Japanese Manufacturing Investment in Italy

  • Corrado Molteni


Italy is a large market for Japanese manufacturers but thus far Japanese multinationals investing in Europe have not shown a particular preference for locating in the Italian Republic as a whole, either in the highly industrialised north of the country or in the not so industrialised southern regions. All available data from Italian and Japanese sources confirm this fact.


Foreign Direct Investment Joint Venture Commercial Vehicle Japanese Firm Italian Firm 
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  1. 1.
    MITI, Dai 22 kai wagakuni kigyo no kaigai-jigyo katsudo (22nd Survey on Overseas Business Activities of Japanese Companies) (Tokyo, 1993).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    JETRO, The 10th Survey of European Operations of Japanese Companies in the Manufacturing Sector (Tokyo, 1994).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The YKK group in Italy included at the beginning of September 1994 the following companies:Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In December 1994, the ENI group sold to Toray Industries all its shares of the joint venture, which is now entirely controlled by the Japanese firm. The sale occurred as part of the privatisation and rationalisation programme of ENI activities undertaken by the government.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Later Toray established manufacturing units in France (1980), the UK (1989) and in the US (1988).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    In 1993 Alcantara registered a 21 billion lira profit, with a profit to sales ratio of 14.6 per cent (Mondo Economico, 31 December 1994).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Roger Strange, Japanese Manufacturing Investment in Europe, (London: Routledge, 1993), pp. 284–5;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 1.
    JETRO, Kaigai Shijo Hakusho — Toshihen (White Paper on Overseas Markets — Investment) (Tokyo, 1981, 1988).Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    Nihon Zaigai Kigyo Kyokai (Association of Japanese Companies Overseas), Itaria, Berugii, Lukusenburugu no Toshi Kankyo — Kaigai Toshi Kankyo Chosadan Hokokusho (Investment Environment of Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg — Report of the Overseas Investment Environment Survey Mission) (Tokyo, June 1988), pp. 9, 21.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Italy has the largest market share among the industrialised countries in sectors such as clothing, textiles and shoes, and a high share in machinery and equipment. Its market share is below average in sectors like chemicals and motor vehicles, and it is lowest in high-technology sectors. On the international specialisation of Italy, see B. Tajoli, ‘I1 modello di specializzazione internazionale dell’Italia’, Congiuntura IRS (September 1994).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See the MITI survey (1993), p. 69. On the pattern of entry in Europe of Japanese multinationals, see also Hideki Yamawaki, ‘Japanese Multinationals in U.S. and European Manufacturing Industries: Entry, Strategy and Patterns’, paper presented at the Japanese Direct Investment in an Unifying Europe: Impacts on Japan and the European Community Conference (Fontainebleau, June 1992).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    For a detailed analysis of these joint ventures and others, see Corrado Molteni, ‘Japanese Joint Ventures in Italy. A Second Best Strategy?’, in Nigel Campbell and Fred Burton, eds., Japanese Multinationals (London: Routledge, 1994);Google Scholar
  13. 1.
    ISESAO, Gli investimenti diretti giapponesi in Italia (Milan, 1993).Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    This part is based on interview with P&D managers, including Mr Kinji Kanda, former Director General Manager of the joint venture; Maria Paola Garbarino, ‘Il caso aziendale della joint venture Piaggio-Daihatsu’, in ISESAO, Gli investimenti diretti giapponesi in Italia, (1993); and Toshihiro Horiuchi, Hiroshi Tomizawa, Daihatsu to Piajjio no yonrinjidosha no join to seisan — keiyaku no jittai to gijutsuiten no genkai no bunseki (Joint Automobile Production by Daihatsu and Piaggio: an Empirical Analysis of the Contract and the Transfer of Japanese Production Technology), Keizai-Keiei Ronso (September 1984).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Daihatsu’s global strategy was and still is basically Asian-centred. Its main exports are (55 per cent of total exports in 1993) towards Asia, where since 1979 it has been operating a knock-down plant in Indonesia and from 1989 another one in Thailand. Europe absorbs only 25 per cent of its exports. As for the United States, in February 1992 the company took the decision to renounce the penetration of this market. See MOF, Yukashoken Hokokusho Soran — Daihatsu Kogyo Kabushikigaisha (Report on Securities — Daihatsu Industries Ltd) (Tokyo, June 1994).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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  • Corrado Molteni

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