How Many Parts Makers Can Stomach The Lopez Diet?

The managers of Europe's huge auto-supply industry are about to take a crash course on how to make their businesses leaner--much, much leaner. Their instructor? None other than Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, new production director for Volkswagen, former purchasing czar for all of General Motors Corp., and acknowledged master of inflicting pain for gain. On June 21, three months after his controversial arrival at Volkswagen, Lopez will dispatch handpicked teams to VW suppliers throughout Germany and Europe. They will spend a week at each one, scrutinizing factories and showing how to cut inefficiencies.

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