Relocation and East-West competition: The case of the European automotive industry

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 8, Number 2, p.145-169 (2008)



How is the division of labour between Western and Central Eastern European (CEE) sites developing in the automotive industry, and what impacts does it have on work models? The article examines these questions on the basis of case studies of major car producers and suppliers in Central Eastern Europe. From the point of view of Central Eastern Europe, the conditions for developing high road work models are favourable: the industrial capabilities have been upgraded since the 1990s, labour shortages put pressure on companies to improve working conditions, and relocation to other low-wage countries has so far been a minor threat. In Western Europe, the actors have responded to the competition from low-wage countries by adapting their work models, the most important elements of which are greater flexibility, an extension of working hours and a modest development of wages. Copyright © 2008 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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