The news came out some weeks ago, the fusion between PSA (which includes, besides Peugeot, also Citroen, DS and Opel) and FCA went down in history.
Thanks to this union, the new group will feature in the fourth place after Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Toyota in the world car production. This union will produce 8.7 million cars and the capitalisation will be around € 50 billion – important numbers indeed.
To be honest, this news did not surprise me. On the one hand, the failed attempt to unite with Renault a couple of months ago, left me to believe that FCA would seek another way to grow, not only in numbers but in terms of stability.
On the other hand, if you think about it, what is happening here (and not just in the FCA family) is an (almost) natural evolution in the direction that the automotive industry has been moving in for some time now.
Think about it: cars are expensive goods. For the people who buy them, but for those who produce them even more so.
Unlike in the past, when cars were a status symbol, a step into the future and a feeling of belonging, today cars are an optional product that is sought after especially for its convenience, and only few people now consider cars to be a benefit.
On the other hand, however, innovation massively increased the quality of cars, thus increasing their value but their cost as well.
These are things that you see every day since you work in this sector, and in order for your efforts to be seen and recognised, you have to try and invert this trend.
To be clear: selling cars is still our main goal. No sector change can be used as an excuse. Being successful in this endeavour whilst taking account of all the ongoing changes is a big challenge.
Indeed, and because of the elements I was telling about, today’s trend is to optimise investments and resources, thus creating common platforms to make production faster, reduce costs, make processes leaner, while clearly ensuring high quality standards that customers can recognise themselves in.
This will be the future of cars: big groups that support each other by working in synergy and that aim for excellence to continue to gain customers.
Obviously, in order to stay in the game, you still need to meet certain criteria, like keeping up-to-date and not making mistakes.
Car parts must become more lightweight, sure, but at the same time we must strive for infinite and flexible production, without downtime so as to be fast and efficient. Quality must be kept at high standards and must be certified, whilst looking to save money for the car maker.
And so on.
It is very concrete issues that thousands of engineers and car makers are faced with, and they don’t always find a solution.
It is the issues that we also had and that we were able to solve through a lot of research, many trials and a high degree of perseverance, thanks to the One-Shot® Method.
The One-Shot® Method is a patented system that allows you to produce car parts with advanced polymers, it solves the very issues that car makers try to solve by creating huge groups that support each other.
In particular, the One-Shot® Method guarantees:
And obviously, huge savings on costs. When we created it, our starting point was the need to optimise production because, like you, I could not afford lying behind. What do I mean by this?
First of all: reducing the number of production phases. Where the traditional method requires three or four steps, the One-Shot® Method allows you to reduce the number of steps as much as possible and you can get to producing a part in just one shot. It’s called “One-Shot®” precisely for this reason.
Let me guess, you are wondering how this is going to be possible. Let me tell you: with a very high degree of automation. Maybe you already know that SAPA has an internal research department that is called Innovation Engineering Department.
We challenged our engineers to find solutions that would reduce the number of phases.
Clearly, joining production phases together entails saving time and money.
Also consider that in many cases we were able to centralise the entire production of a part in just one production area, so there is no need to move the part during production and as a result waste got reduced to close to zero.
All this also entails another positive effect: this model can be exported to the whole world with the same performances. With the One-Shot® Method, you will have the same quality standards whether you produce in China, Germany or Guatemala.
As I was saying earlier on, it is a patented process. Maybe you are wondering in what way? The One-Shot® Method can be applied to any car part. It is a work method, a system. I don’t know what part you are working at right now, but if it is made of advanced polymers, the One-Shot® Method can produce it in fewer steps, hence making you save time while also guaranteeing high quality standards and waste reduction.
I’ll try and give you a summary of all the advantages I told you about:
Can you see how many concrete advantages this method brings to your daily work?
The big companies are changing the profile of the automotive industry to obtain these very results.
If change is already happening, I can proudly say that SAPA is part of it.
General Manager and Member of SAPA’s Board of Directors
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