A new reconfiguration of regional status? The new spatial model of the automotive value chain

Publication Type:

Conference Paper




Automotive industry, autonomous vehicles, Global Value Chain (GVC), New mobility technologies, Regional status


The current situation in which mobility finds itself is defined by great uncertainty and drastic changes. In this context, one of the most impactful changes is the irruption of new mobility technologies related to autonomous, connected and shared vehicles along with a shift in focus from product (vehicle) to service. Thus, new types of economics and new value propositions emerge. However, sometimes OEMs are not able to cater or cover all services, even if they try, thus propitiating the entry of new players in the automotive industry. This has many implications, but one of the most notorious is the influence on the spatial division of labor and, therefore, on the configuration of the regional status of the industry. One of the most widely used models to explain the regional configuration and status within the automotive industry is the "core-semi-periphery-periphery" model. This model has remained valid to the present day, but may be undergoing changes due to new technologies and the entry of new players. Thus, relying on the global value chain (GVC) approach, one of the objectives of this research is to propose a new framework with which to define a "core-semi-periphery-periphery" spatial model for the new automotive industry. Under the use of this model, a quantitative method has been used given the novelty of the subject to be treated by means of the comparative quantitative approach, to then develop a logit model. Thus, the situation of the European automotive industry regions traditionally considered peripheral and semi-peripheral has been analyzed and compared, based mainly on the key variables of the national companies linked to new mobility technologies. Some of these variables are decision-making power or added value. For this purpose, different types of primary and secondary sources have been used. This ensures the robustness and reliability of the data. The results indicate that domestic firms located in each of these two regions do not differ in terms of decision-making power, first-tier supply positioning, value-added activities or technological innovation. Therefore, the findings reveal that domestic firms in both regions do not show significant differences in terms of their decision-making power, first-tier supply positioning, value-added of activities, or level of technological innovation. This picture suggests a significant transformation in regional dynamics, with both representative regions now sharing a similar status within the emerging value chain in the realm of autonomous, connected and shared mobility. This convergence of status has profound implications in various aspects, from shaping public policy to business strategy. It is crucial to recognize that the equal status among these regions represents a unique opportunity to drive equitable regional development and foster collaboration among key players in the mobility industry. Furthermore, this shift underscores the need to adapt business and investment strategies to take full advantage of emerging opportunities in this new value chain context. In this regard, public policies should focus on promoting innovation and the development of domestic technological capabilities in all regions, thus ensuring that each region can contribute significantly to the advancement and competitiveness of the mobility industry. In addition, mechanisms should be established to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing between companies and research institutions in all regions, in order to drive innovation and sustainable growth throughout the value chain.

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