliers, who often have neither the experience nor the capability to perform the tasks they are being assigned. Failures in lower tier supply can be critical so support such as engineering assistance, process and financial support are often provided by the automakers.

Supplier collaboration and visibility

Customer queries such as where is my order? require automakers to have scalable, repeatable, and globally consistent processes. These are necessary to track orders, goods in-transit and inventory. A combination of a systematized approach and human intervention is necessary to be effective given the diverse time zones, languages, and cultural business environments of the global automotive industry.

Companies must maintain and preferably enhance supply chain flexibility and customer responsiveness whilst managing product complexity and cost control. Designing supply chains for automotive manufacturers requires a high level of technical skill and global experience.

Cars For Chicks

Looking at different kinds of cars, one can’t help but notice that each car has a special trait, a characteristic that makes it what it is. And we cannot help but categorize a car by its looks and features. On sports cars for girls, one usually arrives at an image of a convertible roadster that is small and compact. To give you a better idea, here are some cars that can be classified as a ‘chick car’.

Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is a compact family car that is made in Germany. It is one of the most easily recognized cars in the whole world. Due to its popularity, it has even moved up to a cult status with many loyal followers. It is known as the beetle, bug, or kafer (German) because of its distinctive shape.

Mini Cooper

This car is an affordable, stylish, fun, and compact piece of machinery. It was first designed in 1959 as a car that combines a big interior space with a small car body. It is very appealing to the eye and popular to a wide range of people due to its affordability. With regards to safety issues, the mini cooper employs an anti-lock braking system for more stability and control especially during turns and cornering. The interior of this car is stylish and compact. One drawback is its small storage capacity but that is expected from this type of car. It is not a ‘hot rod’ but it is a fun to drive around the city.

BMW Z4 Roadster

The Z4 is the follow-up to the Z3 series which was first introduced in 1996. It is very popular to both young and old car aficionados because of its aggressive design. It is a bit bigger then the Z3 and its body is much stiffer even when measures were taken to reduce its overall body weight without compromising rigidity. It has a stiff chassis, a variety of transmission options, and large disk brakes that enable this car to provide great comfort and pleasure while driving.

These are some of the best sports cars that can be considered as ‘girl’ cars. If you are still thinking of what kind of car you want to get, consider the following: The prices of convertibles start around $20,000 and go up to the hundred thousand range. Engines used usually are four or six cylinder types while the pricier ones employ V6 or V8 engines. Maintenance costs for convertibles are roughly the same as those of sedans and technology has made soft tops stronger and more durable to withstand years of abuse.

Significance Of Good Chassis Automotive Parts

A chassis is an internal framework that supports a man-made object. Automotive chassis and frame elements are necessary components of the vehicle you drive and repair. A vehicle’s suspension, balance and brakes are the key factors in ride and luxury. And in todays extraordinarily competitive market, even the most minuscule enhancements in automobile chassis style, engineering and assembly will play a crucial role within the overall market success of your brand name.

Chassis systems represents several of the basics of auto behaviour and character, specifically ride comfort and to a substantial degree of noise levels on one hand, and also the quality of steering, handling and road holding on the opposite hand. These don’t seem to be, by and large, the qualities that influence the choice to shop for, which is essentially smitten by external look, visible options and value. They are, however, aspects in conjunction with reliability play an outsized role in determining client satisfaction throughout vehicle operation – which can flip the choice for or against a repeat purchase.

Along with the engine and transmission, a vehicle’s chassis system is a formative issue which involves its handling capabilities. The chassis structure influences vehicle driving dynamics, safety, comfort as well as the road holding ability.

You can avail services from a number of the top firms within the automobile chassis trade that supply the most effectual automotive frame elements and automobile chassis. Theyll provide the most effective automotive repair and customisation services. There are many varieties of automobile frame elements obtainable from a colossal range of automobile chassis suppliers.

Automotive chassis and frames come with specific installation tips that have to be met, therefore opt for that company that has the particular certifications and talent sets to try and do the chassis work effectively.

