Editorial: The auto industry entering a post-pandemic world

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Inderscience Publishers, Volume 23, Number 2-3, p.99 – 103 (2023)


The 2022 International Colloquium of Gerpisa in Detroit was our first in person conference since Paris 2019. This three years gap gave us a measure of how much faster the automotive industry has been transforming during the last years. In 2019, there was no COVID crisis, no chip shortage or other supply chains disruptions; electrification was still lingering and was mainly concentrated in China; massive battery manufacturing related investments were not even in the radars of financial analysts or global consultants – digitalisation was, but in the current processes of restructuring and reorganisation driven by all these factors of change, it is further accelerating. If the conclusions of our previous international programme of research still hold – the old world of traditional automotive production is not disrupted (yet), but transformed by all these exogenous shocks and challenges – the pace at which these transformations are taking place and the scope of their short-term and long-term implications are unprecedented.
To keep track with them and make sense of their impacts and consequences we need as a research network to enlarge the perimeter of our enquiries, to investigate complete new objects of research, but also to renew old key research questions concerning the evolution of productive models and productive organisations from wider and more ambitious perspectives. The selection of papers for this special issue reflects both these needs. On the one hand, it develops an almost complete automotive value chain perspective: from suppliers in South Africa looking for functional upgrading (L. Monaco and T. Wuttke), through OEMs’ factories spreading worldwide over more than a century long perspective (H. Rarou), to dealers in Japan struggling to accommodate a shrinking and changing domestic market (S. Kida, D.A. Heller, Y. Tamura, E. Motohashi, H. Sato and Y. Hattori). On the other hand, it also has a special focus on digitalisation of OEMs’ productive models, via the integration of ‘platform-based ecosystems (PBEs)’ for connected cars (C. Buck and L. Watkowki), and more broadly, of transport systems in which cars are used with two case studies: one on the Global South mega-urban regions and their capacity of integrating shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) into multimodal share mobility systems (K. Sirikhan); the other on young consumers in Germany and their willingness to pay (WtP) for mobility as a service (L. Kraus, H. Proff and C. Giesing).

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