Indian firm Tata building the Land Rover in a joint venture in China

An article in the Financial Times (April 20, 2014) titled “JLR China chief says Changshu factory will rival UK for quality”, describes a new plant in China, owned by China automaker Chery and the Indian Tata group that owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), that will build Land River cars for the Chinese market. The goal is to compete with German automakers in China. But the new twist is that the automation level of the Chinese plant is expected to match that in European plants, with quality levels rivaling the company’s plants in the UK. Is the demand for quality in China expected to increase automation levels even in low labor cost China ? If the mix of labor and capital is the same in China as in the Western plants, will low transport costs for finished products, or subsidized energy or incentives for plant employment justify Chinese production ? Given that quality cultures in manufacturing require individual initiative to improve over time, will the Chinese plants deliver long term continuous improvement (kaizen) that is expected in Japanese plants ?

About aviyer2010

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