Title: The role of continuous improvement within globalisation

Authors: Joachim Kuhn

Addresses: DaimlerChrysler AG, Sindelfingen Plant, Centre VTD/CKD HPC: G105, D-71059 Sindelfingen, Germany

Abstract: In recent times, almost every day, company mergers and acquisitions are announced to gain a better position in the dawn of globalisation. By becoming a global player, a company deals with different economically developed regions being linked to each other with an increasing exchange of products and services. Especially products are affected by regional technical, economical or demand peculiarities - despite the companies| intention to create a worldwide standardised product. To sustain that tension between localisation and globalisation, DaimlerChrysler brand Mercedes-Benz is focusing on both the worldwide unique brand image in terms of quality and superior performance as well as a regional touch by establishing plants and sales subsidiaries and localising the product according to technical requirements. But this regionally tailored approach is triggering a tremendous challenge for Mercedes-Benz to encapsulate the ||Made in Germany|| philosophy within the term ||Made by Mercedes-Benz||. Since it needs continuous effort to reach that target, Continuous Improvement (CI) is one of the core methodologies to sustain and transfer know-how across different regions to guarantee the quality and spirit of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Keywords: globalisation; continuous improvement; transregional logistics; global player strategies and roles; automobile industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2000.002865

International Journal of Technology Management, 2000 Vol.20 No.3/4, pp.442-458

Published online: 07 Jul 2003 *

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