Given that we constantly equate India’s future with demographic dividend, this will come as a surprise.
Bloomberg reports that five years ago BMW found that by 2017 the average age of their assembly lines would have jumped to 46 years from 41 years.
Therefore they set up an ‘experimental assembly line’ staffed with older employees in Dingolfing, close to their Munich base. Interestingly, this assembly line was designed specially sensitive to aging backs and hips, with wooden floors and adjustable chairs.
Are you ready for this? The older workers outdid and outpaced a younger line in the same factory.
Particularly for luxury automakers and extremely skilled assembly lines, it appears that age might not be the factor that determines speed or productivity. From the BMW lesson it seems apparent that the skills built over time will be valued greater in high-quality shop floors where mistakes come with a huge price.
The same report also says – “At Porsche AG’s base in the Zuffenhausen area of Stuttgart, where the 911, Boxster and Cayman are made, older engineers were recruited to work on the 918 Spyder, a hybrid super car that will be the automaker’s most expensive model ever when deliveries start late next year.”