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U-turn: the rise and demise of the automobile industry

Orsato, R. and Wells, Peter Erskine 2007. U-turn: the rise and demise of the automobile industry. Journal of Cleaner Production 15 (11-12) , pp. 994-1006. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2006.05.019

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his article introduces the fundamental rational that supports the ‘technological regime’ of the modern automobile, as well as its potential for inertia, transformation and decline. It presents the main concepts used in automobile design, material selection, and the economic fundamentals that orient today's car assembly and commercialisation. The practices currently adopted by automakers that aim at the rationalisation of systems of production, such as platform consolidation, ‘architectures’ and modular assembly are briefly discussed. The article inquires into the main reasons for the high pace of consolidation that characterised the automobile assembly and supplier sectors during the 1990s. Subsequently, the discussion about the choice of materials and its impact throughout the life-cycle of cars illustrates the complexities involved in reducing the overall environmental impact of the industry. Finally, by questioning the levels of efficiency of current automobiles and by identifying the core competences of automakers, the final part of the article explains why the automobile industry currently faces one of the most challenging moments of its history.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS)
Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Automobile industry; Technological regime; Industry structure; Environmental issues; Strategies of rivalry; Core competences; Systems of production and consumption
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0959-6526
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:29

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