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French mega-suppliers’ trajectories during the modular era: some evidences on Faurecia, Valeo and Plastic Omnium

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  • Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present factual elements concerning the rise (decline) of French mega-suppliers. The study will focus on France’s three main mega-suppliers, all actors that have had a stake in carmakers’ modularisation strategies: Faurecia, Plastic Omnium and Valeo. Section 1 returns to the late 1980s and shows that the emergence of today’s mega-suppliers is rooted in this era and was piloted by French carmakers. Section 2 positions French mega-suppliers in a global hierarchy and distinguishes between two varieties: suppliers of simple parts; and module suppliers, with the latter constituting the focus for the rest of this text. Section 3 shows how module suppliers’ rise is rooted in their aggressive mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategies. It also demonstrates differences between suppliers in terms of the two leading acquisition strategies that were observed. Section 4 explains why these companies’ profitability continues to disappoint, developing the idea that modular strategies imply a big rise in fixed costs, something that suppliers cannot knock onto sales prices. Finally, section 5 returns to companies’ internationalisation strategies and offers a typology for the different entities that mega-suppliers consolidate

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA), 2011. "French mega-suppliers’ trajectories during the modular era: some evidences on Faurecia, Valeo and Plastic Omnium," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-20, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2011-20
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugretha.u-bordeaux4.fr/2011/2011-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vincent Frigant, 2011. "Are carmakers on the wrong track? Too much outsourcing in an imperfect-modular industry can be harmful," International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 22(4), pages 324-343.
    2. Vincent Frigant, 2002. "Geographical proximity and supplying relationships in modular production," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 742-755, December.
    3. BOLESŁAW DOMAŃSKI & KRZYSZTOF GWOSDZ, 2009. "Toward a More Embedded Production System? Automotive Supply Networks and Localized Capabilities in Poland," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 452-482.
    4. Vincent Frigant, 2007. "Between Internationalisation and Proximity: the internationalisation process of automotive first tier suppliers," Post-Print hal-00257463, HAL.
    5. Petr Pavlínek & Jan Ženka, 2010. "The 2008--2009 automotive industry crisis and regional unemployment in Central Europe," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 3(3), pages 349-365.
    6. Helper, Susan & MacDuffie, John Paul & Sabel, Charles, 2000. "Pragmatic Collaborations: Advancing Knowledge While Controlling Opportunism," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 443-487, September.
    7. Anders Larsson, 2002. "The development and regional significance of the automotive industry: supplier parks in western Europe," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 767-784, December.
    8. Timothy Sturgeon & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Gary Gereffi, 2008. "Value chains, networks and clusters: reframing the global automotive industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 297-321, May.
    9. Vincent Frigant, 2009. "Winners and losers in the auto parts industry: trajestories followed by the main First Tier Suppliers over the past decade," Post-Print hal-00395403, HAL.
    10. François Fourcade & Christophe Midler, 2005. "The role of 1st tier suppliers in automobile product modularisation: the search for a coherent strategy," Post-Print hal-00262872, HAL.
    11. Yannick Lung & Boleslaw Domanski, 2009. "The changing face of the European periphery in the automotive industry," Post-Print hal-00388014, HAL.
    12. Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2011. "Egyptian pyramid or Aztec pyramid: How should we describe the industrial architecture of automotive supply chains in Europe?," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-27, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    13. Vincent Frigant & Jean-Bernard Layan, 2009. "Modular production and the new division of labour within Europe: the perspective of French automotive parts suppliers," Post-Print hal-00381341, HAL.
    14. Thomas Klier & James Rubenstein, 2008. "Who Really Made Your Car? Restructuring and Geographic change in the Auto Industry," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wrmyc, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2011. "Egyptian pyramid or Aztec pyramid: How should we describe the industrial architecture of automotive supply chains in Europe?," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-27, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    modularity; supply chain; industrial architecture; automobile.;

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • N84 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: 1913-

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