Configuration of the North American and European auto industries – a comparison of trends

Type de publication:

Journal Article


European Review of Industrial Economics and Policy, Fascicule 3 (2011)



automobile industry, Carmakers, Europe, Geography, Locations, Suppliers, USA


The sharp economic downturn that began at the end of 2007 severely impacted the auto industries on both sides of the Atlantic. The paper summarizes changes in the industry footprint for both North America and Europe. In North America the current geography came about through a dramatic reallocation of market share and subsequent plant turnover. In Europe an expansion of the industry footprint was motivated by the opening of Eastern European countries and markets. Only in North America did the recent recession significantly reduce production capacity. The locations of parts producers are closely tied to assembly locations in both regions to support just-in-time production. Yet, the supply base appears more spatially concentrated in Europe.

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