Road Safe provides chassis components that are manufactured to satisfy the very best trade standards utilising their state-of-the-art technology and materials to deliver high-quality components. Theyre amongst the outstanding names within the trade for producing and supplying a good vary of automotive spares parts. These spare components are designed as per the modern industry standards that enable to satisfy your necessities in a very superior method. The auto chassis components and solutions as well as product from finishing abrasives and fastener adhesives to wheel weights and brake seals; will give you a competitive edge.

Cars For Every Budget Need

Dreaming of owning your own car? In spite of the rising cost of fuel these days, there is still a steady demand for cars – most especially, budget cars. Sleek, cute and compact, the various budget cars available in the market today offer people the convenience of having their own car without having to shell out so much money.

Since budget cars also have smaller engines compared to normal cars and SUVs, these babies are also considered as eco-friendly vehicles. A smaller engine is actually the more practical choice when it comes to buying any budget-friendly vehicle, not only does it help save the environment by using up less gas, its fuel efficiency also allows its owner to save more on gas fuel.

There was a time when the trend was SUVs, which of course, looked pretty cool but due to its big engines, a lot of SUV owners nowadays are finding it hard to maintain these upsized vehicles. Let’s face it, the economy is certainly not booming these days and as people try to find more and more ways to save their money, it really is impractical to want an unreasonably large vehicle that gulps down liters of gas by the minute.

So if you are in the market for a new car, there are several entry-level budget cars out there that might catch your fancy. However, if you are turned off by the thought that it is comparatively smaller than the usual sedans, budget cars can actually seat up to four, even five people if they’re skinny. If you are someone who dumps a lot of stuff in his/her car, there are also certain types of budget cars which offer bigger compartment space. Budget cars are actually ideal for students, single people, and small families. It is certainly not a good choice for racing aficionados though.

Well if you are looking to have more options in your “car hunting” but you still want to stick to a reasonable budget, second hand car shops is the best way to go. If you do not know much about cars though, it is best that you bring someone along who is knowledgeable about cars. Why? Obviously you would not want to get duped by those overenthusiastic car salesmen who are trying to offer you seemingly good deals but will turn out to be a big disappointment after a couple of months. Do not be disheartened though, a lot of second-hand vehicles nowadays were usually well-maintained by the owner, but if you really want to play it safe, choose car models which you can easily buy spare parts for in case it starts acting up in the future. You should also educate yourself at least a bit in car maintenance so that in case anything happens, you at least have inkling about what to do. Car repair shops can sometimes charge exorbitant fees even if your car only needed a minor tune up. Unless you know what is really wrong with it, then you would easily be charged for something that you can easily have fixed at home.

When it comes to shopping for a car just try to enjoy the experience and not stress too much over it. Do not get easily overwhelmed by all the choices made available to you out there and do not just go buy anything without thinking it over. Your car should be something that you can truly depend on as well as something that will last you for a reasonable amount of time. To lengthen your car’s life, make sure that you maintain it well. If you notice something weird with your car, do not just dismiss it as a minor thing, try to check if there is anything wrong before the problem becomes worse.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars For A Clean Future

As Yogi Berra said, it is deja vu all over again. Prices for crude oil are skyrocketing through the roof. Experts worry about peak oil which is predicted to cause worldwide competition over limited supplies. Going back to the gas crisis of 1973, America has seen this coming. However, it hasn’t taken any concrete steps to move away from the addiction to dirty oil. Even when the solution exists with hydrogen fuel cell cars.

The negatives attached to our dependence on fossil fuels are well known. Emitting volumes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere is contributing to the warming of the planet. Although there is debate within the expert community as to the extent and causation of this warming, it is universally recognized that it exists and can’t lead to anything good.

Some say our fate was sealed over half a century ago when President Eisenhower embarked upon a massive program of interstate highway construction. This resulted in today’s suburbia and its correlating requirements of personal vehicle use. If America had evolved differently into a more urban nature, then public transportation would be a viable alternative. This is obviously not the case for much of the country.

Depending upon our cars to get us to work and all other life’s activities, we have no choice but to guzzle billions of gallons of gas. Whereas technology in all other facets has evolved rapidly, we drive around in cars burning the same basic fuels they did generations ago. However, there are those seeking alternatives. Many claim they do exist.

