For a struggling global car manufacturing industry, a shorter time to market is crucial. The strategy of car manufacturer Aston Martin, therefore, is to streamline its global processes -- from design to development -- using cutting-edge technology. For this, it turned to Siemens for its product life management (PLM) software and services.

Siemens said the sports car developer took two years to evaluate PLM software in the market before they settled for NX software for its integrated computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering analysis and Teamcenter software to manage their product and process knowledge.

The car manufacturing industry was one of the worst hit as a result of the global economic crisis. Some companies are showing signs of recovery by re-opening plants temporarily shut down at the height of the crisis. Still, a streamlined production process across locations worldwide could avert another fallout.

"The automobile industry is undergoing enormous transformation both in terms of technology and business operations. The increasing complexity of vehicles and changing economic conditions are forcing automakers to re-evaluate their existing PLM applications to align with the best available in the market," said Sanjeev Pal, PLM analyst, IDC.

Chuck Grindstaff, president and chief technology officer, Siemens PLM Software, said car manufacturers must be able "to make product designs earlier and more efficiently" and original equipment manufacturers must also "manage increased sophistication across all systems in a car to ensure quality while reducing time to market," he added.