Towards a globalisation of the automotive supply chain? Lessons from the international trade of auto parts.

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Kyoto (2014)


auto parts industry, automotive, Global production networks, globalisation, international economics


In this paper, we examine the evolution of international exchanges of auto parts over the 2000-2012 period. The first part of our study proposes an analysis of the organisation of automotive supply chains based on the global production networks framework. We give details about this approach by stating the nature of trade flows that occur in these networks, and by highlighting the importance of intra-firms flows. The second part poses the question of reasons for an eventual increase of intercontinental flows at the expense of intra-continental flows. In the third part, we evaluate the assumptions made in this context. On the basis of Chelem data about auto parts exchanges, we examine in a comparative way the evolution of intra-continental and intercontinental flows for nine zones of regional integration that cover the world’s entire set of countries. Our results highlight the heterogeneity of situations and of trajectories in the different zones. We explain this state of affairs by the history and the trajectory of the industrial actors, by institutional opportunities/constraints, and by the balance of power between the industries engaged in the setting up of automotive production networks.

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