Trade agreements and the geography of motor vehicle production in North America and Europe

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 22, Number 1, p.4-28 (2022)



Commerce, economic geography, Europe, Geography, Motor vehicle, North America, Powertrains, Regional Integration, Time-periods, Trade Agreements, Vehicle assembly, Vehicle production, Vehicle transmissions


This paper describes changes in the geography of the production of vehicles and sourcing of powertrains in both North America and Europe between 2000 and 2016. During that time period, new trade agreements in both regions resulted in larger economic geographies within which vehicle and parts producers could organise production. We show that as trade relationships encompassed larger geographies, powertrain sourcing and vehicle assembly diffused across countries within each region. At the same time, trade agreements did not alter the traditional forces affecting regional integration patterns within the industry, rather they changed their geographical reach at a subregional level. © 2022 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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