During the last twenty years, automotive supply chains have seen a deep transformation, one element of which is the strong development of first-tier suppliers, sometimes referred to as mega-suppliers. But what of small and middle enterprises (SMEs)? The aim of this special issue is to identify the role of SMEs in the new organisation of automotive supply chains and, with a more prospective view, to address the question of their future.
Topics to be addressed in this issue include the following:
- What is the importance of SMEs in the current supply chain? The pyramidal view of the supply chain suggests that SMEs have only a marginal role in the automotive industry - is this true? Are there some differences between carmakers, and between geographic areas (USA, Japan, Europe, China, others emerging countries)? And if yes, why?
- If SMEs do not disappear, what are their roles? Pure subcontracting? Innovation? Co-development? What is the competitive advantage of SMEs?
- Following the previous question, does the development of new vehicles (such as electric cars) create some opportunities for SMEs (since electric vehicles are niche market, because they require new competences, etc.)?
- Can the development of open innovation strategies by some carmakers create some opportunities for new firms (such as engineering SMEs) to enter into the supply chain?
- Recently, several suppliers from emerging countries tried to buy SMEs from developed countries which were suffering from bankruptcy. How can we explain this strategy? Does it represent a new trend or merely some isolated cases?
We also propose to discuss the paper at a special issue session at the 20th GERPISA International Conference, 30th May to 1st June, Cracow, Poland.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Role of SMEs in the organisation of automotive supply chains
- Strategic behaviours of SMEs (diversification, innovation, internationalisation, delocalisation, etc.)
- Comparative analysis of supply chains (by OEM, by countries) with focus on SMEs
- New product development and SMEs
- Automotive SMEs from emerging countries
- Competitive advantage of SMEs vs. big first-tier suppliers
Deadline for (extended) abstract submission: 30 April, 2012
Response from Guest Editor: 31 May, 2012
Deadline for full paper submission: 13 July, 2012