More competition, more cooperation. E-business and transition of the automobile supply industry

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 4, Number 4, p.308-323 (2004)



The paper provides an overview of internet usage in the automobile supply industry according to supplier type and different internet applications and in comparison to all business lines. A special focus lies on the usage of electronic platforms in the supply industry. The automotive industry can be considered a pacemaker in e-business with company-owned platforms dominating industry specific platforms like Covisint or SupplyOn. In the context of the intensive internet usage in the business line, the paper analyses the impact of e-business on the transition process in the supply industry. We propose that information technologies have contributed to the acceleration of structural changes in the automotive industry. Using arguments derived from transaction cost theory and the concept of electronic effects by Malone et al. (1987), the impact of internet technologies depends on asset specificity and market complexity, which vary along the automobile supply chain. The results support both the 'move to the market' and the 'move to the mixed mode' thesis. Copyright © 2004 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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