Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2012 (Revised August 2013)

General Motors Technical Center India – Powertrain Engineering

by Willy Shih, William Jurist, Brian McIntosh and Helen Wang

Abstract

Prabjot Nanua was proud of the growing capabilities of the General Motors Technical Center India Powertrain Engineering group that he oversaw. Since 2003, engineers there had expanded the center's capabilities, developing a reputation within GM for completing high-quality design and analysis projects for other Technical Centers at a substantially lower cost. In areas such as tolerance stacking analysis, GMTCI-Powertrain was now the only location in GM worldwide that performed this type of work. Nanua thought about the next stage of development for the center. Should they "go deep" and focus on more areas of technical competency where the center had developed a competitive advantage? GMTCI could become the center of expertise for a narrower set of methods and capabilities like they had done in tolerance stacking. Or should they "go broad" and continue to lobby headquarters for more complex assignments that might ultimately lead to program ownership for an entire vehicle? Each scenario had different implications for how GMTCI fit within the network of Technical Centers and corporate GM. If they did the former, they might be faced with the perception that GMTCI was limited to back-office analysis for GM's products. But when Nanua put on his headquarters "hat," he wondered if that shouldn't also be the corporation's priority for them.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Business Headquarters; Research and Development; Business Strategy; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; India;

Citation:

Shih, Willy, William Jurist, Brian McIntosh, and Helen Wang. "General Motors Technical Center India – Powertrain Engineering." Harvard Business School Case 612-074, April 2012. (Revised August 2013.)