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Research the German Car Industry - BMW

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Framework for analysis Within this dossier I am going to research the German Car Industry, firstly I am going to give a little background history to Germany, then Berlin where the person will be based to work for BMW. Then finally I will tell the person about BMW, their history and his/hers role within the company. I have decided to use a 50/50 approach to this dossier by this I mean 50% will be on the country i.e. Germany and Berlin and 50% will be on the company. I have chosen this because I feel, and will explain throughout this piece of work that it is very important to know the ways and the customs of a country as well as the industry in which you are going to work. I will try through this piece of work to help the person 'settle' in quicker and be comfortable of his/her surroundings. If someone feels happy in his/her surroundings then this should spread into his/hers work life and by focusing more on the country I feel this could happen quicker than usual. About Germany Population: 82,057,000 Size: 357,021 km² Adjacent countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland Highest point: Zugspitze (2,962 m) - 31% of the country is covered with forests Coastal line: 2,389 km Life expectancy: 77 years (Men - 73 years; Women - 80 years) System of government: The Federal Republic of Germany is a democracy with a liberal free-market economy, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Germany is a member of the European Union (EU). Capital: Berlin (3.47 million inhabitants) 16 States in the Federal Republic: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia Railway system: 43,966 km Freeways and roads: 633,000 km Bicycle tracks: 40,000 km Federal and national waterways: 10,000 km Sea water routes: 23,000 km² Time zone: In Germany, clocks are set to Central European time.

Middle

The car industry has remained one of the pillars of the German economy. Currently about 1.26 million people are employed in the car industry. In 1998 5.73 million cars were produced and 3.27 million of these were exported. Daimler-Benz is the largest of the three major players, Volkswagen being the second and BMW the third. The car industry is, however, facing the biggest changes since the introduction of mass production. With ever changing markets and fluctuating economies mass production in the old sense may be on its way out. Cars that are not sold quickly turn into huge losses for their company. This may be avoided by introducing more flexible production systems. The idea is to produce cars according to customer's wishes and, more importantly, when they want to buy them. This idea is based on BTO (built-to-order) systems. In Germany about 60% of cars are built according to orders placed directly or indirectly with the factory. The next step, mass customisation, would suit both customer and manufacturer. The problem is to develop a production system that can adapt quickly to a changing demand and supply at a lower cost. Together with American and Japanese car makers Volkswagen is involved in the so-called "3DayCar" project which tries to apply the mass customisation model initiated by the computer manufacturer DELL to the car industry. Considering the size of German car manufacturers like Volkswagen and Daimler-Benz, these new production methods may mean major changes on a huge scale. Another change is the increasing size of car manufacturers. The five leading corporations worldwide are General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen. The worldwide overproduction of cars and fluctuating markets has meant that all five have been involved in a number of acquisitions and mergers in order to consolidate their position as global players. DaimlerChrysler is now said to be interested in Mitsubishi Motors and Volkswagen in BMW.

Conclusion

Special selection events are designed to give applicants every opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a variety of relevant activities and to learn as much as they can about the organisation and the role they are applying for. BMW Ltd actively encourages its employees in the development of their careers BMW Ltd offers all employees (Head Office and Dealer Network) the practical support, advice and training opportunities to encourage personal development, aligned to the achievement of corporate objectives. The BMW Centre for Development team helps employees to select and undergo the most appropriate training programme for their needs. Requirement is assessed annually during the appraisal process. Courses available to staff include: Management Sales After sales Technical Dealer Service Managers are expected to interact regularly with their team and this process is formalised through "Portfolio" where managers and employees review performance together every November covering the following areas: Today BMW has various production plants in Germany, Austria, South Africa and the USA as well as sales offices in Asia and Mexico. Apart from cars and motor cycles the group is involved in the production of aircraft engines. Cars, however, account for nearly 75% of the company's sales. Company's operations also include software (softlab GmbH). Due to recent changes in the car industry there has been speculation about a possible merger between BMW and another car manufacturer, but the Quandt family who owns about half of the BMW shares has downplayed such speculation. In the beginning of 1994 BMW bought 80% of the shares in the Rover Group. The company later on sold Land Rover to Ford and Rover Cars to Phoenix Consortium. BMW is known for its production of passenger and Formula 1 cars as well as motor cycles. In the year 2000, BMW sold 830 000 cars, 74 000 motor cycles and employed 93 000 people. BMW are and will continue to be one of the largest car manufactures in the world, producing top of the range vehicles for years to come and being a credit to Germany is what BMW is all about.

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