AutoMOTIVE 5 - (Page 18)

halewood.qxd 24/11/06 10:18 am Page 18 HBATLEWOPLANT OD RE IR H OF A CAR Once a cauldron of industrial militancy, Ford's Halewood plant in Liverpool is now one of the most productive car assembly plants in Europe. Sam Ogle reports on the renaissance of an enfant terrible. The Halewood plant, together with ill-fated British No quality or production targets were ever achieved, Leyland, was a stark example of the malaise which and by the early nineties there was a real fear that the affected the UK automotive manufacturing industry in plant would close. the dark days of the seventies and eighties. The plant, By 1990, Halewood was producing the best-selling which has been producing cars since the 1963 Ford Ford Escort. It was still, however, a dark and dirty place, Anglia, was a watchword for inefficiency and strife, with work-in-process inventory cluttering the aisles dragged down by poor management and riven by bitter between the production lines. When Ford needed to industrial disputes. s o u rce the new Focus, the company turned to its Halewood was seen as one of the worst car assembly plants in Saarlouis and Valencia. The writing m a n u f a c t u r i n g plants in the Ford empire, s ays was on the wall for Halewood. In the mid-nineties, Ford operations director Thomas Klein ruefully. The major decided on a different strategy, says Klein. There was issue was the inability of the management, workforce talk of sourcing a new crossover at Halewood, but the car and trade unions to work together. never materialised and the idea was dropped. Then, in 1998, we won the manufacturing contract for the new Jaguar X-Type and the company began a transformation of work 18

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AutoMOTIVE 5

Editors Note
Here For The Long Haul
Halewood. Rebirth of a Car Plant
Safety First
Focus on Flexibility
A Prophet Without Honour?
Chrysler Cuts It Four Ways
A MINI For All Reasons
Porsche Plans Continuous Logistics Improvement
Flawless, Consistent Execution
Ford's European Supplier Parks Deliver Lean Manufacturing Efficiencies
Cheap and Cheerful
Onwards and Upwards
Schrader and Siemens Electronics Assembly Systems Take the Pressure
No Faults Forward
A Long Way From Wheelbarrows and Bath Tubs
A New Era in US/Japanese Cooperation
A Dialogue of the Deaf