The importance of quality principles in the automobile industry


The recent recalls of cars made in the United States is raising questions again about the processes used to manufacture them and whether there are quality principles engrained in the process. The latest recalls are not the first and will probably not be the last. In the early days of manufacturing automobiles these problems never seemed to exist or at least they were not as widely disseminated to the general public. We are a technological wonder around the world as we continue to develop and design new automobiles and trucks along with other products and services but having and following quality principles must be engrained in everything we do. Quality principles may be in place in this industry but it appears they may need to be revised to address possible system glitches which may be involved with the deficiencies generated.

This article is not meant to be a criticism of individuals who are involved with the manufacturing of automobiles but the processes and perhaps the leadership involved within it.

My knowledge and experience of quality principles helps me to understand problems sometimes surface but it is how those problems are addressed which makes the difference between a good company and a great company. Sometimes there may be issues with adequate training but these can be easily resolved with additional training. Training programs in an industry such as this is critical given the complex nature of producing an automobile and it needs to be top notch. Any industry has problems and the automobile industry is no different.

It is understood that to manufacture any automobile or product involves subcontractors or what some individuals refer to as vendors. The control of the quality of products coming from these sources must be monitored in some fashion if the end product will meet the quality and expectations of customers. In this industry recalls have become a normal occurrence rather than the exception and as a result the reputation of companies suffers and the public loses confidence in the ability of manufacturers to produce a quality product.

The recent example of airbag problems needs to be closely examined to determine the actions required to eliminate the issue. The costs of researching problems in the automobile industry can be excessive dependent upon the scope of the issue. This industry along with others in our country should apply the principle of it costs less to do a job right than to spend resources resolving problems when they surface. The principle of do it right the first time should be a policy which is in place in all businesses providing products and services to their customers.

Consumers expect the products they purchase to meet performance requirements and be safe to use. It is especially important that the products we drive such as automobiles and even lawn mowers must be without defects especially if they could cause us harm. The recent incident of airbags is a safety hazard and the industry must do everything it can to keep drivers safe. Some say government should get involved with these types of issues but government is involved too much in our lives today. Before the expansion of government in recent years society did a relatively good job in correcting deficiencies in their products and services largely as a result of the public demanding it. Businesses to survive must put their customers first.

The reputation of any industry is impacted when their products or service develop deficiencies either in the products or the quality of performing services. The automobile industry is a major component of our society with many companies making products which are installed in the automobiles being manufactured. When this industry is doing well there is a trickle-down effect which benefits many individuals and companies. It is hoped that the right actions will be taken to resolve the latest issue in this industry.


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