The three major uncertainties facing the European automotive industry

Type de publication:

Journal Article


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



automobile, Carmakers, electric vehicles, First Tier Suppliers, industrial architecture, Industrial Geography


The European automotive industry has once again entered a period of uproar. The crisis of 2008/2009 is far from over but probably marks the start of a new era that some observers are starting to refer to as the second automobile revolution. In this article -and more broadly throughout this special issue of the ERIEP, for which is serves as an introduction- we will be trying to emphasize three major uncertainties that weigh upon the European automotive industry. The first relates to the future products that the sector is looking to manufacture and sell. This will involve questions about electric vehicles but also how internal combustion vehicles might be sold to more tone-deaf European consumers. The second section will revisit the outsourcing strategies that have arisen over the past 30 years, together with their increasingly obvious limitations. The final section will highlight the profound geographic recomposition that has taken place under our eyes over the past decade or so, and which speaks directly to the issue of Old Europe’s productive capacities in the future.

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