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A Total Product System Concept - a case study of the smart (tm) automobile

Warren, J.P.; Rhodes, E.A. and Carter, R.B. (2001). A Total Product System Concept - a case study of the smart (tm) automobile. Greener Management International, 35 pp. 89–104.

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Increasing demand from consumers plus EU legislation has raised awareness within the automotive production sector of the urgent need to reduce the environmental impacts from the three main stages in vehicle life – car manufacture, car use and end-of life vehicle processing. The paper reviews how the originator and manufacturer of the smart automobile has worked directly with its main system partners to address environmental issues in these three stages while optimizing performance across the parameters of commercial viability. This required the creation of strategic relationships within the supply chain. Overall, this innovative approach is viewed in the context of a total product system. The smart car highlights the following critical areas: use of modularity in product design and production facility layout; emphasis on partner participation from product creation to after-sales; and the use of highly customised build-to-order product system to 'green' the entire supply chain. In particular, the case study compares the process characteristics empoyed at the smart car factory, called 'smartville', with more traditional approaches to vehicle manufacture. It exmaines these issues in a preliminary attempt to establish the actual or potential reduction of environmental impact in the three stages of vehicle life, including the role of main suppliers in this process.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISBN: 1-84628-298-5, 978-1-84628-298-0
ISSN: 0966-9671
Extra Information: This is a previous version of the book chapter which is also deposited in this area.

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Keywords: supply chains; green supply chains; smart car; automobile industry; modularity; total product systems; life cycle analysis; MCC smart
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Design and Innovation
Item ID: 5061
Depositing User: James Warren
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 23:31
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