By Pierre-Yves Donzé (auth.)

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Extra info for A Business History of the Swatch Group: The Rebirth of Swiss Watchmaking and the Globalization of the Luxury Industry

Example text

5). 0 per cent of the total, as against less than 1 per cent up to 1968. 6 per cent of total imports in 1975. Yet even if American statistics do not allow us to measure this precisely, mechanical watches still accounted for the bulk of imports, as in Hong Kong. This growth was driven by the strong competitiveness of Japanese watches in terms of price and quality, a perfectly planned marketing strategy (advertisement, distribution network, after-sales service) and a favourable exchange rate (see below).

Thus, buying up production firms in Europe was part of a vertical integration strategy, which enabled the Swatch Group to tighten its grip on the sourcing of parts. The globalization of production systems The international division of production appears as the second main thrust of the strategy for streamlining production adopted by the Swatch Group in the 1980s and the 1990s. This was not, strictly speaking, a new strategy in the Swiss watch industry. The liberalization of the Statut horloger (Watchmaking Statute) in the course of the 1960s paved the way for foreign direct investment, and the main watchmaking groups opened production units abroad during the 1970s, especially in South-East Asia.

Zhangzhou 1990 Overseas Chinese Guangzhou Shenzhen Zhaoqing 1992 Yantai 1987 Fuzhou Zhuhai 1996 1993 Foreign company (Swatch Group, Swiss) State Zhuhai New Pearl Watchmaking Co. Ltd Yantai Polaris Clock and Watch Group Company Fuzhou Reida Electronics Co. Ltd Zhaoqing Liheng Plastic Cement Hardware Electron Factory Glama Handicrafts (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd Panyu Pearl Clock Factory Longhai Huayi Clocks and Watches Co. Ltd Tianjin Bohai Zhongou Watch Industry Bode Watch Co. Ltd Citizen (China) Clock & Watch Co.

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