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"Modularization in the Automobile Industry: Interlinked Hierarchies of Product, Production and Procurement"(in Japanese)


  • Akira Takeishi

    (Hitotsubashi University)

  • Takahiro Fujimoto

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Seunghwan Ku

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)


This paper analyzes the modularization in the world auto industry. The modularization in the industry has been involving architectural changes in product, production, and supplier systems, with each region (Japan, Europe, and the U.S.A.) emphasizing different purposes and aspects. As an attempt to understand such multi-faceted, complex processes coherently, this paper proposes a conceptual framework that sees development-production activities as multiple hierarchies of products, processes, and inter-firm boundaries. With this framework, drawing on case studies and questionnaire survey data, the paper examines the on-going processes of modularization. It is argued that there are some tensions among the three hierarchies, and such tensions may lead to further changes in product, production, and supplier-system architectures in the industry in a dynamic and path-dependent manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Akira Takeishi & Takahiro Fujimoto & Seunghwan Ku, 2001. ""Modularization in the Automobile Industry: Interlinked Hierarchies of Product, Production and Procurement"(in Japanese)," CIRJE J-Series CIRJE-J-41, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:jseres:2001cj41

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    Cited by:

    1. Staeblein, Thomas & Aoki, Katsuki, 2015. "Planning and scheduling in the automotive industry: A comparison of industrial practice at German and Japanese makers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 258-272.
    2. Patarapong INTERAKUMNERD & Kriengkrai TECHAKANONT, 2015. "Intra-industry Trade, Product Fragment," Working Papers DP-2015-10, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    3. repec:era:wpaper:dp-2015-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Matsuo, Hirofumi, 2015. "Implications of the Tohoku earthquake for Toyota׳s coordination mechanism: Supply chain disruption of automotive semiconductors," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 217-227.

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