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THE ROLE OF SALES AGENTS iN THE DIFFUSION OF U.S. MACHINE TOOL TECHNOLOGY IN EUROPE

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Author(s): Roberto Mazzoleni

Journal: Essays in Economic & Business History
ISSN 0896-226X

Volume: 20;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2002;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Local firms operating as sales agents played an important strategic role in developing the European export trade of U.S. machine tool firms. Empirical evidence indicates that a few sales agents achieved a dominant position in the European distribution network. Success in promoting the diffusion of U.S. machine tools rested upon the agents’ knowledge of U.S. manufacturing principles and equipment, often acquired through prior production experience, and their investment in facilities and skills instrumental to the developmentof local markets. For a few of these firms, the competencies acquired in their role of sales agents supported a later entry into machine tool building.
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