The overseas entry patterns of Japanese automobile assemblers, 1960-2000: Globalisation of manufacturing capacity and the role of strategic contingency

Type de publication:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 5, Number 3, p.284-304 (2005)



This paper explores the world-wide overseas entry patterns of the Japanese automobile industry for the period between 1960 and 2000. One widely accepted view of the entry patterns of Japanese automobile and component part manufacturers is that they can be explained within the context of 'firm specific' advantages and the globalisation strategies of lean producers. However, this paper proposes that strategic contingency might also be important, in the sense that the overseas location decisions of Japan's main assemblers are interdependent and conditioned by relations of oligopolistic rivalry. This hypothesis is tested using data on the successive entry decisions of Japanese assemblers and suppliers around the world over a 40 year time frame. The results indicate the extent to which oligopolistic interdependence between actors is a prevailing influence within the global automotive industry. Copyright © 2005 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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