The product development process as a measuring tool for company internationalisation? The case studies of DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 4, Number 1, p.1-21 (2004)



The article proposes to use product development processes (PDP) as a measuring tool for analysing firm internationalisation by mapping the spatial distribution of resources, functions and competencies in international companies. It first summarises the 'state-of-the-art' of PDP approaches and the most important topics and findings of recent PDP research. Then the PDP is discussed in the context of describing company internationalisation by the method of following the product during the development process. Two case studies from the German automobile industry - the creation of the New Beetle/Volkswagen and the M-Class/DaimlerChrysler - are presented according to the four main and interrelated stages of concept creation, product planning and preparation, product development and production preparation. Finally, both cases are compared, structural pending problems of both case studies are discussed and suggestions for future research, using the new approach, are made.

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