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More sustainable automotive production through understanding decoupling points in leagile manufacturing

Nieuwenhuis, Paul Andre Henri Francois and Katsifou, Eleni 2015. More sustainable automotive production through understanding decoupling points in leagile manufacturing. Journal of Cleaner Production 95 , pp. 232-241. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.02.084

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Abstract

Attempts to link ‘lean’ and ‘green’ have a long history, yet they mostly remain wedded to an eco-efficiency agenda. The question addressed here is to what extent lean can inform more radical change towards greater sustainability in industrial systems. The automobile is one of our least sustainable systems and the main issue is overproduction. Yet, the current automotive business and manufacturing models depend on high levels of production due to the need for economies of scale determined by the chosen production technologies. These technologies center on the internal combustion engine and the all-steel body. This paper shows through a review of the ‘leagile’ literature, that a new understanding of the factors that determine the ‘decoupling point’ between lean and agile processes can be used in order to bring about a radical shift in economies of scale in car production such that lower volume production becomes feasible thereby reducing the need for overproduction and enabling a move towards more sustainable car production and hence consumption. A case study of the Morgan Motor Company is included to illustrate how such an approach could work in practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: Available online 10 March 2015
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0959-6526
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2015
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2019 17:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/71537

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