Participation of suppliers in product development process: the case of the Fiat New Palio
This article aims to characterize the co-design practice based in a case study carried out in the Brazilian automotive industry. This case study was accomplished in the development project of the “New Palio” specific to Brazilian market, in the FIAT company and three of its first tier suppliers. The project began in Italy with the participation of guest engineers from these suppliers and from FIAT Brazil. In next phases studied suppliers got different levels of autonomy in relation to the headquarter and to other units of the group. The results address to some characteristics found in this research that are important to the success of a co-design process, and also it is presented considerations about the performance in quality, time and productivity in the development project studied and its relationship with co-design practice.