Globalization in the automotive industry has led to consolidation and changes in the value chain, leaving only two independent carmakers left in Japan and three in Germany. OEMs now focus on a limited number of key suppliers, reflecting consolidation in the supplier sector. Relocation of production to low-cost countries is on the agenda as firms restructure their business model – but can this guarantee future success?
Product characteristics and production processes must be considered when evaluating a move to a low-cost location that may lack the specialized knowledge needed for today’s highly automated production. Automotive clusters in highly developed countries may still be the better choice for establishing new production facilities.
The symposium will examine recent developments in the automotive supplier industry in Japan and Europe - mainly Germany - comparing strategies and policies, and commonalities and differences to challenges the industry faces in both regions.