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ABB Robotics survey: Global automotive manufacturers are rethinking “just in time” approach

Supply chain disruption and rising material costs are causing the global automotive industry to re-evaluate lean manufacturing principles, according to a new survey commissioned by ABB Robotics. Shifting from ‘just-in-time’ to ‘just in case’ strategies, manufacturers are holding more stock to protect against unplanned disruptions.

Produced in partnership with Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, the survey was completed by a mix of global industry experts from vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and engineering.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents cited ongoing supply chain concerns when asked to select their top three challenges to automotive manufacturing, while 41% cited the impacts of material and component price increases and 31% pointed to growing labor costs and shortages.

The survey also revealed how manufacturers were turning to increased stock-holding and bulk material purchasing to limit their exposure to disruption elsewhere in the supply chain, while working with a wider network of suppliers to ensure sufficient availability of parts.

The survey highlighted how the rising cost of raw materials (62%) had already overtaken energy costs (59%) as the industry’s chief concern. Energy efficiency continues to be important, while an identical number of respondents (17%) felt that tighter cost management was crucial to the industry’s response.

The ABB survey includes close to 600 global industry experts, from vehicle manufacturers, and supplies at all levels of management, engineering and other key professionals throughout the automotive world.



The leading exponents of JIT had already moved on some time ago.

The risk of supply chain disruptions is too great.

Primative notions of 'efficiency' don't help when there is disruption.

Note the dependence of the West for so many elements of its supply chain on China, all of which was brought about by notions of the 'efficiency' of using the cheapest supplier, often due to their having near zero pollution controls.


Hi Dave:
Right you are; Note how Tesla is very much vertically integrated about as much as they can be; and, other U.S. makers are starting to move that way.
Early in the game, Tesla realized dealers were not necessary so they absorbed those functions; and, they also build their own batteries, motors and most of their electronics in-house...Some say they will even be in the mining business before much longer.
The last couple of decades of farming out our technology to China's cheap labor force has hopefully taught us to be more independent, to pay the money and keep our industrial capabilities at home.

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