About This Blog

A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.

The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Automotive Quality - From "Fehler" (Failure) to Stow and Go Success

The recent post in View from the Q by Laurel-Nelson Rowe touched on a very interesting subject, namely the quality of design in automobiles.  Knowing that Chrysler is substantially and significantly owned by FIAT, I would have expected the presentation by Herr Klaus Busse to describe Fehler In Allen Teilen 

and be forced to resort to returning the Chrysler to FIX IT AGAIN TONY!

As someone interested in the American Automotive industry, I was especially impressed with the innovative vehicles from two automotive companies operating in the post-WW2 era: Tucker and Hudson.  The Tucker Corporation, led by the charismatic Preston Tucker, strove to create the safest and best performing vehicle available for commercial use. Unfortunately due to financial and political obstacles, the Tucker organization was ground into bankruptcy in favor of the status quo favoring the Big 3 automotive giants. The Tucker Torpedo remains a valuable collection item, and its innovative features were decades ahead of the comparative models from the Big 3.

The Hudson Hornet was the most successful NASCAR competitive vehicle in the 1950's, and inspired design innovations for racing, predating the "muscle car" era by a full generation.  This success was immortalized in the Pixar Disney movie, Cars, as the character "Doc Hudson", voiced by the late great Paul Newman.  Unfortunately, Hudson Motors was merged into a conglomerate known as American Motors, and the then CEO, a number-crunching financier named George Romney (father of Mitt Romney), shifted the focus of American Motors from  powerful vehicles like the Hudson Hornet to emphasize iconic models like the Nash Rambler, Gremlin, and Pacer, which were also immortalized in Pixar Disney's Cars 2 as the villainous LEMONS.  In a strange turn of events, the assets of American Motors were absorbed into Chrysler which still makes and markets the Jeep line of products.

But back to the question raised by our illustrious ASQ Managing Director,  What do you seek in the driving experiences of your future?  At Chrysler, which has been mocked and lampooned for its K-Car models and clunky Mini-Vans (courtesy of Lee Iacocca), the current commercials are emphasizing a design feature, "One Touch, Stow and Go".  This is a Visual Demo of One Touch Stow and Go which is available as part of Chrysler interiors that expands the possibilities and usability of the vehicle.  The simplicity of use, along with the increased versatility of the vans to alternately toggle between passengers and cargo reflects nothing short of design genius.  This is a differentiator for a family vehicle, and currently a premium feature which will prove itself so essential that within 5 years, a stow and go capability will be an essential requirement for new passenger vehicles of all shapes and sizes.


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