The auto industry in East Asian emerging economies: relations and scenarios of the regional production chain

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Kyoto (2014)


China, Regional production chain, Southeast Asia


The paper offers a broad and deep analysis of the regional production chain involving Southeast Asia and China in the automotive sector. Its aim is to offer original insights about two main topics: the nature of the regional integration of production and the structure of the market. Since automakers have historically looked at the Southeast Asian region as a whole, unique market, they have structured an integrated regional production framework. As of recent, China has become the main player in the region, both as a new market and production centre for Western and Japanese automakers, and as a hive of new competitors which are also acquiring international scope. Regarding the structure of the market, while it is usually defined as an oligopoly, in the context of Southeast Asia and China’s growing markets it is clear that the concentration is lower, as both local and many international manufacturers want to play a role and secure a share.
By adopting a descriptive approach, the paper wants to analyse the regional division of labour and the role played by the main manufacturers. To this end, it will include a detailed mapping of the production facilities, the kind of products and the volume of production in each country under analysis. It will also describe the strategies of alliances, partnerships and agreements by means of which the main automakers entered those markets. In conclusion, the paper will describe the structure of relations which connect the manufacturers in the production chain, how it shapes the regional manufacturing context and the different ways it affects the countries in the region in terms of value added creation and appropriation.

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