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

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  • Anders Larsson

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. Les relations d’approvisionnement se sont profondément transformées au cours des deniers décennies dans l’industrie automobile. L’externalisation croissante et la modularisation associés à la gestion Juste–à–temps ont accentué le rôle de la logistique dans l’organisation du processus de production. Dans ce contexte, cet article étudie le rôle des parcs de fournisseurs dans l’industrie automobile. L’analyse se fonde sur l’étude approfondie de cinq parcs de fournisseurs localisés en Allemagne, Espagne et Suède. Une des conclusions de ses études de cas est que la logique de proximité est largement associée à la diffusion de la production synchrone, mais aussi à l’importance de la production modulaire et au degré d’externalisation. Ces trois facteurs explicatifs justifient la localisation des équipementiers dans les parcs de fournisseurs. Les cas étudiés mettent aussi en évidence un impact limité de ces complexes sur l’économie locale. La plupart des fournisseurs ne localisent qu’une simple fonction de préparation des sous–ensembles livrés en temps voulu sur les chaînes d’assemblage. Enfin, on peut noter que l’investissement dans l’infrastructure est pour une large part financée sur des fonds publics, les parcs de fournisseurs pouvant être qualifiés d’espaces produits’ afin de consolider l’implantation locale des constructeurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Anders Larsson, 2002. "The development and regional significance of the automotive industry: supplier parks in western Europe," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 767-784, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:26:y:2002:i:4:p:767-784
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.00417
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.00417
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yannick Lung, 2004. "The changing geography of the European automobile system," International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(2/3), pages 137-165.
    2. 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.
    3. 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, , vol. 28(2), pages 327-339, February.
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    1. Yannick Lung, 2004. "The changing geography of the European automobile system," International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(2/3), pages 137-165.
    2. S. Maryam Masoumi & Nima Kazemi & Salwa Hanim Abdul-Rashid, 2019. "Sustainable Supply Chain Management in the Automotive Industry: A Process-Oriented Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(14), pages 1-30, July.
    3. Petr Pavlínek & Jan Ženka, 2016. "Value creation and value capture in the automotive industry: Empirical evidence from Czechia," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 48(5), pages 937-959, May.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Vincent FRIGANT (GREThA-GRES), 2009. "Is the automotive supply chain compatible with Corporate Social Responsible practices? (In French)," Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) 2009-04, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    7. 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.
    8. Vincent FRIGANT (E3i-IFReDE-GRES), 2004. "Modularity: the foundations of an architect firm? (In French)," Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) 2004-02, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    9. Emanuele Bacchiocchi & Massimo Florio & Anna Giunta, 2012. "Internationalisation and the agglomeration effect in the global value chain: the case of Italian automotive suppliers," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(3), pages 267-290.
    10. Timo Gschwind & Stefan Irnich & Christian Tilk & Simon Emde, 2020. "Branch-cut-and-price for scheduling deliveries with time windows in a direct shipping network," Journal of Scheduling, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 363-377, June.
    11. Vincent Frigant, 2007. "Between Internationalisation and Proximity: the internationalisation process of automotive first tier suppliers," Post-Print hal-00257463, HAL.
    12. Vincent FRIGANT, 2011. "French mega-suppliers’ trajectories during the modular era: some evidences on Faurecia, Valeo and Plastic Omnium," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2011-20, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    13. Titze, Mirko & Brachert, Matthias & Kubis, Alexander, 2008. "The Identification of Regional Industrial Clusters Using Qualitative Input-Output Analysis," IWH Discussion Papers 13/2008, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    14. Mickey Howard & Joe Miemczyk & Andrew Graves, 2006. "Automotive supplier parks: An imperative for build-to-order?," Post-Print hal-01118772, HAL.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Danese, Pamela, 2013. "Supplier integration and company performance: A configurational view," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1029-1041.
    18. Vincent FRIGANT, 2013. "Une comparaison de l’internationalisation des chaînes d’approvisionnement automobiles allemande et française," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2013-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    19. Vincent FRIGANT (E3i-IFReDE-GRES), 2004. "Modularity: the foundations of an architect firm? (In French)," Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) 2004-02, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
    20. Vincent Frigant & Damien Talbot, 2007. "Proximites Et Logique Modulaire Dans L'Automobile Et L'Aeronautique : Vers Une Dualisation Des Espaces D'Approvisionnement," Post-Print hal-02376436, HAL.
    21. Ottó Csíki & Réka Horváth & Levente Szász, 2019. "A Study of Regional-Level Location Factors of Car Manufacturing Companies in the EU," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 69(supplemen), pages 13-39, December.
    22. Frigant, Vincent, 2014. "Une comparaison de la fragmentation internationale des chaînes d’approvisionnement automobiles allemande et française," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 15.

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