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Opposition benchmarking: Part two

1 year ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


30 January 2023

In part one, we discussed the sometimes devious ways in which car makers source their competitors’ vehicles, and the dynamic benchmarking those cars endure before their untimely but necessary demise in the ‘teardown’ workshops.

All large OEMs will have their own specialist teardown labs, but the name is a misnomer. Nothing is ‘torn’…down or up. The cars under study are carefully and methodically dismantled. My first exposure to such an operation was in Renault’s enormous and very impressive Centre d’Analyse de Concurrence, or Competitor Analysis Centre, somewhat unfortunately nick-named ‘le CAC’.

Imagine your dream home workshop – large, well-lit, airy, with a row of 4-post lifts, lined with Facom tool chests, very decent coffee on tap and a croissant shop five minutes’ walk away (we are in France, after all). It’s quiet, unhurried and studious: a string quartet to the frenetic rock-concert atmosphere of a production plant, where you can’t hear yourself think over the scream of the airguns and the thumping bass of the press shop.

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