Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The integration of the automobile supply chain: new competitive forms and ICT

Buzzavo, Leonardo and Stocchetti, Andrea and Volpato, Giuseppe (2003): The integration of the automobile supply chain: new competitive forms and ICT.

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Abstract

The international automobile industry has been featuring for over a decade a structural excess capacity with respect to international demand. Such excess capacity can be estimated at about 20%, albeit with significant differences among the various automobile makes and the various models. Given the high amount of investments and fixed expenses that automakers must carry out, such unbalance between demand and supply generates a very high competitive tension which on the one hand pushes automakers to heavily invest in markets with a stage of first motorisation (Brazil, China, India, Eastern Europe, etc.) by developing the complex and articulated phenomenon which is usually referred to as globalisation, and on the other hand it pushes them to carry out new strategies in mature automobile markets (USA, Japan, Western Europe) looking for solutions capable of satisfying a replacement demand with more and more demanding customers both on the product side (product innovation) and on the commercial services side (Customer Satisfaction Management- CSM), but through solutions capable of containing and, if possible reducing, the total costs hence the prices (organisational and process innovations)1. This paper focuses almost exclusively on the initiatives unfolding in the most developed markets, since the process of entry into emerging markets, albeit important on the quantitative side, it is less relevant with respect to strategy, given that it largely reproduces schemes already developed in the past in markets which have become mature.

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