BMW AG: The Digital Car Project (A) Essay

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Prof. Edward Rogoff
Mr. Partha Mitra
BMW AG: The Digital Car Project (A)

Case Summary
This case study presents how BMW, a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company, is trying to reduce development turnaround time using new technologies. To build new development capability three areas of opportunities are emphasized, managing automotive development including exterior styling; process/organizational changes; and adapting new computer-aided technologies. This strategic move is responsible for BMW historically strategic product positioning in automotive industry in 1990’s.

Most important facts
1>History of BMW – In 1916, Gustav Otto founded Bayerische Motoren
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The current process: In 1990s a development process was entailed which is 60-month-long. Two major prototyping cycles first time started to take advantage of rapidly emerging computer simulation methods and to identify potential design problems earlier in the development schedule. Computer-aided technologies remained untapped in the current process. Ex: BMW 3-Series, launched in 1998, was developed under this development process.

5) Reengineering Automotive Development: To stay competitive and decrease the turnaround time of the development process BMW had to launch a reengineering task force who was responsible for meet a bold target of for slashing product development time by 50% percent . Task force identified five key process areas—body, climate control, fuel supply, test engines
(power train), and acoustics—that accounted for about 90% of the critical processes in the product development timeline and decided to change the traditional process to increase productivity – 1> Increased parallelization of design tasks, 2> Elimination of some design iterations, 3> Quicker completion of the remaining design iterations.

Analysis of the relevant issues

Development Time – Japanese automobile companies targeted to decrease traditional 50 month development time by
30% as a response to rapidly changing market. BMW was lagging behind competitor since its NPD process was

very traditional and slow.

The company had a very artistic
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