Motor vehicles are prominent among the flows of exports and/or imports for Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United States, and these trade flows are heavily influenced by the basic relative competitiveness of the production processes for automotive manufacturing. In this book the authors analyze the factors that contributed to the comparative cost competitiviness of the four countries' auto industries over the period 1961-1984 and disentangle the factors contributing to the Japanese cost and efficiency advantages. The authors provide estimates of comparative costs of automobile production (both short-run and long-run) and the sources of these cost differences, based on the econometric cost function methodology. An innovation is the careful treatment of capacity utilization, one of the most important sources of short-run cost and efficiency differences. This methodology is also used effectively in an analysis of the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact, a unique experiment in trade liberalization. Previous estimates of cost and efficiency differences using the plant inspection and comparison of company financial reports methodologies are also evaluated.
This book reveals the mechanisms underlying the convergence of car fuel economy regulations in Europe, Japan and the US by drawing upon a constructivist theory of International Relations and law that focuses on business competition and environmental regulations. It offers new understanding of the topic of cars and an issue of climate change, discussing the emerging phenomenon of convergence of fuel economy regulations; addressing the role of business actors in pushing for climate change action; proposing the new model of agency with and beyond states; and providing insightful case studies from Europe, Japan and the US.
The opening chapter reviews the automobile industry and global climate change, providing a background for the discussion to follow. Chapter 2, Business Actors and Global Environmental Governance, grounds the discussion in the field of environmental governance. The third chapter is a case study examining the construction and timing of the European Union's climate policies for automobile CO2 emissions, discussing the underlying factors and the actors influencing the policies. The following chapter argues that Japan adopted its stringent fuel economy regulations primarily because of industry competitiveness, motivated by stringent environmental regulations in export markets and encouraged by a tradition of 'co-regulation' and 'corporatism' to enhance the regulations. Chapter 5 asks why the US, the first country to introduce fuel economy regulations, spent two decades in regulatory stagnation, and discusses how recent US fuel economy regulations came to converge with Japanese and European standards.
Chapter 6 compares, contrasts and analyzes fuel economy regulations among the three case studies and identifies policy implications for the future climate governance for 2015 and beyond. The final chapter explores applicability of the 'agency with and beyond the state' model to other sectors and to climate governance as a whole.
This book discusses cars of the future and the new socio-economic paradigm that they represent. It examines the electromobility revolution in the traditional automotive industry and brings together multidisciplinary expertise to provide insights into the shift towards electromobility. New vehicular technologies may develop in various directions, including the smart car, and this context raises two important questions: will car manufactures maintain control over the industry? And if so, will they be able to come up with sufficiently radical innovations to steer us into the electromobility of tomorrow? One thing is certain: the transition to electromobility will be a revolution. The book's combined approach to understanding this complex reality enables readers to better visualize the possible future directions. It offers anyone interested in electromobility an excellent review of the subject and a useful roadmap to future developments.