International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (10 papers in press)
Mexican competitive advantage in NAFTA: A case of social dumping? A view from the Automotive Industry
by Alex Covarrubias V
Abstract: In the midst of the NAFTA renegotiations, the Mexican Automotive Industry (MAI) has drawn much attention. Gaining a progressive share of markets, jobs and portfolio investments within the region and accounting for the entire U.S. trade deficit, the MAI is one of the most critical pieces in the way of a new NAFTA. In addition, the US president, Donald Trump, has criticized it as an example of the shortcomings of the old agreement. These facts call for a better assessment of the MAIs sources of competitive advantage.
This paper builds on business cycle theories and socio-economic perspectives of market embedded institutions to provide an additional lens with which to study the MAI and NAFTA. It presents theory and evidence to demonstrate that the MAI position rests on social dumping policies that underpin illegitimate sources of competitive advantage. It then discusses the issues at stake in the current NAFTA renegotiations.
Keywords: NAFTA; Automotive Industry; Labor; Social Dumping; Renegotiations; Trump administration.
Recombination and complexity: The case of automobile
by Arturo Lara, Artemio Chávez, Guadalupe Jaimes
Abstract: From the theory of complex systems (Arthur, 2009), this paper aims to: 1) analyze technological change from the perspective of the phenomena exploited by the acceleration system; 2) explain how a simple system becomes into a complex one; 3) recognize the importance of rules, norms and strategies used by agents in order to produce new technologies and 4) study the problem of unintentional acceleration.
Keywords: Automobile; Acceleration; Technology; Complexity; Recombination; Institutions.
Unified Requirements for Suppliers Production Sites of High Voltage Electric and Electronic Components - A Case Study from BMW
by Roman J. Schindlbeck, Julian M. Müller, Andreas O. Störmer
Abstract: This paper investigates the supplier relationship management (SRM) of BMW in the sector of electromobility and considers the special requirements and standards in high voltage components of the electric and electronic (E-E) industry. Two research questions associated with the standards of the E-E industry and SRM are examined by applying a case study approach. Six plant audits and expert interviews were conducted. The results of this paper support the conclusion that competitive advantage and product quality depend decisively on the relationship of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to an external provider. In addition, the implementation of quality and production standards requires the support of the management and a knowledge management system that leads to a high exchange of information. The resulting recommendations for action are useful for quality managers to further strengthen the continuous improvement process of SRM and production plants in the E-E industry.
Keywords: supplier relationship management; electromobility; automotive industry; electric
and electronic industry; quality standards.
Privacy on the road? Evaluating German consumers intention to use connected cars
by Christoph Buck, Riccardo Reith
Abstract: Cars are developing into networked systems and digital entities. In order to improve service quality, enable new value propositions, and achieve a better driving experience, connected cars increasingly utilize the data and devices of their occupants. This situation is completely new for consumers, as cars have not been viewed as data collecting devices of highly personal information so far. These novel developments raise the question whether consumers realize and are concerned about the disclosure of sensitive personal data while using connected cars. Research in the field of privacy indicates that consumers value their privacy and that privacy concerns induce privacy behaviour. Therefore, this study aims to empirically validate a research model which considers privacy concerns as a crucial construct in predicting the intention to use connected cars. The results of our investigation enhance the understanding of consumers privacy concerns in connected cars and will help car manufacturers to adequately address these issues within their market strategy.
Keywords: Connected cars; privacy concerns; privacy calculus; consumer acceptance; acceptance model.
Special Issue on: GERPISA 2019 Paradigm Shift? The Automotive Industry in Transition to Electric Vehicles
Strategic flexibility in shifting to electrification: A real options reasoning perspective on Toyota and Nissan
by Takefumi Mokudai
Abstract: This paper addresses commitment versus flexibility in the face of uncertainties about the electrification of vehicle powertrain technologies. A real options reasoning perspective is employed to analyse the potential option structures and underlying logic behind the strategies of Toyota and Nissan. The case analyses indicate that the Japanese carmakers have (compound) options to expand their electrified powertrain portfolios and switch battery sources. The findings also suggest that the stability of powertrain design rules serves as a foundation of real options and that carmakers approaches to balancing the commitment to, and flexibility for, particular strategic actions are influenced by the nature of the uncertainties. Further, firms perceptional and behavioural biases over uncertainties will affect the execution or abandonment of the options.
Keywords: powertrain electrification; battery electric vehicles; hybrid electric vehicles; real options reasoning; commitment; flexibility; uncertainties; Toyota; Nissan.