One such alternative relates to a simple element. That element is hydrogen. It is a word often associated with power ranging from the sun to the hydrogen bomb. There is however, a far more tame and beneficial use for hydrogen power. When used efficiently via fuel cells, hydrogen can be the cure to our oil addiction.

There are several obstacles to the substitution of hydrogen for fossil fuels. The first has mostly been overcome. Production of a hydrogen powered car has been achieved in the development labs. Highly expensive, as most new technologies are, the price will come down over time with more efficient production techniques and volume sales. Remember how much you paid for that first beta max compared to today’s dvd player prices?

Widespread adoption would require places along the road to recharge the cells. We obviously are built out currently to support filling up our tanks with gas. How would we produce hydrogen and power the requisite process? There is much debate about this. Some point to the sun using solar panels to power the production of hydrogen at these new fill up stations. Others point to building out the nuclear power infrastructure to support this huge additional demand that would be presented by myriad hydrogen production stations.

There are many questions and several technological breakthroughs needed before we are all driving hydrogen fuel cell cars. However, the rising prices of gas may very well prove to be the impetus speeding up the adoption of fuel cells. Clean and potentially based on fully renewable sources like the sun, these cars could be the answers to all our prayers.

Things To Keep In Mind If You Buy Used Cars

For most of us, buying a new auto can put a big dent on our finances. So the usual solution is to buy used cars instead. Despite all the stereotypes about used car salesmen being master con artists on par with those in the legal profession, used cars are not terrible investments. If you decide to buy used cars, however, there are few important details that you should watch out for to get the most out of your purchase. After all, there exists a good reason for all those stories about used car salesmen as crooks.

One key thing to consider when you buy used cars is vehicle history. It is unavoidable that a car will end up being damaged in some way by weather conditions; such instances are unavoidable. However, there are some lots that will send these cars off to other states to be repaired cosmetically and functionally. It would not be such a bad practice if they did not neglect the fact that any water or moisture from the aforementioned weather conditions will begin to damage the internal electronics and systems of the car, cutting the vehicle’s service life by half or more. As such, it is wise to check out the car’s previous history first and check if the car has been through any sort of weather-related disaster that might indicate slowly corroding internal systems.

In line with what was previously mentioned, you should also check the details of the car. Things like the mileage, part replacements, and overall conditions are all valid considerations when you buy used cars. For example, checking the distance recorded on the odometer can help determine just how many more miles the car has left in it, regardless of any previous repair of part replacements. Checking the details should also include whether or not the original owner is still paying for the car. Such a situation may cause unwanted complications later on.

When you buy used cars, one option to consider is financing. Normally, people only opt for financing if they’re buying a car that is brand new. However, it is actually just as valid a payment option for used cars as it is for new ones. For this, you can choose to apply online or talk to the dealer directly. There are available options and rates that are as varied if you purchased a new vehicle, though in general, the overall costs tend to be much lower. As an additional avenue, it is also possible to go to an online financing institution for the above task.

For those of us looking for a good deal, there are two ways to go about it. First off is to bring some sort of document that has an estimated price of a used unit of the car model you’re interested in. Some dealers will estimate things higher than they are actually worth and convince you that they’ve just given you the accurate price. A documented price to compare it to, preferably something like a bank draft, can convince the dealer to lower the price to something more reasonable. Another good idea is to buy used cars from rental companies. Rental companies take better care of the vehicles they have than private owners do and, for the most part, they sell their cars after two years of use. What that means for you is that there is a greater chance that the cars will be in better shape than private cars and haven’t seen that much use and abuse.

Regardless of where you buy used cars, practicing caution and being aware of the details are pieces of indispensable wisdom. When you buy used cars, you assume a few extra risks that you do not when buying a car new. However, the financial trade-off is enough for some people and the things to look out for are not difficult to spot. As with purchasing anything else, a little research beforehand can spare you a lot of trouble later on.

The Characteristics Of Antique Cars

There are some people that believe antique cars should no longer be driven on our open roads. The reason they think this way is because these old vehicles are considered relics of the past that just cannot match the larger and efficient vehicles on the market today.

