A case study of supplier involvement in the product development stage in wire harnesses system for EV production in Thailand

Publication Type:

Conference Paper

Source:

Gerpisa colloquium, Bordeaux (2024)

Keywords:

automobile industry, Electric Vehicle, product engineering, supplier involvement, Technology transfer

Abstract:

This paper discusses the evolution of technological capability development in the Thai automobile industry during the transition to electrification. Recently, Chinese car manufacturers such as MG, Great Wall Motor, BYD, and Changan have committed to investing in and producing electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand, benefiting from strong government support. Initially, it is expected that these firms may import most of the parts and components, gradually shifting towards local procurement to reduce costs. In this process, inter-firm technology transfer is anticipated. Historically, Japanese carmakers developed technological relationships with local suppliers, involving them in product development stages. Over the past decade, Thai engineers have been enhancing their engineering capabilities and are now able to handle some elements of 'product engineering' stages, rather than relying solely on firms' research centers in Japan. Based on our preliminary research findings, some carmakers have decided to introduce electric pickup trucks in Thailand. Therefore, this paper contributes to the literature by presenting a case study of wire harnesses, shedding light on the technology transfer process and how local operations can adjust to meet carmakers' requirements.

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