Japanese car parts suppliers’ growing strategies in the globalizing automotive industry

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Jaeho Lee


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2014)


This paper aims to investigate how Japanese suppliers who have been growing in the domestic market or network of Keiretsu try to change their management strategies.
Most Japanese car makers such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda, are trying to expand their oversea business because Japanese domestic market of automotives is already matured or saturated.
Also, the market pressure of innovations about fuel economy, car connectability, safety, and mode of power train have made most Japanese car makers try to develop new concept cars. In order to make new concept cars the car makers have to change many parts inside those cars.
These environmental changes including market globalization and product innovation around automotive industries can be opportunities or threats not only for the car makers but also for the car parts supplier, because if car makers shift their base of product from the domestic market to oversea market, the main suppliers in the domestic market might lose their business opportunities.
Through a lot of qualitative study and some quantitative analogies, I found that there are three possible strategy aspects, that suppliers need to consider.
The first axe is product strategy.
The second axe is market strategy.
The third axe is core competence strategy.
Several case studies about independent suppliers as well as Keiretsu suppliers will be introduced to emphasize the significance of these three strategy axes.

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