BMW: The 7-Series Project (A)

Case Solution

Gary P. Pisano
Harvard Business School ()

Explore BMW’s decision to build vehicle prototypes. Historically, BMW prototypes were handcrafted by highly skilled craftsmen in the company’s workshop. It has been suggested to change the process so that prototypes are made in a way that better uncovers potential problems that may arise during final production. While the new approach is designed to make it easier to start production of new models and reduce quality issues, there are some concerns within the company that it will result in less flexibility to change (and improve) designs during the build cycle. developing. Examines different forms of quality competition in a luxury product segment and how the product development process affects each of these areas. A second objective is to examine the concept of a prototyping strategy and the role of prototyping in linking the development strategy and the manufacturing strategy.

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