Dynamics of product architecture innovation of Chinese carmakers

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Wang, Hua


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2015)


This paper explains product architecture innovation of Chinese carmakers. Fujimoto (2014) elaborates the dynamics of product architecture in the global automobile industry, especially after the 1970s. The level of integral or modular architecture is conditioned by the level of customer expectation on car functional requirements, social and governmental constrains, and the physical-technical inherent in the product. While in its previous works, Fujimoto (2002) also described the quasi-open architecture as a kind of special feature of Chinese carmakers. How does the quasi-open architecture explains the dynamics of the Chinese automobile industry? Based on our previous analysis on the in-depth case study on Geely (Wang 2008, Balcet et al. 2012), we wish to further extend our study to other leading Chinese indigenous carmakers, including Shanghai Automotive Industrial Cooperation (SAIC), Chery, among the others. We observed that that there are still different approaches on the architectural innovation by Chinese carmakers. Despite some of leading Chinese carmakers claim the launch of platform strategy, their development is still on the early stage. This paper also has the ambition to enrich the theoretical concept of product architecture by integrating the complex business reality in China into the analytical framework.

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