Title: Production networks of the Asian automobile industry: regional or global?

Authors: Bruno Jetin

Addresses: Institute of Asian Studies, University of Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong, Darussalam BE1410, Brunei

Abstract: Asia is the host of some of the largest automobile markets and top global brands. It has recently taken several initiatives to foster its regional integration, such as Asia-wide trade agreements and infrastructure projects. This article examines the impact of these initiatives on the automobile fragmented production networks of Northeast, Southeast Asia and South Asia to see if they are becoming more regionalised or globalised, and to see if an Asia-wide production network is emerging. We focus on automobile component trade as a proxy of network trade and follow its evolution over the period 2001-2016 at the Asian and subregional level with a special emphasis on two major players, China and Japan. Our results show that a regionalisation process is under way between the three subregions, driven by China and Japan. However, this process is still slow due to the persistence of a high level of protectionism between the three subregions.

Keywords: automobile; fragmented production network; network trade; regionalisation; globalisation; Asia; Northeast Asia; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; ASEAN; South Asia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2018.097346

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2018 Vol.18 No.4, pp.302 - 328

Accepted: 10 Aug 2018
Published online: 09 Jan 2019 *

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