The stainless steel industry is the fundamental industry of nation-building, the cornerstone of economic development. The industry relevance is so profound and comprehensive that it is closely correlated to the prosperity and recession of the overall economy; stainless steel is also divided into general steel and special steel. Stainless steel is special alloy steel enhanced with nickel (Ni), chromium (Cr)…etc. for longer life cycle, easy formation and process, elaborate exterior and at the same time environmental friendly, which is extensively applied to daily articles and industrial products. Therefore the demand for stainless steel is in positive correlation with the national GDP per capita, and in other words, more developed countries have higher demand for stainless steel.
In recent years the Taiwan stainless steel market has shrunk drastically due to downstream industry relocation, and hence must reply on foreign markets to digest production capacity; although the demand for global stainless steel market is on the growth trend, the global stainless steel plants have been involved in mergers and acquisitions as well as strategic alliance, therefore the market competition is quite intense.
Faced with the strain from global competition, the Taiwan stainless steel industry is now confronted with the key moments of industry transformation and upgrading, with external factors such as the magnetic effects of China Mainland and internal factors such as increasing eco-awareness, rising costs for land and labor...etc, while only innovation and revolution could be the competitive advantages to reinforce the industry, in response to the global competition and challenges from the future environment; globalization, automation, specialization and computerization are the essential conditions for sustainable management for the industry.
Through the industrial external environment and internal capacity analyses, this paper investigates the competitive advantages of the Taiwan stainless steel industry and takes the main framework of SWOT and Five-force analysis to understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Taiwan stainless steel industry. The following is the essential conclusion:
1. Taiwan Stainless Steel Industry: Superior capability in production techniques and quality control, integration of upstream, middle stream and downstream industry in harmonic cooperation, giving the industry great competitive advantage.
2. Taiwan Stainless Steel Industry: Must rely on proprietary industry advantages to seek out the most appropriate innovative strategies, to develop superior competitive conditions, and then be able to create a niche and maintain sustainable development in the global competitive market.