Title: Automaker-supplier relationships and new product development in the truck industry: the case of Volvo do Brasil

Authors: Jackson Dal Ponte; Jon Charterina; Imanol Basterretxea

Addresses: Lean Xchange Consulting Services, Paraná, Brazil ' University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Faculty of Economics and Business, Bilbao, Spain ' University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Faculty of Economics and Business, Bilbao, Spain

Abstract: Previous studies have focused on differences between western and Japanese approaches to supply chain network management techniques as regards NPD and relationship-specific ties. Based on in-depth interviews with senior managers at Volvo Trucks Brazil and two Spanish first tier suppliers, the aim of this research is to learn about the types of NPD collaboration ties used between Volvo and suppliers and to examine the supply chain network management techniques and routines used to intensify inter-firm collaboration and promote value-chain optimisation. One main finding of this research is that there is not one best buyer-supplier relationship style for NPD, but that relationships differ significantly depending on the degree to which the buyer relies on the capacity and technology possessed by each provider. Lower NPD frequency than in the car industry and the introduction of the Volvo production system in 2007 also make buyer-supplier relationships focused on NPD stronger in Volvo Trucks than in previously researched big car firms.

Keywords: supply chain management; SCM; new product development; NPD collaboration; automotive supply chains; buyer-supplier relationship; inter-firm collaboration; Volvo Trucks; Volvo production system; VPS; Brazil; truck industry; automakers; Spain; first tier suppliers; value chain optimisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2017.082282

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2017 Vol.17 No.1, pp.96 - 116

Received: 17 Jun 2016
Accepted: 11 Oct 2016

Published online: 14 Feb 2017 *

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