The Success of Flexible, Low-cost, Quality Competitors

Piet T. Bolwijn, Ted Kumpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


The authors made extensive visits to factories in Europe to find support for their view that successful European manufacturers have evolved over recent decades from low-cost quality producers into flexible, low-cost quality producers. Flexibility allows them to introduce technological change very rapidly — this is the key to success.

Piet Bolwijn and Ted Kumpe visited DAF Trucks, Fiat, GEC, Olivetti, Philips and Thomson and, whilst not finding any two factories alike, discovered their strategies bore out the authors' view — they strove for excellence by adding flexibility to efficiency and quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean management journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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