Arturo Lara Rivera (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana) 

One of the processes that has most stimulated debate in the worldwide restructuring of the automobile industry in recent years has been the strategy of modularization in produc-tion and design (Sako and Murray, 1999; Helper, et al., 1999; Lung, 2001). Nevertheless, the majority of works appearing in recent years focus on the case of assemblers of the end product: the car.

This aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the transition from schemes based on mass production and integral design to those of regulated production and modular design. It analyzes the supply chain of the Lear Corporation, an international supplier located in Mexico producing automobile seats and interiors .

The basic questions put question in this research project are the following:
a) How has the supply chain been modified in response to the automotive industry’s abandonment of integral design and adoption of modular design?
b) How have seat suppliers responded to the technological and organizational chal-lenges posed by the adoption of modular design?
c) What has been the influence in this change of Mexico’s integration into the North American market and how is this seen in the supply chain?. And what is the role played in this chain by the maquila companies?.

Arturo Lara es Doctor en ciencias sociales, El Colegio de Mexico. Post-PHD. Administracion de la Tecnologia, UQAM, Montreal- Canadà. Profesor- Investigador del Departamento de Produccion Economica; Maestria en Economia Y gestiòn del Cambio tecnològico, Doctorado en Economia, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana.

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