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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Akademie Verlag June 1, 2010

Das Zulieferproblem aus institutionenökonomischer Sicht. Die westdeutsche Automobil-Zulieferindustrie zwischen Produktionsund Marktorientierung (1960-1980)

Stephanie Tilly


The automotive supply industry represents an important segment of the automobile industry. As early as the 1960s it contributed a significant share of the latter′s total value-added, in spite of the fact that the suppliers were quite a distance away from the ultimate consumer. This article analyses the market behaviour of the auto-industry suppliers from the 1960s to the early 1980s and shows how the shift from a seller′s to a buyer’s market was reflected in the behaviour of the supplying industry. Starting from structural features of the supply business such as long-lasting business relationships with auto makers, mutual commitment, market power of the car manufacturers and sales policy-dependence of the suppliers it will be shown that many supplying firms were clearly production-oriented until the early 1980s. Little attention to sales within the firm, slack advertising activities, a focus on business conditions and relationship-fostering were typical features of sales-and-operation-practices in the supplying industry. This mirrored, as did the blurred profile of suppliers’ brands, the structural conditions of the supply business. Examination of the so-called replacement parts conflict in the 1970s, however, suggests that the half-hearted governance of the sales function among suppliers did not result simply from a conventional production-oriented management, but also from the self-interest of the automobile manufacturers, who obviously wished to remain in control of the ultimate consumer market. Nevertheless, some suppliers especially those with strong R&D capabilities succeeded in adapting a market-oriented business strategy, e.g. Peddinghaus as a troubleshooter for the car makers on the supply market or ABB with multi-stage marketing activities which directly reached the ultimate consumer market.

Online erschienen: 2010-6-1
Erschienen im Druck: 2010-6-1

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