International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management
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International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (5 papers in press)
Special Issue on: GERPISA 2020 Going Digital Transforming the Automotive Industry
Digital technologies as lean augmentation: A preliminary study of Japanese automotive manufacturers by Takefumi Mokudai, Martin Schröder, Marvin Müller, Carsten Schaede, Hajo Holst, Robert Sinopoli, Ulrich Jürgens, Gary Herrigel, Katsuki Aoki Abstract: This paper explores how Japanese automotive manufacturers, whose production systems are characterised by the lean principle, address digital transformation. We conducted case studies of seven Japanese car makers and suppliers to investigate the interplay between lean production and digitalisation. We found that the firms selectively adopted digital technologies to enhance the existing lean production system. We labelled this type of digitalisation lean augmentation. Further, we developed theoretical hypotheses regarding the potential of digitalisation to limit kaizen, the roles of human involvement and organisational coordination in digitalised manufacturing, and the potential risk of lean augmentation being caught by what we term the lean trap. Keywords: lean production; digital technologies; digitalisation; Industry 4.0; operations; kaizen; human resource development; lean augmentation; lean trap; multiple-case method; Japanese automotive industry.
Automotive Supplier Industry Development in Vietnam: Pathways between a New Domestic Carmaker, Supplier Development and Localisation Strategies by Martin Schröder Abstract: After opening the Vietnamese economy through free trade agreements, upgrading domestic vehicle assembly towards more localised production requires development of the small-sized supplier industry. Based on case studies, this paper analyses carmaker and supplier strategies towards participation in the supply chain. Keywords: Vietnam; automotive industry; regional economic integration; supplier development; localisation.
From protection to selective exposure: commercial demonstrations as steppingstones for upscaled technology diffusion by Viktor Werner, Ksenia Onufrey, Thomas Magnusson Abstract: Examining how actively constructed processes of demand articulation can enable upscaled technology diffusion, this paper introduces a distinction between pre-commercial and commercial demonstrations. The paper argues that these two forms of demonstration play different roles in the adoption of innovative technologies. Whereas pre-commercial demonstrations are initiated to facilitate entry into niche markets, commercial demonstrations are devised to ease entry to mass markets. The paper presents a comparative case analysis of demonstration projects featuring electrified heavy trucks in urban applications. The analysis focuses on the relation between the technologies and the selection environments they operate in, showing how stakeholders actively shape selection environments in commercial demonstrations. The analysis further shows how network relationships and lessons learned empower stakeholders to articulate forceful demands on institutional changes that promote an upscaled technology diffusion. Keywords: demand articulation; electric vehicle; market niche; demonstration; commercial demonstration; technology diffusion; upscaled diffusion;.
Automation approaches in the automotive industry. Germany, Japan, and the United States in Comparison by Martin Krzywdzinski Abstract: Current analyses of technological change take it for granted that we are living in a time of rapidly increasing automation. But is the thesis of accelerating automation correct? This study develops a historical assessment of the development of process technologies in the automotive sector from the early 1990s until 2018. The focus is on three central automobile manufacturing countries: Germany, Japan and the United States. The two main questions are: (1) What approaches to automation are being pursued in the automotive industry? (2) How do automation approaches of German, Japanese and American companies differ? The major goal of the analysis is to test the hypothesis of an accelerated automation (and potentially disruptive technological change). The study is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative analysis consists of 439 articles on automation from automotive industry print outlets. The study also uses the figures provided by the International Federation of Robotics on the development of robot installations. Keywords: Technological change; automation; digitalization; Industrie 4.0; Digital Factory; robots; production systems; automotive industry; Germany; Japan; United States.
Prospects and contradictions of the electrification of the European automotive industry: the role of European Union policy by Tommaso Pardi Abstract: The article analyses the role that the EU regulatory framework for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector has played during the last twenty years in moving the industry away from what it was supposed to do: reduce the weight, mass and size of the cars sold to make them less polluting. It shows that the current race towards electrification can be seen as the result of this paradox. It argues that under the ongoing upmarket drift in new car sales the social, economic and political costs of electrification increase, while its environmental benefits decrease. Keywords: electric vehicle; environmental policy; European Union; automotive industry; gerpisa; dieselgate.