Production models and strategies, new locations and restructuring of value chains: between incremental and disruptive innovation

Theme N°: 

There are several aspects of this year’s theme that relate to production models and related topics.

Who produces what? How will the new technologies and services in the automotive industry impact the value chains? Does the arrival of new players systemically alter the balance of power between assemblers and suppliers? How will the r/evolutions in technologies and services impact the production models of existing industry participants?

Where will economic activities take place? To the extent that different players and different technological capabilities will be introduced to the automotive value chain, how will that impact the existing geography of this industry? Will new entrants be drawn to the current locations or will they permanently alter the industry’s footprint? In that context we also need to think about recent political events (such as the Brexit vote) and their likely impacts on the globalization of the auto industry. Will there be extensive and/or permanent de-globalization as a result? How would that alter the geography of today’s value chains?

Papers addressing these aspects of the arrival of new technologies and services in the auto industry around the world are welcome.

Also, the announcement this year by Volkswagen of the launch of a new platform exclusively dedicated to the production of electric cars, while all the other big players still rely on shared ICE platforms for their green vehicles, shows that carmakers and suppliers are following quite different strategies in dealing with these r/evolutionary changes. Papers addressing these differences, comparing for instance how companies introduce new powertrains and green vehicles (shared platforms versus new dedicated platform), how they develop and sell mobility services, how they generate, manage and exploit “big data”, how they upgrade/transform their manufacturing process at home and abroad, and how they organize and re/organize their R&D process, are all very welcome.

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