An International Comparison of Productivity and Product Development Performance in the Automobile Industry

  • Takahiro Fujimoto
  • Akira Takeishi
Part of the Studies in the Modern Japanese Economy book series

Abstract

In 1990, Japan’s automobile industry produced about 13 million vehicles domestically (including 9 million passenger cars), accounting for more than one-quarter of annual worldwide automobile production (about 50 million vehicles). Since the beginning of the 1980s, Japan has consistently ranked as the largest producer of automobiles in the world. By sales share, including locally produced vehicles, the Japanese industry holds almost 30 per cent of the US passenger car market, nearly 10 per cent of the entire EC market, and up to 30 per cent of the market in many of those European countries which have no domestic automobile production. This chapter examines issues related to the very competitiveness which has supported the development of Japan’s automobile industry, especially issues which have become important since 1980. Admittedly, competitiveness is a very diverse concept which includes many elements, among them price (and, related to that, cost and productivity), quality (including design quality, manufacturing quality and general product quality), lead-time, advertising, and distribution and retailing capabilities. Going into analysis of all of these is beyond the scope of this chapter. Instead, it will focus on just two important themes. First, it will examine the hypothesis that in terms of productivity indices, the gap between the US and Japanese automobile industries shrank during the 1980s, signalling a possible ‘reverse comeback’ by the US industry.

Keywords

Welding Europe Transportation Marketing Lime 

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Copyright information

© Ryōshin Minami, Kwan S. Kim, Fumio Makino and Joung-hae Seo 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takahiro Fujimoto
  • Akira Takeishi

There are no affiliations available

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