The members of the German Automobile Industry Association (VDA, www.vda.de) have come to an agreement on sustained improvement and quality assurance. The main aspect of this agreement is the undertaking provided by the automobile manufacturers to define “unambiguously and in good time” product specifications together with responsibilities, interfaces, deadlines, costs and quality targets, as well as any design freeze. For their part, within the framework of their development responsibilities, the suppliers will collaborate on the above definition and fulfill the deadline, cost and quality agreements in the product creation process, as well as during series production over the entire supply chain. Manufacturers and suppliers have also agreed that changes to deadlines, processes, materials, locations, technologies, installation locations and operational conditions during series production will be “notified, agreed and approved in good time.” Wherever errors occur, both sides will ensure that the other party is promptly informed and countermeasures taken immediately in order to “permanently eliminate” the causes.
In the agreement, VDA President Prof. Bernd Gottschalk sees an essential component in the joint strategy of the German automobile manufacturers and suppliers to safeguard their leading position on the world market and fulfill the high demands of the customers.