Lean, lean, lean. That’s been the mantra at auto and parts manufacturers, which for more than a decade have been sermonizing about the benefits of lean production to anyone who will listen. But are many U.S. car makers and suppliers actually practicing what they preach? Not really, say executives at RWD Technologies, a 13-year-old, Maryland-based consulting firm that specializes in helping manufacturers get lean. RWD has performed considerable work for DaimlerChrysler in the U.S. and it ...

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