Great expectations! February 22nd, 2008
By Chil-Young KwonProduction Management Team
Kia Motors Corporation
Kia Motors’ recent domestic ad campaign was based on the motto that “all 33,000 Kia employees are designers.” This may sound amusing, but I am also a designer although my role at Kia is in production management. While no car bears my design, I am undoubtedly a designer.
Our plant is busy with the facelift (F/L) version of Lotze (also known as Optima or Magentis). (I was captivated by this car at first sight and wanted to claim it as my own design!) Much cooperation and effort goes into producing a new car after it is developed in the R&D center. First, new equipment must be installed on the production lines. Discussions are held with line workers about assembling the new parts. In addition, test vehicles have to be made and examined to ensure that quality problems do not arise during production. Production management serves as a liaison function throughout this process.
Those in charge of specifications, like myself, first have to receive the car specs from the overseas product team and R&D center and then generate orders. We then create and distribute codes for the parts developed by the R&D center so that the production department and parts suppliers can make the right selections. Afterwards, all that’s left is building a fabulous car.
As you can see, the production management department’s work has close links with the R&D, product team and line workers. That’s why I take great pride in my work. Without my input, remarkable advances made by researchers, countless car sales by overseas dealers, and the sweat and toil of factory workers, would all be meaningless.
That’s right! I design the link that connects all the related parts. A worker on the assembly line is someone who creates designs to facilitate processes, while a member of the product team designs more effective orders. In this way, all of us at Kia design our work.
What do you think? Aren’t you looking forward to meeting the F/L Lotze (Magentis, Optima), a car designed by everyone at Kia?