Plastic Cars in China? The Significance of Production Location over Markets for Technology Competitiveness

Erica Fuchs, Frank Field, Richard Roth & Randolph Kirchain
This paper provides insights into (1) the impact of production location on design competitiveness and (2) the tension between product customization for regional production and for product customization for regional markets. The results show that as production and demand for automobiles shifts to emerging economies, and in particular to China, there may be a shift in the technologies that are competitive. Specifically, contrary to conventional wisdom, innovative new polymer composite vehicle bodies – a critical...
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