Title: The changing geography of the European automobile system

Authors: Yannick Lung

Addresses: FReDE-GRES, EA2956, Universite Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV, Avenue Leon Duguit, 33608 Pessac Cedex, France

Abstract: The paper analyses the new geography of the European automotive area associated with the enlargement of the European Union and the structural changes occurring in the automobile industry|s productive organisation. The new geographic configuration is a double extension (enlargement) and intensification (through the spatial agglomeration of activities) movement. The first part of the paper discusses the enlargement towards new areas with the development of the automotive activities in Central and Eastern European countries, its impact on the Spanish and Portuguese automobile industries and on the core regions. The second part analyses the double trend which affects the location of automobile production activities in Europe: on one side, specialisation, reflecting automotive firms| desire to benefit from the opportunities offered by the markets| greater openness and by enlargement towards new zones; on the other side, the spatial agglomeration of activities (clustering).

Keywords: clustering; emerging countries; European automotive area; localisation; supplier parks; automobile industry; European Union; EU enlargement; Spain; Portugal; spatial agglomeration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2004.005324

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2004 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.137 - 165

Available online: 23 Sep 2004 *

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