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Michael Bunce

Lecture 3 (Oct 4) THE GLOBAL ASSEMBLY LINE Questions  Why are my NIKE’s made in China?  Why are manufacturing systems global in scale?  What new patterns of economic activity has this produced?  How has this affected local and regional economies and societies? Q’S 1 AND 2:  Increased locational flexibility in time and space   From Fordism to Post-fordism, from spatially-fixed to spatially dispersed assembly line  Global scale spatial separation of manufacturing operations  Global outsourcing of materials and components  Global production and supply chains controlled by TNC’s (Trans-national Corporations) Read Crewe’s article on the fashion commodity chain A good example is Philips, the Dutch-based electronics TNC: check it out at and suppliers/suppliers/ Supply and commodity chains: the network of facilities and distribution capabilities an enterprise uses to:  "Source" (or "procure") raw materials (chemicals, ores, grains, ...) or components  Transform the materials or assemble the components into products  Deliver the products to customers (indirectly through distributors or stores or directly to the purchaser) Factors of the global assembly line  Comparative locational advantages – places, regions and countries that offer cheap labour and land, lax social and environmental regulations, government incentives, export production zones attract companies looking to minimize production costs.  Mobility of capital: massive increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) especially in developing countries and in particular in Asia  New and newer international divisions of labour. This refers to the dividing up of the labour tasks in different stages of production of a finished item across different countries. Read Murray: pp. 104-136.  New technologies in materials and production systems: plastics and computers  Trade de-regulation – what is the future of export production zones (called maquiladoras in Mexico) under free trade? There will be less need for
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