Technology and the Motor Vehicle Industry

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa 2019 Conference, Paris (2019)


blueprints, Diffusion, entry/exit, tacit knowledge, Technology


A common perception is that technology consists of patents and blueprints. That is not true of the motor vehicle industry. Blueprints don't tell you how to make anything, and they don't teach you how to design anything. Instead the core of automotive technology resides in the tacit knowledge and trade secrets involved in efficient production, and teams of experienced engineers and stylists embedded in a management structure supported by robust CAE (computer aided engineering) that lets them develop the next design to be made using new and improved production capabilities. This understanding of technology has major implications for the challenge new firms face in "acquiring technology." It is one reason that successful new entry is unusual along the entire automotive value chain, from suppliers of paint through component manufacturing and final assembly to vehicle market and sales.

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