Initial submarket positioning and firm survival: evidence from the British automobile industry, 1895–1970

Zhao Rong, David Clive Broadstock, Yuanyuan Peng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A firm’s initial choice of its submarket may have a long-lasting influence on its subsequent performance. By examining the duration of firm survival in the British automobile industry between 1895 and 1970, we find that a firm’s initial submarket positioning (defined by the quality level of its first-launched model) influenced its subsequent survival. Additionally, we find that the initial positioning also helped firms to survive a major shakeout, and argue that innovation and path-dependence were two possible channels through which the benefits of initial positioning were felt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-993
Number of pages29
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Automobile industry
  • Firm survival
  • Product quality
  • Submarket positioning
  • UK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this