The Global Auto Industry: Value Chains, Emerging Players and the Global South


The launch of this new working group serves a two-fold objective: connecting researchers and GERPISA members who already work on similar issues, and building towards future research collaborations, publications and GERPISA events. The idea is to strengthen a Global focus within our existing network and to open up to new participants, even beyond GERPISA’s traditional ‘strongholds’.

The group starts from the belief that a Global perspective can enrich our understanding of the current Automotive industry, and calls for both theoretical and empirical contributions. In line with GERPISA’s historical composition, it is open to both academic and non-academic participants, from different disciplines.

Overall, it aims to reflect on the following issues, and provide answers to the following questions:

1) New and Emerging Auto Industries – The Global Auto Industry is going through a significant restructuring and a changing playing field, especially in the light of digitalisation/transition to 4IR, electrification and the Covid-19 crisis (including the logistics crisis). Who are the emerging players within such a changing global scenario? What policies did they adopt to develop their auto industry? What competitive advantage are they leveraging on?

2) States, Policies and Global Value Chains – The debate on Industrial Policy and the role of the State has recently been revived, both in academia and in the policy space, gaining particular attention during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of strong State responses and the need of a local manufacturing base. What does this mean in relation to the Global Auto Industry? What is the Policy Space available to State institutions within Global Value Chains and a WTO-regulated Global Production sphere? How does State – Business bargaining influence Industrial Policy in the Auto Industry? What are the prospects for the integration of new actors and for economic/industrial upgrading of existing industries within the current Global Automotive Value Chain? How is the push towards electrification reshaping the Auto Value Chain, and what new value chains are emerging (ex. Battery)? How do these work and what are the new Global players within them?

3) The Automotive Industry and the Global South – We aim to particularly strengthen research and initiatives with a focus on the Global South. We welcome theoretical, empirical work, case studies – especially from a Development/ Political Economy of Development / Development Economics / Development Sociology perspective. We want to connect to other working themes, such as electrification and the changing world of work, but with a focus on the Global South. What are the new actors and the emerging auto industries in the Global South? What policy tools are available to them? How will they participate in the global push to electrification – what role will they play within new value chains, what niches will they be able to create? Will they be able to overcome old extractive patterns and uneven development trajectories and build new competitive advantages? What are the labour implications of a Global South participation into the Global Auto Value Chain (labour markets, policies, institutions etc.)?


We aim to build a group list for regular communication, and to work together towards new research collaborations, joint publications, seminars and the organisation of specific panels at the next GERPISA colloquium. Participation in this working group is open and does not exclude the involvement in other GERPISA working groups.

If you are interested please first log in with your account (ot create one first) and then click on the link "join in" that will be visible below. You will then be also able to join in the same way the different working projects displayed below. 


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