First, I too would like to comment on the usefulness of this site. It contains a wealth of relevant information that has helped me a great deal. I work for a company that is ISO-9001 registered and is going to be offering products into the automotive industry. We have never supplied the auto industry so QS-9000 is new to us. TR 16949 has prompted many questions from my management as we plan our automotive business. I am interested in getting some input on which direction to go with our quality system. I understand there is a lot of overlap between Section I of QS-9000 and TR16949, but if we were start our implementation tomorrow, which standard should we adopt?
So far as I know right now, only Ford has taken a stance on this. Ford has said they will accept either QS9000 or TR16949.
Now the rub - QS9000 is a Tier I requirement which has been passed down to you by your customer(s). It is possible that one or more of your customers do not even know about 16949. So - first I would try to get some feedback from your customer(s).
If I was you, I would develop a correlation matrix between QS9 and 16949 and have both specs handy. From what I have seen, they are very, very similar with 16949 being somewhat less restrictive. Follow QS9000 as the model (worst case) until you have autoriization from all customers saying you can do the 16949 dance instead of the QS9000 dance - which I don't think you will get... I will bet for now that your customers will not consider 16949 as an alturnative to QS9000.
I still haven't seen or heard much regarding the deployment of TR16949. Is it still going to be called TR16949? I thought it used the "TR" while it was under technical review. It seems as if it doesn't have the push as QS9K. If only Ford is allowing the flexibility of registering to TR16949 or QS9K, then TR16949 seems of little use. This is, unless, the ISO group is planning some sort of "launch" of this standard. I mean QS9K has a whole organization (AIAG) to deal with deployment issues. Does a formal copy of the TR standard even exist? Who is training registrars, auditors, or companies on TR16949? Is this more likely to be a European automotive standard or choice? The last time I looked at the ISO website, there wasn't any word on TR16949.