SAO PAULO — Within a few months, the first subcompact cars of the Arara Azul (Blue Macaw) project will roll off the assembly line at General Motors Corp.'s new Brazilian plant in Gravatai, Rio Grande do Sul. This is GM's testing ground for a new form of manufacturing that is expected to have one of the lowest production costs of all its global operations. The Gravatai factory will begin with zero inventories, giving suppliers a maximum of 90 minutes to deliver their components. A ...

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