Alcoa Automotive has launched an entire new "family" of forged aluminum wheels for the 2005 Ford Super Duty truck line and also achieved a new "time-to-market" milestone when it successfully reduced the launch cycle on a new forged wheel for Chrysler Group from the standard 38 to five weeks.
"Our recently launched Ford family of eight Super Duty wheels includes a variety of styles and sizes," Tim Myers, head of Alcoa's Forged Specialty Wheels business explained. "This extended family of forged wheels offers them the ability to give their customers a wide variety of very attractive styling options. It also demonstrates that Alcoa can manage the launch of multiple new wheels effectively."
"The five-week launch for Chrysler Group demonstrates our understanding of customer needs and the ability to anticipate the tooling requirements associated with these needs and then to combine this understanding with the power of the of the Alcoa Business System to achieve a dramatic improvement in Forged Specialty Wheels time-to-market capability," Myers claimed.
"While this was a unique situation," Myers continued, "we learned that we can go from order receipt to wheels on the showroom flow in just five weeks. We intend to apply this experience to other new opportunities to continue to reduce the launch cycle on all Alcoa forged and specialty wheels."
"We are at the beginning of a new era entailing multiple product launches each quarter for the foreseeable future," Myers stated. "Our proven ability to manage a wide portfolio of new product introductions in a compressed time period provides our customers and their dealers with more flexibility in differentiating their offerings than ever before. Mass customization is upon the automotive industry and Forged Specialty Wheels is well positioned to meet the challenge."