Are European manufacturers globally competitive in making premium components or products ?

An article in the Financial Times (May 29, 2013) describes a collection of Italian manufacturers – Luxottica for eyewear, Sogefi for premium auto parts and Guala Closures for premium bottle caps that prevent counterfeiting. They compete globally to make premium components and leverage both engineering skills as well as craftsmanship. The claim is that Italians value engineering and the profession attracts a large talent pool unlike other parts of Europe (e.g., UK which is claimed to have banking as the notable profession). Can Italian manufacturers, forced to become lean due to the recessionary climate in Europe, now be competitive enough to battle other locations for premium components or products ? Will the global demand sources in India and China value these products enough to maintain the premium necessary to maintain production in Europe ? Are there location specific production and skill networks that provides a competitive advantage to Italian manufacturing or will the introduction of design software enable a decoupling of design from manufacturing locations?

About aviyer2010

Professor
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