IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

From Market to Commitment: A New Inter-firm Relationship in the North American Automotive Supply Chain

  • Richard Senter, Jr.
  • Michael S. Flynn
Registered author(s):

    The automotive industry in North America is experiencing a period of far-reaching reorganization. Part of that change is in the automotive supply chain, including firms in the industry, such as Ford or General Motors, that assemble the vehicles and firms that are their suppliers. The particular emphasis in the research reported below is on the new relationships among these firms in the automotive supply chain. Some of the data come from in-depth interviews with twenty-six senior executives in North American automotive companies, from a survey of 175 firms in the North American automotive industry, and from sessions with an advisory board of representatives of leading industry companies. Additional data derive from historical accounts of the industry. This paper briefly summarizes the differentiation of the supply chain into four types of firms, and the reallocation of tasks within the supply chain. This has meant a transfer of responsibilities from the assemblers (such as Ford) to various kinds of suppliers, and a resultant shift in the system of responsibility and authority in the supply chain. The paper then explores in detail changes in the nature of relationships among firms in the supply chain from a type termed the market model to a type termed the commitment model. Additional topics include changes in the way relationships among firms are initiated and reasons for the new type of relationship. The changes are interpreted in terms of both firm-level and industry level-factors. The changes and their underlying causes allow certain predictions: the process of change to the new type of relationship will continue at least until 2005; and it is uncertain how far the new mode of relationship, the commitment model, will extend through the supply chain.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Articles are not free to download

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal American Journal of Business.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 21-32

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eme:ajbpps:v:15:y:2000:i:2:p:21-32
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
    Web: Email:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ajbpps:v:15:y:2000:i:2:p:21-32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katie Frudd)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.