BMW Group's MINI Production Triangle


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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : OPER073 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

Production strategy/ Lean Manufacturing/ Logistics/ Just-in-Sequence

Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Organization : BMW AG
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : UK
Industry : Auto and Ancillaries

Abstract:

This case is about German automobile manufacturer, the BMW Group's "MINI Production Triangle", a production network of its premium small car brand MINI. The BMW Group started production of the MINI at its Oxford plant in the UK in April 2001. In 2006, in order to further increase the existing production capacity of the MINI, the management of the BMW Group integrated its three manufacturing units in the UK and started a production triangle called the "MINI Production Triangle" (MPT). The three plants which geographically looked like three points of a triangle were the Oxford plant, the Swindon plant, and the Hams Hall plant.

Plant Oxford was responsible for the bodyshell production, paintshop, and final assembly of the MINI. The Hams Hall plant supplied petrol engines while the Swindon plant supplied pressings and sub-assemblies to Plant Oxford.

The case discusses the objectives of the MINI Production Triangle and briefly describes the MINI production process. The production of the MINI involved three steps - Bodyshell Production, Paintshop, and Assembly. Bodyshell production was carried out at Plant Oxford and included manufacturing the body of the MINI. The second step in the MPT was the paintshop where the bodyshell was painted with several coats of color. During the assembly process, the 2,415 different inner and outer parts of the MINI were mounted on to the painted bodyshell. The engines were delivered from Hams Hall just-in-sequence to the assembly line in Oxford as per the production requirements. The pressings and body components were delivered just-in-time from Swindon directly to the body production facility at the Oxford plant. The entire production process, right from the delivery of the engine components to the complete assembly of the components, took around seven days.

The case also talks about other aspects related to the MINI Production Triangle such as logistics, training and development of associates, efficient resource management, and community involvement in the MINI Production Triangle. It concludes with a description of the results achieved in terms of sales and production volumes of MINI after the implementation of the MINI Production Triangle.

Issues:

Study the MINI production strategy adopted by the BMW Group, with special emphasis on the MINI Production Triangle set up in 2006.

Understand the issues and challenges associated with the MINI production process.

Examine the role of the three production plants in the MINI Production Triangle.

Understand concepts such as Just-in-time and Just-in-sequence, and their importance.

Analyze the significance of integrating manufacturing plants in automobile production to improve productivity and enable customization.

Contents:

  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
MINI 3
The MINI Production Triangle 5
Mini Production Triangle - A Three-Step Process 8
Other Aspects 10
Results 12
Exhibits 13

Keywords:

MINI Production Triangle, Lean manufacturing, Flexible manufacturing system, logistics, Just In Time, Just In Sequence, Customer Oriented Sales and Production Process, KOVP, Plant Swindon, Assembly, Bodyshell production, Paintshop, Plant Hams Hall, Pressings, Sub-assemblies, Production management, MINI, UK-based supply industry, UK Automotive Industry, Plant Oxford, Plant Swindon, Plant Hams Hall

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