Technology Transfer in the Global Automotive Value Chain. Lessons from the Turkish Automotive Industry
M. Teoman Pamukçu
Automotive Industry, Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Multinational Companies (MNCs), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Innovation, Research and Development (R&D)
The automotive industry is one of the main contributors to value added, employment and exports of the Turkish economy and it has undergone major changes since the mid-nineties. Most of the automotive manufacturers in Turkey are either joint ventures or wholly-owned affiliates of multinational companies. Literature on global value chains point to the possibility of technology transfer occurring through backward linkages from automotive manufacturers to their suppliers. We test for the existence and the importance of different types of knowledge and technology transfer mechanisms in the Turkish automotive industry. In addition, characteristics of local suppliers impacting on these transfers and their impact on firm performance are analyzed.Asurvey based on a detailed questionnaire was administered to production/R&D managers of the 158 automotive suppliersoperating in Turkey in 2010. Logistic and ordinal regressionsare used to examine the aforementioned issues. Findings confirm the existence of transfers from customers to their local suppliers on co-design and co-development activities, designing of production tools, development/improvement of quality control methods, cost reduction and design of materials. In addition, econometric analysis points to the fact that these transfers exert a positive effect on the performance of supplier firms.