Supplier industries play a fundamental role in structuring and restructuring the automotive industry. Their rise in the emerging countries constitutes one of the basic conditions enabling today’s emergence process and catalyses currently observed polarisation phenomena. This explains why authorities' "local contents" requirements have become one of the main levers used to drive local actors’ emergence. Symmetrically, assembly activities’ repatriation to some of the larger automotive countries has endangered (and on some occasions even led to the disappearance of) many supplier sites and companies.
While large global suppliers have accelerated their internationalisation trajectories and placed their competency at the disposal of both traditional prime contractors and the new manufacturers whose emergence they are trying to facilitate, the opposite movement can also be observed, involving the acquisition of European or American supplier companies by Indian or Chinese investors. The question then becomes which industrial and/or technological strategies are at work here; what role national and local public policy plays in these movements; and what kind of future landscape is being created through these changes. Clearly these are key questions both at an operational level but also in terms of the research perspective that the conference is trying to adopt. We would welcome relevant studies contributing to better understanding, including historical ones.
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Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Stéphane Heim