“Step by Step Improvement” and “Systematization” in the Development Path of Chinese Component Industry


June 6-7, the seventh Global Automotive Forum (GAF) was held in Chongqing, with announced theme: “Pivoting to a New Round of Development”. The event, which gathered both domestic and international panelists and participants, aimed at finding development and strategic opportunities in the automotive industry’s new historical conditions.

On the afternoon of June 6, panelists discussed the “Path to Lean Manufacturing for Chinese Auto Parts Makers and Vision of Made-in-China 2025” and communicated the issue of “How to Promote the Manufacturing Capacity for Chinese Automobile Industry”.

Referring to development situation of Chinese component enterprises, Liao Jiwei, director of Asia-Pacific operations of Bosch Lean Consulting, said that according to his working experience at Bosch China, the development level of component enterprises is uneven. “The suppliers of Bosch are representative of the industry. Some are good, while some are terrible.”

When it comes to the reasons for this inconsistency, the most obvious is that only a few want to change the current situation “The most important thing is that people are hard in changing their ideas,” said Liao, “enterprises think have gone for years in this way, so they continue to fool around.”

Another reason is the lack of constructive resolutions to those problems. “Many enterprises have recognized their problems, and hope to solve them, but they have no good way. As a result, they are solving various problems every day, but they don’t have an effective way to solve those essential problems”, concluded Liao.

In fact, it reflects defects existing in the management of component enterprises in China.  Most domestic component enterprises simply manufacture part designs without engaging in research or development. The road to resolving difficulties in the components industry includes both “perfecting details” and “forming a perfect system,” according to Liao.

He described that component enterprises in China should learn from the “perfecting details” model of Toyota and the “forming a perfect system” model of Bosch to improve on their own to effectively control the production process and guarantee consistency and perfection.

On Toyota’s ability to succeed as a global automotive industry giant, Liao said, “Toyota insists on a culture of continuous improvement at the enterprise level which has come to the point of almost being abnormal.” He noted the industry should embrace the method, to the cent, we to pay attention to methods and to reduce or even eliminate waste. The concept of the Toyota, itself, is “perfecting details (improvement step by step)”, and they do it very well.

The Bosch Production System, on the other hand, contributes in other ways. “In fact, Bosch, with the help of the Toyota method, has set up its own production system,” Liao said, “but Bosch has some aspects beyond the Toyota method, especially at the whole systematic level.”

Liao further expressed his support of the Bosch method, saying, “In fact, you can find it is not empty after landing, but it is very practical, such as serving as workshop management system, which is to tell you how to manage a workshop.” In his view, most component enterprises in China still remain trapped at an unfinished stage of development, “the last step cannot be achieved by large investment all at once, but by a process of gradual accumulation.”

-Published on page#17, June-2016 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine