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Characteristics of the European automotive system: Is there a distinctive European approach?


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  • Jürgens, Ulrich
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    The paper discusses pro and cons concerning the hypothesis of a distinctive European approach regarding its automotive system. Its aim is to develop an international comparison of the structural changes in the international automo-tive industry. A special focus is laid on the ways of coordinating competencies and knowledge. What are the differences that set the European industry apart from its North American and Japanese competitors in this regard? The paper discusses EU market characteristics and particularities of the European de-mand structures, the history of specific European approaches in the area of production systems and new forms of work and the recent changes of supplier relations since the 1990s. The analysis shows that the approach taken in the course of the restructuring of the supplier industry in Europe led to the devel-opment of specific capabilities related to cross company and interorganisational cooperation in the 1990s which partially explains the successful development of the European auto industry in recent time. -- Das Paper diskutiert das Für und Wider der Hypothese eines besonderen euro-päischen Entwicklungsweges in der Automobilindustrie. Ziel ist, die gegenwärti-gen Umstrukturierungen dieser Industrien mit einer international vergleichenden Perspektive zu erfassen. Im Zentrum steht die Frage nach der Koordination von Kompetenzen und Wissen: Welche Unterschiede lassen sich hier im Vergleich der europäischen Industrie mit der in Nordamerika und Japan feststellen? Die Untersuchung zeigt, dass insbesondere hinsichtlich der Reorganisation der Zu-lieferbeziehungen ein besonderer europäischer Ansatz entwickelt wurde, der zur Herausbildung spezifischer Formen der unternehmensübergreifenden und interorganisationalen Kooperation geführt hat. Die damit verbundenen Lernpro-zesse haben zu spezifisch europäischen Konzepten und Kompetenzen geführt, die wesentlich zu der relativ erfolgreichen Entwicklung des Automobilsektors in Europa in den vergangenen Jahren beigetragen haben.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Knowledge, Production Systems and Work with number SP III 2003-301.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbkpw:spiii2003301

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    1. Sandberg, Åke, 1995. "Enriching Production: Perspectives on Volvo's Uddevalla plant as an alternative to lean production," MPRA Paper 10785, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.
    2. Best, Michael, 2001. "The New Competitive Advantage: The Renewal of American Industry," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297451, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Volpato, Giuseppe & Stocchetti, Andrea, 2002. "Managing information flows in supplier-customer relationships: issues, methods and emerging problems," MPRA Paper 30476, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:
    1. Wolfgang Sofka & Joerg Zimmermann, 2005. "There is no Place Like Home: A Strategic Framework to Overcome Liability of Foreignness in the German Car Market," Industrial Organization 0512003, EconWPA.
    2. Yannick LUNG (E3i, IFREDE-GRES & GERPISA), 2004. "The Challenges of the European Automotive Industry at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Summary of the main findings of the CoCKEAS project," Cahiers du GRES 2004-08, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.


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