[7539] In today's global market place few firms are sheltered from international competition. Most markets are very competitive. Some are extremely competitive. In a number of industries supply has grown faster than demand and, as too many firms compete f

[7539] In today's global market place few firms are sheltered from international competition. Most markets are very competitive. Some are extremely competitive. In a number of industries supply has grown faster than demand and, as too many firms compete for too few customers, some markets have become hyper-competitive. Hyper-competition can be fairly short-lived, but in some sectors it has become the norm. The automobile industry is a classic example. How do you cut costs by 20%, improve quality and increase output all at once? It's a pretty tough question, but one that carmakers and their suppliers have had to answer regularly. In view of market conditions, it is hardly surprising that the automotive sector has become so competitive. In recent years, productivity has increased very quickly, but demand has grown quite slowly. This has resulted in over-capacity. The problem has been worsened by slow growth in markets. Several car manufacturers have invested in new plants to meet growing demand abroad. But many vehicle markets have proved rather slow in developing. Early forecasts, it appears, were a little optimistic. Hyper-competition can sometimes be....

Long.

Transient.

Enduring.

Stringent.