Competitive Advantage of Auto-Parts Suppliers: What Can Be Worth Beyond the Price?

Alexandre Silva Rezende, Reynaldo Cavalheiro Marcondes


Objective: Our main objective was to make a counterpoint to the understanding that supply companies seek for sustainable competitive advantage obtained by the leadership in costs, in their B2B relationships, in an oligopsonist market.

Method: This study was exploratory, descriptive, and qualitative, based on Resource Based View (RBV). The research was carried out with three vehicle assemblers and four suppliers of auto-parts (systemic), among the companies with the largest participation in the automobile market in Brazil, located in the state of São Paulo.

Originality / Relevance: Characterization of strategic resources and capacities for the creation of superior value to the products of the suppliers, in the B2B relationship. These strategies are decisive for the maintenance of their competitive advantage over the market competitors.

Results: Results show that companies that offer superior value in their products, compared to their competitors, focus on their strategic capabilities such as the ability to identify the product value for customers, to share the global knowledge in order to give quick answers to customers and to continually present innovations facing the standard price.

Theoretical / methodological contributions: The main contribution of this study was to show that approaches within Strategic Management, such as Resources Based View, are limited by focusing only on the economic aspects of competitive advantage.

Contributions to management: In this research we provide indications to decision makers that price consideration is a limiting factor in competitive markets, such as the automotive industry. However, strategies for winning and maintaining competitive advantage lie in discovering what creates superior value in relation to competitors.


Resources; Capabilities; Sustainable competitive advantage; Resource Based View; Systems



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Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management (IJSM)
Revista Ibero-Americana de Estratégia (RIAE)
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