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The automobile industry of Southeast Asia: Malaysia and Thailand.

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    • Abstract:
      With the exception of countries with huge potential markets like China and India the dominant academic view on establishing and sustaining viable national automobile projects in Asian developing countries is pessimistic, but still pursued by some developing country governments in Asia. Where do these contradicting views leave the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) automobile industry a decade after the East Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, and at a time of a new global financial crisis emanating in the US and a downturn of the global economy? And how has automobile manufacturing in Thailand and Malaysia - two countries with sizable automobile markets that pursued different automobile policies and strategies since the early 1980s - adjusted and developed in a context of economic globalisation and emerging regionalisation of the ASEAN auto market in the twenty-first century? What are the lessons to be learned by Thailand's automobile policy that is oriented towards foreign direct investment (FDI) and Malaysia's national-champion policy of motor vehicle manufacturing? The article argues that Thailand appears as a success story in the twenty-first century pertaining to the export success of the Thai-based automobile industry via the value chains of Japanese and American MNCs, while it is last call for Malaysia's national automobile project either to innovate exportable brands targeting less competitive markets in, for example, Islamic countries, or to re-link with MNCs, which again seems to be possible only by giving up local management control, and hence to move beyond Malaysian automobile nationalism. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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