The Automotive industry

The Automotive Industry in Emerging Economies:
A Comparison of Korea, Brazil, China and India
Avinandan Mukherjee
and
Trilochan Sastry
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad 380015, India
March 1996
Executive Summary
The automotive industry in Korea, Brazil, China and India is currently going through
impressive growth. Governments have played a key role in the evolution of the industry in all
these countries. The Korean industry has made the most significant progress, and is now
exporting cars to developed markets. It is the only country that invested in R&D for product
development, retained management control in joint ventures with multinational companies
(MNCs), and had ambitious export targets. The industry in Brazil is controlled entirely by
MNCs. Although this has led to growth and adoption of lean production, indigenous product
development is lacking. Tariff barriers have come down, forcing domestic production to
become more market responsive. Fluctuating tariffs and taxes, and cyclical demand have
characterized the industry. Indian industry is experiencing a revolution with rapid growth and
the entry of 9 MNCs and plans for 3 more to enter in the next two years. The Chinese industry
is also growing very rapidly although it is still highly fragmented. Passenger cars are only
15% of total vehicle production in China. Demand in Brazil, India and China is highly price
sensitive and growth is led by the demand for a small car. Higher taxes on mid and large size
cars give the small car a big price advantage. Import duties for components imply that the
supplier base in these countries needs to develop fast. The supplier industry could become a
bottleneck for growth.
A major implication is that the future in China and India, the two biggest potential markets
with the highest growth rates, is uncertain though bright. Governments seem to appreciate the
necessity for stable policies and progressive deregulation…