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To get its foot in the door, China needs to learn total quality management first, a practice the Japanese learned from the US in the 1950's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The first Chinese cars are going to arrive in Europe shortly, this article (unfortunately in German) says. The car in question is called Zhonghua, of Jinbei Automotive.

Starting this autumn, it shall be available at around 1000 outlets all over Europe at a minimum price of 15.000 €.

PS: The article refers to china.org.cn, maybe more information in English is available from there.
 

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Oh so early. I thought they would try middle east or north africa first. Chery is gradually building their brand in those areas. But germany is the homeland of volkswagen and BMW. I'm afraid that Jinbei won't do anything but building up a image of low quality. Cheap is not good, but on the other hand, is not bad at all. Low-quality and less safety is another story.

Car, maybe the last and ultimate market Chinese manufactures want. It has become a dream. I know nothing about car-making. Just some years ago, I wondered why we could build a rocket sending a man into the space but could not make a car! But, all of a sudden, a bunch of Chinese companies started churning out cars. What's happening? I though it must be a tremendous job but now it seems so easy.
 

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In fact, this move does not so much stem from Jinbei's initiative: a European company wants to import those cars.

I don't know about the quality, but judging from the features included, it does not seem to be targeted at the lower end of the market...
 

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It would be nice if Chinese automobile companies are implementing these. I still remember a little from what I learned in my Operations Management course during college. Note #4.

1. Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service. Contancy of purpose requires innovation, investment in research and education, continuous improvement of product and service, maintenance of equipment, furniture and fixtures, and new aids to production.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. Management must undergo a transformation and begin to believe in quality products and services.

3. Cease dependence on mass inspection. Inspect products and services only enough to be able to identify ways to improve the process.

4. End the practice of awarding business on price tag alone. The lowest priced goods are not always the highest quality; choose a supplier based on its record of improvement and then make a long-term commitment to it.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of product and service. Improvement is not a one-time effort; management is responsible for leading the organization into the practice of continual improvement in quality and productivity.

6. Institute training and retraining. Workers need to know how to do their jobs correctly even if they need to learn new skills.

7. Institute leadership. Leadership is the job of management. Managers have the responsibility to discover the barriers that prevent staff from taking pride in what they do. The staff will know what those barriers are.

8. Drive out fear. People often fear reprisal if they "make waves" at work. Managers need to create an environment where workers can express concerns with confidence.

9. Break down barriers between staff areas. Managers should promote teamwork by helping staff in different areas/departments work together. Fostering interrelationships among departments encourages higher quality decision-making.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce. Using slogans alone, without an investigation into the processes of the workplace, can be offensive to workers because they imply that a better job could be done. Managers need to learn real ways of motivating people in their organizations.

11. Eliminate numerical quotas. Quotas impede quality more than any other working condition; they leave no room for improvement. Workers need the flexibility to give customers the level of service they need.

12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. Give workers respect and feedback about how they are doing their jobs.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and retraining. With continuous improvement, job descriptions will change. As a result, employees need to be educated and retrained so they will be successful at new job responsibilities.

14. Take action to accomplish the transformation. Management must work as a team to carry out the previous 13 steps.

Right now Indian companies have the edge in quality over their Chinese counterparts because the former is implementing TQM. I would hesitate on buying any Chinese car until its quality is proven.

Those cars look good on the outside, but can they actually run?
 
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