Who will control the electric vehicle market?
by Bruno Jetin
Abstract: The second automobile revolution, the age of electrification and digitalisation, is on its way. It is a gradual transition and not a sudden break. However, millions of electric vehicles (EVs) are now being sold, and the EV market is becoming a mass market propelled by economies of scale. It is reflected in the drop in the cost of batteries which will bring the price of EVs on a par with the price of conventional vehicles in the coming decade. Nonetheless, two interrelated issues have been underestimated and will now decide who will play a dominant role and benefit the most from the EV market. The first is the relative scarcity of raw materials from which batteries are made. The second is that the primary EV market is China which gives its companies a strategic advantage for the supply of critical metals and the large-scale production of batteries. Our research analyses the fundamental role of natural resources for the control of the EV market and the response of governments to ensure access to them. We show the importance of industrial and diplomatic policies in a context of geostrategic rivalries of large powers.
Keywords: electric vehicle; battery electric vehicle; lithium-ion battery; critical materials; battery makers; carmakers.
The deployment of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles in Japan: revolution or transition?
by Michaël Fernandez
Abstract: This paper aims to discuss the revolutionary character of integrating hydrogen into the transport and mobility sectors. While the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) often appears as a disruptive technological application, its deployment seems to rely on the ability of supporting policies to initiate a course of transition. To study this issue, the paper focuses on the Japanese program, its goals and hindrances. Examining some theoretical approaches, it attempts to analyse different potential drawbacks linked to the disruptive nature of FCEVs and then to study how overcome these obstacles.
Keywords: Japan; hydrogen society; fuel cell electric vehicle; hydrogen; disruptive innovation; evolutive innovation; eternally emerging technology.
Special Issue on: GERPISA 2019 Paradigm Shift? The Automotive Industry in Transition to Electric Vehicles
Between Closure and Industry 4.0: Strategies of Japanese Automotive Manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe in Reaction to Labour Market Changes
by Tomasz Olejniczak, Milosz Miszczynski, Masato Itohisa
Abstract: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been an important production base for the international automotive industry, attracting foreign direct investments from European, American, and Japanese car manufacturers. However, after almost three decades of transformation, local changes such as rapidly rising wages and decreasing unemployment have forced investors to re-consider their original plans. This article identifies a range of strategies employed by Japanese automakers in order to cope with the challenges of labour markets in CEE. In our study, we learn that investments that have primarily been motivated by lowering costs were forced to close down, while the remaining ones developed a variety of strategies for securing, retaining, and upskilling of employees. The discussion section in this paper focuses on the future perspective of the industry in the region, considering the high-road and low-road labour models as well as the influence of the Industry 4.0.
Keywords: automotive industry; Japanese subsidiaries; Eastern Europe; employment; labour relations; hybridization.
Robot adoption and FDI driven transformation in the automotive industry
by Guendalina Anzolin, Antonio Andreoni, Antonello Zanfei
Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between inward FDIs and industrial robots adoption, across different segments of the automotive value chain. Using IFR and fDiMarket data at a fine level of disaggregation of the automotive sector, we illustrate to what extent FDIs could act as a trigger for upgrade through advanced production technology diffusion in 34 countries over 2005-2014. We find that different groups of countries and different segments of the value chain are characterised by distinct patterns of FDI and robot adoption. While there exists some correlation between FDIs and robot adoption in the OEMs segment, it seems less so for components. Moreover, some emerging countries are characterised by a much higher correspondence between FDIs and robot adoption than others, possibly revealing an important role played by the industrial ecosystem characterising strong adopters of this process technology.
Keywords: automotive; industrial policy; fourth industrial revolution; industrial robots; global value chains; foreign direct investments.
Special Issue on: Managing New Mobility WIFO2019 Conf
Dynamic Capabilities in the Automotive Industry under Digitalisation A Quantitative Study in the Automotive Supplier Industry
by Heike Proff, Florian Knobbe
Abstract: Digitalisation affects companies at all firm levels: It enables digital processes, digital products/services and digital business models and therefore also complete new digital value systems, and leads to long-term discontinuous change, particularly in the capital-intensive automotive industry. Dealing with changes demands the dynamic capabilities of sensing, seizing and reconfiguring operational capabilities and changing business activities. In times of long-term discontinuous changes under digitalisation, different patterns of (more or less discontinuous and comprehensive) activation of dynamic capabilities and their utilisation for changes in operational capabilities and business activities can be determined. A quantitative study at German automotive suppliers shows that companies fall into five distinct patterns of activating and utilising dynamic capabilities under digitalisation and that this results in distinct leverage points in the business activities.
Keywords: Dynamic capabilities; digitalisation; (dis)continuity; digital value system; automotive suppliers.