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Research on indigenization of transnational auto makers in China : an international political economy approach

English Abstract

Automobile is playing a important role in modern society, the popularization of automobiles in the society is in some way the mark of modernization. As the greatest developing country, China became the world’s largest automobile consumer market in 2009, but the thought provoking fact is China currently have no globally-renowned automobile brand yet. In the world’s largest auto market, most passenger cars sold was manufactured by joint-ventured motor makers. In 2015, the sales volume of passenger cars in China was 20.21 million with a growth of 9.6 percent. China’s self-owned brands held a market share of 38.1 percent, and the rest of market share was possessed by models of transnational automakers from Germany, Japan, USA, Korea and France largely. Transnational motor corporations established joint-ventured companies with their local partners, thus, there comes Shanghai Volkswagen, GuangZhou Toyota, Beijing Benz automotive, BMW Brilliance automotive, SAIC GM Wuling automobile. Although most type of these cars in China’s market are designed by the transnational automotive corporations, these cars are mostly assembled in China(especially those lower-end types) by the joint-ventured companies. With the development of international trade, it is not a rare situation for MNCs to set up their factories in other countries, but the common way is to set up their sole proprietorship companies, Why would the transnational automotive companies have no choice but to set up the vehicle assembling factories in China? I think this peculiar phenomenon happened because of the strong demand of automobile in China and the underdevelopment of China’s automotive industry at that time. The emerging of these joint- 8/93 ventured auto makers in China also can be consider as an outcome of Chinese authority’s policy towards imported vehicles(both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles). MNCs are playing a irreplaceable role in international economy, but in the case of China, the situation is unique in some way, at least in the filed of automotive industry. Chinese government has been setting the development of automotive industry as one of the key objectives of Chinese national economy, what’s the political motivations of the development of China’s automobile industry? In this thesis, I will describe the indigenization process of selected transnational automakers in China and apply those cases to analyze China’s unique international political economic philosophy with the theories of international political economy. Furthermore, I will apply two rival theories— neoliberalism and neo-mercantilism to analyze the cases of Toyota and Volkswagen, hope to summarize some distinguishing feature of the interaction between China and MNCs.

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Ding, Yi Peng


Faculty of Social Sciences


Department of Government and Public Administration




Joint ventures -- China

Automobile industry and trade -- China


Chen, Ding Ding

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