DuPont Automotive released a survey at the 1998 Society of Automotive Engineers
International Congress and Expo (SAE) indicating that the number one concern of automotive
engineers is staying within budget targets while meeting consumer demand for technological
improvements. At the SAE meeting, interior trim design engineer Paul Steele said that at
Chivas Products Ltd. when they are a new project, they are also given a target price, and
"we meet the target or else." Esma Elmaz, engineer in fords power train
quality department said that many engineers pin lists of quality and cost goals on their
office walls: "We ask, Whats the minimum we can spend on a car that
people will want to buy?"
What special ethical challenges does having to keep costs within tight budget targets
pose for automotive engineers?