From product design to product, process and domain design capabilities of local tier 2 suppliers: Lessons from case studies in Japan, Thailand and China

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd., Volume 17, Number 4, p.385-408 (2017)



The approach of Banri Asanuma, who focused on product design capability and the classification of works based on supplied/approved drawings are used for evaluating the capabilities of automotive parts suppliers. However, when evaluated with Asanuma’s framework, most tier 2 suppliers are given the primarily low assessment that “they are at the stage of working from supplied drawings”. In this study, we introduce process design capability and domain design capability, in addition to the conventional product design capability, to more precisely evaluate local tier 2 suppliers in Japan, Thailand and China. As a result, Japanese suppliers demonstrate their superiority over Thai and Chinese suppliers in all three capabilities. The product design and process design capabilities of Thai and Chinese parts suppliers are still at the development stage. On the other hand, a comparison between Thailand and China reveals the trend of Thai parts suppliers being more active in domain design than Chinese suppliers. Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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