Advancing Sustainable Economic Systems
Chapter 11: Europe takes the technology lead: the case of Citron
Outside the US, the first car manufacturer to recognise the potential of Budd’s new body technology was André Citroën. Citroën ran into similar problems as Ford in that once mass production of mechanical components had been established, it was found that body construction and painting presented a major bottleneck preventing mass production of complete cars. Unlike Ford, Citroën shared Budd’s longer-term vision and could see that the high costs of maintaining forests was unsustainable. However, Citro'n did become very reliant on US technology. As significant is that Citro'n was first to produce a monocoque structure in volume production, but again relying heavily on Budd’s patents and technologies. American manufacturers, meanwhile had focussed more on styling and advances in production methods, as well as implementing much greater specialisation, such as plants making only a single model line, something European car makers with their much lower volumes could rarely afford to do without achieving minimum economies of scale.
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