Reducing automobile weight and mpg increase

A New York Times article (Sept 14, 2011) describes efforts by auto manufacturers to decrease the weight of their cars -Land Rover plans to cut 1100 lbs in 10 years, Audi by 175 lbs in 1 year, Toyota by 35 % of weight and volume of its drive system.  Decreasing weight will immediately impact mileage and may well be part of an overall strategy to meet US fleet mpg goals.  How will these plans impact demand for metals like aluminum in the auto industry ? Will lower weight, higher mileage but fewer options continue to attract consumer demand or will it help retain a more ecosensitive market segment ? How will such strategies impact component manufacturers who may have the greatest overall weight contribution to the car ? Is there an opportunity for a  fresh global player with aluminum based cars to upstage the existing auto manufacturers ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reducing automobile weight and mpg increase

  1. There is an ethical side to this discussion that is not mentioned frequently. Everything else equal, when you reduce the weight of a car, you make that car less safe. You simply have less mass around you to protect you during an accident. Taking weight off is the easiest way to lower MPG, but that is usually at the cost of safety.

  2. It looks like automakers aren’t shy about doing it. Ford and VW have made 3-cylinder production cars: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/09/three-is-the-new-four-as-engines-downsize/

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