Title: Strategic upgrading of an overseas subsidiary through export promotion activities: the case of Kuozui Motor

Authors: Mihail Marinov; Shinya Orihashi; Yumi Kato; Daniel Heller

Addresses: Tama University, 802 Engyo, Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture 252-0805, Japan ' Tohoku Gakuin University, 1-3-1 Tsuchitoi, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 980-8511, Japan ' Nishogakusha University, 6-16 Sanbancho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo 102-8336, Japan ' Yokohama National University, 79-1 Tokiwadai, Hodogaya Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 240-0067, Japan

Abstract: This study examines the factors that influenced the role of Kuozui Motor - Toyota's Taiwanese subsidiary - in developing products and manufacturing for third countries. Employing a case-based exploratory research approach, this study reveals how Kuozui was able to become a regional hub with deep involvement in new product development. The study finds that while this change was partially crisis-driven, the major factor that leads to the acquisition of new roles related to new product development by this Taiwanese subsidiary of Toyota was capability building, particularly in manufacturing engineering. The case of Kuozui suggests that at subsidiaries of Toyota in small to medium-sized markets, while maintaining high factory performance, moving upstream from manufacturing excellence to process design and process improvement excellence is a major step toward the assignment of new product development work for third-country markets.

Keywords: overseas subsidiaries; export; product development; strategy; manufacturing engineering; capability building; Taiwan; Toyota.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2017.089367

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2017 Vol.17 No.4, pp.369 - 384

Received: 14 Oct 2016
Accepted: 18 Aug 2017

Published online: 11 Jan 2018 *

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