Title: Local institutions, local networks and the upgrading challenge. Mobilising regional assets to supply the global auto industry in Northern Mexico

Authors: Oscar F. Contreras, Paula Isiordia

Addresses: Centro de Estudios de America del Norte, El Colegio de Sonora, Obregon 54, Centro Hermosillo, Sonora, 83000, Mexico. ' Centro de Estudios de America del Norte, El Colegio de Sonora, Obregon 54, Centro Hermosillo, Sonora, 83000, Mexico

Abstract: Ever since the 1980s, Mexico assumed a relevant role in the manufacturing of automobiles for North America. The current crisis in the world|s auto industry has inflamed the controversy about the sustainability of a development strategy based on industries driven by transnational corporations, especially as this industry has become highly concentrated, driven by a small number of very large assembly firms and a privileged group of globalised transnational suppliers. Taking this controversy as background, a case study was designed to analyse the role of local suppliers within the industrial complex led by Ford Motor Company in Hermosillo, Mexico. The article explores the mechanisms of knowledge transfer from Ford and its global suppliers to the local economy, the emergence of some small local companies providing knowledge-intensive services, and the role of local institutions and organisations to support the upgrading of the local suppliers.

Keywords: automobile industry; transnational corporations; TNCs; local suppliers; technological learning; industrial policy; local institutions; local networks; automotive manufacturing; Ford Motor Company; Mexico; knowledge transfer; knowledge-intensive services; small firms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2010.032622

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2010 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.161 - 179

Published online: 09 Apr 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article