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Make to Order Gravatai

In: Business and Management

Submitted By felipepony
Words 4737
Pages 19
Make-to-Order Automobiles at GM’s Gravataí Plant1
In December 2007, 7 years after the launching of the Chevrolet Celta, Roberto Tinoco, the plant director, proudly recalls the inauguration of the Gravataí plant in mid-July 2000, an event that caught the eye of professionals and the academia both in Brazil and abroad. The core notion was: To sell cars made to order for final consumers. The project, known internally by the handle “blue macaw,” is considered to be a true landmark for the world’s automotive industry.
The Gravataí plant brought about a true revolution in how cars are made, from its concept to the direct-sale model, through its production management system. The lessons learned during the experiment are relevant because they contribute to the establishment of a new production model, helping put the world’s automotive industry on a new path.
The plant was working at full capacity especially during the first years, and the production during this period is shown in the following table. The extraordinary increase in production in the last 7 years is evident. The idea was to deliver a car assembled as per the consumer’s own specifications in the shortest possible time, at a cost lower than that of the traditional make-to-stock mass-production system.
Production 24,007


109,916 115,304 136,114 135,097 140,994 192,272

The Background of the Brazilian Automotive Industry
In the 90s, three big experiments were done in Brazil: The Gravataí GM complex
(GMBG), the Ford Camaçari complex, and Volkswagen plant in Resende, each with specific characteristics. The Ford and GM plants manufactured passenger cars and Volkswagen made light trucks, also built-to-order like Gravataí plant. In this case, Volkswagen put all the suppliers responsible for the assembly of their…...

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