Global trends and spatiotemporal shifts in the automotive assembly footprint

Type de publication:

Journal Article


Hamza Rarou


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Publishers, Volume 23, Number 2-3, p.121 – 143 (2023)



Assembly, Automotive assemblies, Automotive industry, Core peripheries, Eclectic paradigm, economic geography, global trends, globalisation, International production, Spatial data, Spatial footprint, Spatial point pattern


In this paper, I study the spatiotemporal dynamics that occurred in the automotive industry between 1899 and 2018. Globalisation dynamics decreased the transportation costs of goods, people, and ideas and changed the spatial configuration of car assembly quite drastically. I combine insights from the eclectic paradigm, economic geography, and the core-periphery literature to shed light on how assembly plant footprints formed and evolved over time. By 2018, most plants were Asian-owned and located in developing and peripheral countries, breaking a century-long dominance of European and US carmakers and of developed core countries. I analyse the spatial implication of this production reorganisation using spatial point pattern methods and tests. I found that significant spatial footprint shifts were correlated with regional integration processes and the 2008–2009 financial crisis. Copyright © 2023 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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