As part of their weeklong seminar in Madrid, a group of EMBA and MBA students from Bellarmine University explored the Spanish and global automotive industry through a visit to IVECO.
Founded in 1975, IVECO is a multinational corporation that designs and produces industrial, light, medium and heavy vehicles, as well as special vehicles for defense, civil protection and specific missions such as fire-fighting. The company, owned by CNH Industrial Group, is known for its innovative natural gas trucks, a reputation bolstered by over twenty-five years of work and research on vehicles using natural power. During a company presentation, students inquired about the business model, characterized by complete customization of the product.
Students continued their visit to the manufacturing plant where the tour followed the complete assembly process. The IVECO representative zeroed in on technology and tactics used to decrease process times and increase production efficiency. In 2017, the plant implemented the World Class Manufacturing process which focuses on a structured and integrated system of the different processes of the plant, from its security, logistics, quality and product development, to the professional development of their employees. As a result of this, IVECO Madrid produces 160 vehicles each day, one truck every six minutes, all produced with the same objectives: zero waste, zero failures, zero accidents, zero defects, and zero stock.
Students were surprised by the large number of women employed in the plant, something fairly uncommon in the automotive sector. Representatives were proud to boast the Madrid plant as the factory with the largest percentage of female employees, 21% of the manufacturing workforce.
The group left IVECO with a better understanding of the vehicle manufacturing industry in Europe, interesting perspective that they will certainly reference in their professional lives, especially given the global attention on trade and the automotive industry. Together with the different class sessions led by local Accent faculty to cover the past, present, and future of Spain and its economy, the students received first-hand information which will complement their study program in the US.
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