This book presents an analysis of some of the changes that have transformed the automobile industry in the last thirty years illustrating some of the most significant consequences of globalization. Focusing on the response of Europe's policy makers, it analyzes government-industry relations at both national and transnational levels, demonstrating how national policy instruments have been eroded by regional, political and economic integration. There has been a significant and irreversible shift in the locus of decision-making power from nation states to the regional level in the automobile sector.
In this authoritative account of the Japanese automobile industry, Professor Shimokawa focuses upon its business success as a relative latecomer to the worldwide market. He includes profiles of the leading producers, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi, and highlights the features of their success in management and design.
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.