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The Dynamics of Innovation: Strategic and Managerial Implications

The Dynamics of Innovation: Strategic and Managerial Implications

Regular price $215.27
  • ISBN-13: 9783642084966
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Release Date: Dec 08, 2010
  • Edition: Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 1999
  • Pages: 349 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.82 x 9.1 x 6.1 inches


Jorg Bensinger, a group head of Audi corporation's R&D depart­ ment, had been waiting for long to find a chance to advertise his idea of a four-wheel drive for passenger cars to one of the board mem­ bers. Favorable experiences had been collected in drive tests with the lItis, a jeep-like car developed for use in the German army. The ex­ periences showed extremely good performance on icy roads and in snow. Bensinger's chance came in February of 1977, when he could talk to Ferdinand Piech, then R&D vice president of Audi and a technology buff. At this time Audi wasn't quite considered as a tech­ nological leader in the public. Technology based innovations were expected from Mercedes or Porsche by many customers. Piech, Ben­ singer, and others sensed that introducing the four-wheel drive to passenger cars could initiate a strategic change. Under great secrecy development work and prototype construction were commissioned. One obstacle seemed to be space requirements for the gear-box. Hans Nedvidek, former race-track engineer in the Mercedes team, was assigned to the team, and he developed an ingenious solution to the problem. It took until September of 1977 until other board mem­ bers were informed, and after some rallying the board found a con­ sensus in the next month to authorize further development steps for a four-wheel drive car. However, Audi is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Corp. The accord of the much bigger mother had to be secured.

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