Harbour-Felax Group, Jim Harbour Announce Landmark Automotive Study

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Laurie Harbour-Felax, president, Harbour-Felax Group and Jim Harbour, retired chairman of Harbour Consulting today announced plans to publish an automotive competitive study documenting the major structural gaps that exist among North American automotive manufacturers.

Harbour-Felax will introduce the study Tuesday, August 8, during a presentation at the 2006 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, with the official release scheduled for October.

The North American Automotive Competitiveness Study will analyze the gap that exists today on profit per vehicle and provide insight into the major areas of difference between OEMs. There will be practical examples illustrating the results and the impact on the entire value chain including suppliers. Additionally, the report will evaluate potential solutions for the challenges faced by OEMs and suppliers in today's environment.

"The goal of this study is to increase the knowledge of these issues and their root causes to better improve the chances of a strong, sustainable North American automotive industry," said Harbour-Felax. "The analysis of the critical issues that affect the automotive industry will help OEMs and suppliers make the transformation needed to stay competitive."

The study was developed in conjunction with Jim Harbour who created "The Harbour Report." Harbour produced a groundbreaking study in the 1980s that documented the competitive cost gap between North American and Japanese manufacturers. The study drove North American plants to focus on improving their operations in order to effectively compete against the Japanese. The North American Automotive Competitiveness Study will document labor cost issues; capacity; product, process and design engineering; investment and research and development spending; revenue per vehicle; and, yen exchange rate effect.

"The major gaps the North American automotive manufacturers faced in the 1980s were primarily quality and productivity. In response to this pivotal moment for the industry, automakers worked on these issues and significantly reduced the gap," said Jim Harbour. "Now we are emerging on what I would call a 'New Frontier' -- another defining moment for the industry. With this study, we are taking a closer look at what prevents the OEMs from closing the competitive gap."

To better assist companies in staying competitive, Harbour-Felax founded the Harbour-Felax Group. With its team of consultants and partners, the Harbour-Felax Group works to improve a company's operations by identifying challenges and implementing a sustainable plan for the future.

About the Harbour-Felax Group

The Harbour-Felax Group partners with companies and their suppliers to transform their operations and develop a roadmap for maintaining sustainability in today's automotive and manufacturing community. A team of highly skilled and experienced consultants, the Harbour-Felax Group and their partners have real-world experience in all aspects of the automotive and manufacturing community. The Harbour-Felax Group analyzes a company's operations compared to its competitors, identifies existing gaps, develops a road map to correct those gaps and implements a sustainable transformation process to achieve success. On the Web, http://www.harbourfelax.com

Web site: http://www.harbourfelax.com/


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