Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

ElMaraghy, W.

Keywords

Social sciences, Applied sciences, Platform, Product families

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Today's automotive market is a highly competitive industry as many global manufacturing enterprises are competing to increase and dominate market shares. Automotive and other major manufacturers must focus on product differentiation to fulfill customer demands and expectations, increase market share globally and domestically, and reduce design and manufacturing cost. To meet market demand, enterprises must understand current and future customer expectations as perceptions evolve overtime. Product platform and products family strategies have been implemented widely to offer variations. Assessing and benchmarking platforms and families differentiations - within an enterpriser -are tools used to support and create the most effective balance between market demands and product variations; to avoid self-competition. It has been noted that there has been insufficient researches to identify the gaps in products differentiations within an enterprise and the market. Differentiations with consideration of the dynamic market, market share analysis, globalization factors, functions, function attributes, and sales prices. The focus of this research is to identify the ultimate number of product platforms and product families of existing and prospective products of an enterprise. The mathematical model discovers the top features and functions needed in the market, and eliminates weak car models which do not meet customer expectations. This identification is achieved through analyzing current products diversification, degree of diversification, product saturation and ability to accommodate more functions. The developed mathematical model is demonstrated and validated using case studies based on examples from actual situations. It applies to both product platforms and product families. The results showed that the developed model is not limited to the automotive industry only, but it can be applied to other products and industries as well. This work supports the product designer and strategy-makers in the activity decision process to identify needed functions and features to increase market shares and allocate resources efficiently.

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