Late motorization and sprawl cities in Latin America: Concepts and tendencies

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2013)


Auto industry, Late motorization, Latin America, mobility, Oil Interval, Sprawl cities


Late motorization and sprawl cities in Latin America: Concepts and tendencies


This paper defines the late motorization of Latin America as its outdated arrival at mobility patterns and urban sprawl brought about by private car mass consumption.
It shows that late motorization has its critical turning point in the last few years, at the time developing countries become the largest centers of production and consumption of private cars, acting as a last resort to compensate for the depletion of markets and the growing environmental constraints taking place in Triad countries.
It provides an historical and conceptual framework that links this motorization with the end of the industrial era in developed countries, along with the crisis of the autopoietic system of self-reproducing mechanisms between urban sprawl, the oil interval, and the triumph of the car as the leading mode of mobility. From this perspective, we contribute a new window to asses, discuss and expand the Freyssenet & Gerpisa’s Second Automobile Revolution thesis calling for the need of building grounded theory on mobility patterns of markets production and market consumption worldwide.
Accordingly this study is organized around historical, industrial and organizational data, as well as vehicles in operation and mobility patterns in Latin American countries.
We offer a hypothetical reflective research, with a deductive-inductive design, qualitative techniques of participant observation and interviews with a group of productive, institutional and social actors carried out in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.

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