The future of work in the automotive sector: scenarios for mature countries

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Puebla (2016)


crisis, employment, factories of future, greening, relocations, restructuring, work


The automotive sector is undergoing major transformations concerning the geography of markets and productions, the nature of products, and the technologies embedded in cars or used to produced them. All these changes imply to different degree multiple processes of restructuring of the sector which have been also accelerated and exacerbated, in particular in mature countries, by the impact of the financial and economic crisis. The volume and the nature of employment as well as the quality of work in the sector are directly affected and concerned by these transformations and the related restructuring processes. In mature automotive countries one of the major stakes for national and supranational governments is to preserve factories and, in the longer term R&D centres, from the undergoing process of relocation towards low-wages countries, and also to reverse this process of relocation through different national and supranational industrial policies with a particular focus on innovation, both in products and processes.

The presentation will focus on the period 2000-2015 in order to asses the main trends in terms of employment and quality of work in the automotive sector in major TRIAD countries. A particular attention will be given to the impact of the crisis on the employment relationships at country and company levels and to the programmes deployed by national and supranational governments to preserve national automotive industries and their employment and to restore their international "competitiveness". On the basis of these analyses, the presentation will elaborate a series of scenarios concerning the evolution of employment and work under the current circumstances and policies, and will discuss the possibility of different (more favorable) scenarios and the strategies and policies that they would require.

This research is part of an undergoing study carried out by Gerpisa on the future of work in the global automotive sector for the International Labour Organization.

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