Productivity Assured Or We'll Fix Them Free

When American manufacturers decided 10 years ago that boosting quality was the key to regaining their competitiveness, a beefed-up warranty often was the first step. If they couldn't produce a defect-free car, the thinking went, they could at least guarantee to the customer that he wouldn't be stuck with repair bills for the first 50,000 miles. Quality would follow when the factory figured out that building it right the first time was cheaper than paying warranty claims.

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