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In: Business and Management

Submitted By shossain85
Words 4812
Pages 20
19 Make-To-Order Automobiles
at GM’s Gravataí Plant

In December 2007, seven years after the launching of the Chevrolet Celta, Roberto
Tinoco, the plant director, proudly recalled the inauguration of the Gravataí plant in mid-July 2000, an event that caught the eye of professionals and academia both in
Brazil and abroad. The core notion was: to sell cars made-to-order for final consumers.
The project, known internally by the handle “blue macaw,” was considered to be a true landmark for the world’s automotive industry. The Gravataí plant brought about a true revolution in how cars were made, from its concept to the direct-sale model, through its production management system. The lessons learned during the experiment were relevant because they contributed to the establishment of a new production model, helping put the world’s automotive industry on a new path.
The plant was working at full capacity especially during the first years, and the production during this period is shown in the table below. The extraordinary increase in production in the last seven years is evident. The idea was to deliver a car assembled as per the consumer’s own specifications in the shortest possible time, at a cost lower than that of the traditional make-to-stock mass-production system.

















The Background of the Brazilian Automotive Industry
In the ’90s, three big experiments were done in Brazil. The Gravataí GM complex
(GMBG), the Ford Camaçari complex and Volkswagen plant in Resende, each with specific characteristics. The Ford and GM plants manufactured passenger cars and
Volkswagen made light trucks, also built-to-order like Gravataí plant. In this case,
Volkswagen put all the suppliers…...

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