Title: Global value chains in the automotive industry: an enhanced role for developing countries?

Authors: Timothy J. Sturgeon, Johannes Van Biesebroeck

Addresses: Industrial Performance Centre (IPC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 292 Main Street, E38-104, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. ' Centre for Economic Studies, K.U. Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Abstract: In this paper, we apply global value chain (GVC) analysis to recent trends in the global automotive industry. We focus on how the recent economic crisis has accelerated pre-crisis trends towards greater importance of the industry in the developing world. The regional structure of production in the industry has largely confined the impact of the crisis within each major producing country/region. Opportunities to move up in the value chain for suppliers in emerging economies have proliferated and are likely to become even stronger now that an increasing number of new models are developed specifically for local markets. While it appears that some large developing countries, especially China and India, are gradually gaining more independence and autonomy as their industries and markets gain size and importance, supplier countries such as Mexico and countries in East Europe remain as dependent appendages of adjacent regional production systems.

Keywords: outsourcing; automotive parts; automotive assembly; global suppliers; China; India; global value chains; GVCs; automobile industry; developing countries; economic crisis; emerging economies; Mexico; Eastern Europe; regional production systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2011.041904

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2011 Vol.4 No.1/2/3, pp.181 - 205

Published online: 31 Jan 2015 *

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