Characteristics of the European automotive system: Is there a distinctive European approach?

Type de publication:

Journal Article


Jürgens, U.


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 4, Number 2-3, p.112-136 (2004)



The paper discusses the pro and cons concerning the hypothesis of a distinctive European approach regarding its automotive system. Its aim is to develop an international comparison of the structural changes in the international automotive industry. A special focus is laid on the ways of coordinating competencies and knowledge. What are the differences that set the European industry apart from its North American and Japanese competitors in this regard? The paper discusses EU market characteristics and particularities of the European demand structures, the history of specific European approaches in the area of production systems and new forms of work and the recent changes of supplier relations since the 1990s. The analysis shows that the approach taken in the course of the restructuring of the supplier industry in Europe led to the development of specific capabilities related to cross-company and inter-organisational cooperation in the 1990s which partially explains the successful development of the European auto industry in recent times.

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