Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Government, foreign direct investment and the Canadian automotive industry, 1977-1987
Author: Mordue, Greig
ISNI:       0000 0001 3419 5035
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis contends that the Canadian automotive assembly industry was transformed by the entry of offshore-based investors in the 1980s. It makes a significant contribution to a little documented period in the business history of Canada's most important manufacturing sector. It is demonstrated that during the period under study Canada received inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the automotive sector disproportionately large relative to the size of its market. Evidence is presented to show that had offshore-based firms not invested, the size and shape of the industry in Canada would be substantively different today. The antecedents of these events are traced, providing fresh perspective on the industry's development. For example, it is established that the industry's profile represents the culmination of decisions, events and conditions resulting from trading patterns and anxieties dating back as far as 1854. In addition, a new perspective is provided on the origins of the 1965 Canada-US Auto Pact, including the conditions leading to the appointment of Vincent Bladen to the position of Royal Commissioner in 1960 and the paradigmatic change his selection inspired. Indeed, it is argued that throughout the history of the Canadian automotive industry, only when rising import sales are accompanied by declining absolute sales on the part of North American owned companies have protectionist pressures mounted and major automotive policy levers been brought into play. This thesis proposes that the development of public policy with respect to the Canadian automotive industry has been far less orderly than the results would suggest. It is demonstrated that the Canadian federal government played the crucial role as events unfolded, flexibly using its power to provide substantial support to foreign companies. In addition to direct financial assistance, its role included adjusting conditions surrounding Canada's Foreign Investment Review Act, the Auto Pact and duty remission. This contrasts with the situation in the US, its major rival for FDL Hitherto, the influence of the Canadian federal government has been underestimated At the theoretical level, the thesis highlights the importance of processes and individual agency in attracting inward FDL Beyond the rational choices associated with FDI decisions, it is demonstrated that catalyzing personalities in both governmental and industrial organizations played critical roles in the process of attracting large-scale FDI to Canada. Without them, the results achieved during the period under study and subsequently would be dramatically different. A model is put forward to explain the interaction of forces involved in the FDI attraction process. It suggests that a suitable investment climate - economic, political, demand and factor preconditions - must exist. It makes prominent the role of individual actors. It is argued that large scale investment decisions are not made based on numbers alone, but on perceptions and agendas extending beyond the here and now, thus calling for goal congruence between actors in a visionary long-term sense.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral