2022

RELATIVE POSITIONS OF COUNTRIES IN THE CORE-PERIPHERY STRUCTURE OF THE EUROPEAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

P Pavlínek (2022)
European Urban and Regional Studies 29 (1), 59-84

This article investigates the core-semiperiphery-periphery structure of the European automotive industry between 2003 and 2017 by drawing on the global value chains and global production networks perspectives and on the conceptual explanation of the spatial division of labor in transnational production networks in the automotive industry. It develops a methodology to empirically determine the relative position of countries in the core, semiperiphery, or periphery, and changes in their position over time. The methodology is based on calculating the automotive industry power of individual countries, which is the combination of trade-based positional power, ownership and control power, and innovation power in the automotive industry. On the one hand, the empirical analysis revealed a dominant position of Germany as a higher-order core, which is joined only by France and Italy in the stable core of the European automotive industry. On the other hand, the periphery is mostly located in East-Central Europe despite the rapid growth of the automotive industry there since the 1990s. The majority of countries kept a stable relative position in the core-semiperiphery-periphery structure of the European automotive industry transnational production system during the 2003–2017 period.