From National to Regional to Global

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Puebla, Mexico (2016)


From National to Regional to Global
Europe was once a fragmented set of national markets, exemplified by Ford's separate operations in the UK, France and Germany. The European Common Market lowered trade barriers, but the Block Exemption continued to restrict intra-Europe vehicle sales and repair markets. These were eased in 2002 and effectively eliminated in 2010. How did firms adapt to this long transition, in comparison for example changes following the US-Canada Auto Pact of 1966 in North America and the growth of trans-Pacific trade by Japanese firms? I present three hypotheses. First, European firms came late to building international operations, and so remain headquarters-oriented. Second, firms adopted divergent strategies, with the use of acquisitions by the VW group in contrast to organic growth by others. Third, suppliers moved more quickly than assemblers, with more decentralized operations and strong regional R&D capabilities. The answers to these questions matter because they then shape corporate strategies that affect the shape and magnitude of the value chain, including those in emerging markets such as China and Mexico.
This project is in its initial stage, and seeks to draw upon the GERPISA network to help refine questions and suggest resources.

For the initial presentation / short paper, the author will review the English-language literature and develop a list of sources in other European languages (the author reads German and will have a research assistant this summer who reads French and Swedish).

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