On the contrary, there are a lot of vintage collectors of these roadsters. People do this as a hobby or to hopefully get a return of investment later when the market value of these cars go up again.

A car is considered an antique if it is already 25 years old. There are not that many modern vehicles that are able to survive this long which makes the early models very unique. In fact, the price of these rare machines goes up because of the historical value each of these have.

There are those who believe that the term antiquated should only be given to machines that were made prior to the Second World War. These machines served as the pioneers of today’s vehicles since the technology back then paved the way for power steering, safety belts and other features that are required in all automobiles.

Are antique cars simple to preserve? The response is no. This is due to car manufacturers no longer assembling these vehicles and the parts making these both difficult to locate and costly.

Can the antique car be used daily? This really depends on the condition of the engine and since these are quite old, there is a possibility that these could breakdown. The brakes on the vehicle can also be a problem so checks must be done regularly.

Will it be a good idea to get insurance for the car? The answer is yes. These machines are rare and are not equipped with an alarm system which makes it easy for anyone to hot wire and drive off.

Where can a person buy an antique car? These vehicles can be purchased in a dealership. There are just a few around so the seeker can also try searching in the Internet and in the classified ads of the paper and automobile magazines.

Those who do not understand that much about cars ought to be accompanied by a knowledgeable mechanic. A trained technician should be qualified to look over the inside of the automobile and decide if it is in fact worth buying at that cost. The individual should also take the automobile for a test drive to get the experience of remaining behind the wheel.

Can the antique car be assembled by a person? The answer is yes. In fact, there are some associations who do this as a hobby and help the members find the missing parts in order to finish the vehicle. This can only be done if the individual is a skilled mechanic who knows everything about the car.

Will the person make a lot of profit assembling and selling the antique car? The response is no. In reality, more money is used up putting the entire vehicle together than finding somebody to buy it.

There are numerous antique cars to choose from. The person should look around and check if there is a model that is worth bringing home.

Antique cars represent a moment in history where traffic did not exist and people can take a trip on the country road. By doing some research and saving some money, the individual will be able to buy that dreamed roadster.

Why Car Dealerships Should Use Automotive Direct Mail For Marketing

Having a well thought out and organized marketing strategy is key for any business, after all, if you are not working on your marketing plan, how will you be able to attract customers to buy your products or services? Within in the field of marketing there are a number of different styles including inbound marketing and outbound marketing.

One style of marketing that was quite popular in the past and is making a comeback with many marketing managers is direct mail. A well targeted direct mail campaign can often succeed where other methods such as email marketing or television advertising has not. And, this type of marketing converts as well, it takes potential customers and turns them into paying customers, and potentially, customers for life.

One particular industry where direct mail has seen a lot of success is with the automotive industry. People all over the United States need cars, and every single day, potential customers are car shopping, and purchasing new cars. This leaves open a massive potential market for the automotive industry, and direct mail is the perfect place to start.

What is so beneficial about the concept of Automotive Direct Mail is that it offers a lot of bang for your buck. There are a number of different car sales events each calendar year, the Fourth of July would be one example, and President’s Day Weekend would be another. An automotive direct mail campaign is going to be able to specifically target customers who are in need of a new car at just the right time, attracting their attention, and getting them interested in looking for a new car at the local dealership.

What’s more, is that with the market research that can be done today, automotive dealerships are going to be able to know exactly what kind of car a past or potential customer is going to be in the market for, and aim specific ads directly to their needs. A customer who has leased a new pick up truck every few years will be able to have a direct mail flier sent to them just a few months before the lease on the truck runs out.

In addition to sales fliers, automotive direct mail can also be used to send out promotions to loyal customers. A customer who has purchased their car at a dealership can be sent a couple of coupons for discounts on oil changes or tire rotations from the dealer. This is going to continuously remind the customer that the dealership considers them more than just a number, and is paying attention to their needs.

By running an effective automotive direct mail campaign, a car dealership is going to be able to see first hand the process of the sales funnel. Targeting specific clients and particular times to meet their potential needs will act as a catalyst in turning these potential clients into full time customers. And with continued promotion, sales events, buy back and service fliers and mailers, there are a number of options that are going to be able to bring in new business successfully.