The 6th international research program of GERPISA aimed, among others, at examining with particular attention the issue of automobile demand in a broad sense along two main hypotheses.
The first hypothesis consisted in saying that, for both structural and political reasons, the automobile demands in emerging markets would be quite specific. If that was the case, then the product policies traditionally developed in the headquarters of big carmakers would not be able to meet these new demands. The traditional ways of internationalization by exportation, adaptation or decontenting of car models initially conceived for mature markets would be destabilized and the performance of less global and more multi-domestic organizations might be superior.
The second hypothesis was that in mature markets and in many emerging markets the place of car in mobility systems was questioned and would lead to important technological and organizational innovations. Besides the issue of emissions, that of congestion appeared in 2012 sufficiently universal, so that the new regulation measures and the several “new mobilities” offers might become fundamental drivers of mature markets’ restructuration processes, as well as emerging markets’ structuration.
Four years later, these hypotheses, which consisted in considering that at these two levels the probability of seeing huge changes was great, seem relatively invalidated: the most profitable carmakers are not necessarily the most innovative, the most dynamic markets in the developed world are not those where new powertrains and/or new mobilities are favoured. Indeed, the Chinese market, which is today the locomotive of the world auto industry, does not force carmakers to develop specific product policies, and to fundamentally reposition cars in the mobility chains.
How work-in-progress and past researches allow us to grasp this gap between the powerful reasons to see fundamental changes taking place and the slowness of the recorded evolutions? How do traditional policies and practices preserve themselves? Which difficulties do innovative practice face in order to become more convincing and important? What kind of organisational barriers encounter carmakers and suppliers when they are engaged in innovative projects or practices? How do public policies succeed (or not) in altering these evolutions?
In order to conclude the 6th programme as well as to prepare the 7th, those are the issues we would like to be addressed in priority in the proposed communications.
Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Géry Deffontaines