Michael Smitka, Washington and Lee University [Lexington, VA]

Michael Smitka, Washington and Lee University [Lexington, VA]'s picture

Personal information

First Name


Professor Emeritus of Economics
Washington and Lee University [Lexington, VA]
Other positions
Judge, Automotive News PACE Awards
Main discipline
Secondary discipline
Sciences de gestion

Research subjects

Main subject

Automotive industry in general, primarily US, China and Japan. Within that a focus on suppliers and on various aspects of business history. Recent projects include the applicability of "disruption" in the automotive industry, the geography of suppliers in the Chinese market, price dynamics reflecting vehicles as durable goods, the new model effect, and the implications of product differentiation.

Secondary subjects

For the past 28 years I have served as a judge of the Automotive News PACE supplier innovation award, visiting 3-5 suppliers a year, writing reports, and meeting with the 20+ other judges to pick winners. Through this and other activities, I have visited ≈150 factories in China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, the US, Italy, and France. My research draws upon fluency in Japanese, and an ability to also read Chinese and German.


Member for
9 years 47 weeks

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