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Monozukuri capability and dynamic product variety: An analysis of the design-manufacturing interface at Japanese and German automakers

Katsuki Aoki and Thomas Staeblein

Technovation, 2018, vol. 70-71, 33-45

Abstract: The importance of the design-manufacturing interface has increased in the age of the globalization of the automotive industry in which automakers need to meet a wide variety of customer demands globally. However, studies on the automotive industry have not yet fully developed a theoretical insight into the design-manufacturing interface in connection with product variety. This paper aims to provide insights into monozukuri (“manufacturing†in a broad sense, including production, product development, and supply chain management) capability for managing dynamic product variety by comparing industrial practices between Japanese and German automakers. We analyze dynamic variety and monozukuri capability based on the framework that connects Fujimoto's concept of monozukuri capability to Galbraith's information processing model. By doing so, we aim to highlight the effectiveness and limitations of the Japanese automotive industry in the age of the globalization of the automotive industry.

Keywords: Automotive; Design-manufacturing interface; Germany; Japan; Modularity; Platform; Product variety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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