James E. Harbour, Automotive Industry Pioneer, Passed Away at Age 86

Automotive industry pioneer and analyst, James (Jim) E. Harbour (86), passed away Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 surrounded by his family. As a trailblazer, shrewd businessman, witty friend and loving family man, Jim Harbour will be missed.

Automotive industry pioneer and analyst, James (Jim) E. Harbour (86), passed away Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 surrounded by his family. As a trailblazer, shrewd businessman, witty friend and loving family man, Jim Harbour will be missed. 
 
When he joined Chrysler in 1957, nobody new the impact Jim would have on the automotive and manufacturing industries. A proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, he learned at an early age the importance of discipline and hard work. As Jim’s career evolved his love for finance and manufacturing grew. He was a firm believer that manufacturing was the foundation on which this country was built and worked tirelessly to help improve the U.S. auto industry. 
 
In 1980, after working directly for Ford Motor and Chrysler Corporation for nearly 30 years, Jim Harbour formed Harbour and Associates, Inc., a consulting firm that assisted manufacturing companies in improving their overall competitiveness. It was here where Jim led his team to develop the first Harbour Report, a study of automaker manufacturing performance, which later became known as the bible of manufacturing labor efficiency for the automotive industry. 
 
Jim Harbour and The Harbour Report can be credited with driving massive improvements in automotive manufacturing efficiency and performance across the globe and is still impactful today. He retired as head of Harbour and Associates in 1999 and continued to analyze and consult in the automotive industry. In 2006, in conjunction with his daughter Laurie Harbour, president and CEO Harbour Results, Inc., he released a land-mark study, Automotive Competitive Challenge: Going Beyond Lean, which documented the structural challenges and key issues impacting the profitability gap between the Detroit and Asian OEMs at that time. Again, he forced change within the industry. 
 
In 2009, Jim authored Factory Man, which detailed how he discovered Toyota’s quality and productivity methods and helped the U.S. auto industry get competitive. Most recently, Jim was an active board member for Harbour Results, Inc. In addition to having a profound impact on the automotive and manufacturing industries, Jim was a devoted family man. 
 
Married to his wife, Dolores, for 60 years before she passed away in 2012, together they raised eight children all of whom followed in their father’s footsteps as highly educated, hard working professionals in all areas, including entrepreneurs, consultants and business leaders. He also is survived by 10 grandchildren and three great grandchildren whom he often shared his knowledge and wisdom.
 
According to Troy Nix, Executive Director of the AMBA, to honor the lifetime of accomplishments of this industry pioneer, the AMBA has set up a Scholarship Fund on behalf of James Harbour to promote American manufacturing, while providing young adults with educational assistance in the form of scholarships.
 
For those wishing to honor James Harbour by providing donations to the AMBA Scholarship Fund, please make checks payable to the AMBA Scholarship Fund with verbiage in the check memo field written as:  AMBA – Jim Harbour Fund. (Sorry, we can only accept checks; no credit cards.)