PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 1998, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (2): 3-16.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.1998.02.001

• Original Articles •     Next Articles

THE CHANGING SPATIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY: THE IMPACTOF PRODUCTION PATTERN CHANGES

Weidong Liu, V.F.S. Sit   

  1. Department of Geography & Geology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Received:1998-04-01 Online:1998-04-24 Published:1998-04-24

Abstract: he automotive industry is one of the traditional but never “aging” manufacturing sectors. It has been being vigorous in the last one hundred years in terms of expansion, restructuring and continuous adoption of new technologies. At the same time, the spatial organization of the industry has also experienced several important changes, and the change of production pattern is one of the major factors behind the dynamics of its spatial evolution. In this paper, the authors first review the major features of the spatial organization of the world automotive industry before the 1980s and summarize its spatial evolution into four stages, i.e. the beginning dispersed development under the artisanal craft based production method, and highly concentrated development, “core peripheral” decentralization and network decentralization periods under mass production. They then analyze recent new developments of the industry after the 1980s, particularly the widespread of lean production, and identify the features of the spatial organization of the industry under the new production pattern and factors behind it. Lastly, they discuss briefly implications of these new developments for China’s automotive industry.

Key words: Automotive industry, Lean production, Spatial organization

CLC Number: 

  • F407.471