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An Analysis of Japanese versus American Automakers’ Supplier Relationships in Thailand


In the context of the US automobile market, past comparisons of automakers’ supplier management practices show Japanese assemblers besting American counterparts along a number of dimensions despite American automakers’ efforts to emulate Japanese practices. But recent studies suggest emergent American practices differ from traditional Japanese vertical keiretsu practices. Such a departure could affect American-allied Japanese automakers in Thailand, a major global automotive export hub. This exploratory study of 383 automobile part and component suppliers in Thailand finds suppliers to Japanese assemblers distinguishable by higher priorities placed on delivery and flexibility, but on an equal basis with suppliers to American assemblers in terms of cost and quality priorities.