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The development and regional significance of the automotive industry: supplier parks in western Europe

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  • Anders Larsson
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    Abstract

    Supplier relationships in the automotive industry have changed considerably in recent decades. Increasing levels of outsourcing and modular production combined with just-in-time deliveries have increased the demand for logistical coordination of the manufacturing process. This article specifically looks at the use of supplier parks in the automotive industry. Five supplier parks located in Sweden, Germany and Spain are analysed using case studies. One observation is that the logic of proximity in these cases is highly linked to the use of sequential synchronous just-in-time deliveries. This is combined with a high degree of modular production as well as outsourcing strategies. Together, these factors have pushed supplier companies to establish themselves in supplier parks. The cases also reveal very limited links to the local and regional economy. Most companies have the sole function of serving the adjacent customer with reliable deliveries. One further observation is that investment in infrastructure is to a great extent made through public funding, as supplier parks are typically 'produced spaces' in order to support the car-makers in the region. Copyright Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2002.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 767-784

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:26:y:2002:i:4:p:767-784

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    References

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    1. F W Peck, 1996. "Regional development and the production of space: the role of infrastructure in the attraction of new inward investment," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 28(2), pages 327-339, February.
    2. Yannick LUNG (GRES-IFReDE-E3i and GERPISA), 2003. "The changing geography of the European automobile system," Cahiers du GRES 2003-10, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    3. Collins, Robert & Bechler, Kimberly & Pires, Silvio, 1997. "Outsourcing in the automotive industry: From JIT to Modular Consortia," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 498-508, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA), 2011. "French mega-suppliers’ trajectories during the modular era: some evidences on Faurecia, Valeo and Plastic Omnium," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-20, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    2. Frigant, Vincent & Layan, Jean-Bernard, 2009. "Géographie d’une industrie automobile modulaire : le cas des équipementiers français en Europe de l’Est," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Editions NecPlus, vol. 2009(04), pages 711-737, December.
    3. Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2009. "Is the automotive supply chain compatible with Corporate Social Responsible practices? (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2009-08, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    4. Mirko Titze & Matthias Brachert & Alexander Kubis, 2008. "The Identification of Regional Industrial Clusters Using Qualitative Input-Output Analysis," IWH Discussion Papers 13, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Mirko Titze & Matthias Brachert & Alexander Kubis, 2011. "The Identification of Regional Industrial Clusters Using Qualitative Input-Output Analysis (QIOA)," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 89-102.
    6. Aoki, Katsuki & Staeblein, Thomas & Tomino, Takahiro, 2014. "Monozukuri capability to address product variety: A comparison between Japanese and German automotive makers," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(PB), pages 373-384.
    7. Adelheid Holl & Rafael Pardo & Ruth Rama, 2010. "Just-in-Time Manufacturing Systems, Subcontracting and Geographic Proximity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 519-533.
    8. Vincent FRIGANT (E3i-IFReDE-GRES), 2004. "Modularity: the foundations of an architect firm? (In French)," Cahiers du GRES 2004-02, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    9. Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA), 2007. "Between Internationalisation and Proximity: the internationalisation process of automotive first tier suppliers," Cahiers du GREThA 2007-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    10. Yannick LUNG (GRES-IFReDE-E3i and GERPISA), 2003. "The changing geography of the European automobile system," Cahiers du GRES 2003-10, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    11. Josh Whitford & Aldo Enrietti, 2005. "Surviving the Fall of a King: The Regional Institutional Implications of Crisis at Fiat Auto," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 771-795, December.
    12. Danese, Pamela, 2013. "Supplier integration and company performance: A configurational view," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1029-1041.
    13. Vincent FRIGANT, 2013. "Une comparaison de l’internationalisation des chaînes d’approvisionnement automobiles allemande et française," Cahiers du GREThA 2013-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

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