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17th GERPISA international colloquium « Sustainable Development in the Automobile Industry: Changing Landscapes and Actors », 17-19 june 2009, Paris Are.

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Presentation on theme: "17th GERPISA international colloquium « Sustainable Development in the Automobile Industry: Changing Landscapes and Actors », 17-19 june 2009, Paris Are."— Presentation transcript:

1 17th GERPISA international colloquium « Sustainable Development in the Automobile Industry: Changing Landscapes and Actors », june 2009, Paris Are we at the outset of a Second Automobile Revolution? Inquiries proposal Michel Freyssenet CNRS Paris GERPISA international network

2 At least four questions … Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? Under what conditions this transition could be a « revolution »? How could the different trajectories of firms and of spaces evolve during the transition ? Will the crisis accelerate the transition? But before answer to these questions, we must discuss some methodological points

3 Methodological discussion (1) A marketing and media bubble? Many signs of change But it isnt the first time The craze for clean automobile can be as variable as the petrol baril price Many announces, but few realisations

4 Methodological discussion (2) Before Cassandra, now Pythia? The last GERPISA book is intitled: The Second Automobile Revolution, … without a cautious question mark Have we forgoten our methodological principles, that is the GERPISA trademark: always to identify the conditions of possibility and of diffusion of any trend and phenomena, before to announce their probable evolution? Why are we so affirmative this time ?

5 Methodological discussion (3) … because we have begun to implement our methodological principles… The political will to fight against the climate warming up is uncertain But not the tendencial increase of the real petrol price, because of the exponential needs of BRIC So the « automobilisation » of BRIC can pursue durably only with alternative energies and new types of automobiles This constraint is a great opportunity for BRIC carmakers to become economically and technologically independant from the historical carmakers The only uncertainty is not the future growth of BRIC, but the insufficient distribution of national revenue to the people of these countries

6 Methodological discussion (4) The time is come for a systematic and collective interdisciplinay and international inquiry How to identify the conditions of possibility and of diffusion of the future different types of automobiles, according to their powertrains and used energies? - comparing our era with the beginning of automobile - using the contibutions of history, economics and sociology of innovation - synthezing works presented at 16th and 17th GERPISA colloquia - implementing and testing our renewed and improved analysis schema of firms and spaces trajectories - launching new inquiries about uncertains facts and research sub- questions - and, above all, raisonning collectively inside our international work teams, steering committee and annual colloquium, specially using the GERPISA blog

7 Methodological discussion (5) The J.J. Chanarons proposal Required Success Factors INNOVATION CUSTOMS Socially and Culturally Acceptable IDEOLOGIES SOCIALPRACTICES MARKETING SALES SERVICES EconomicallyVendable ENGINEERING MANUFACTURING METHODS Industrially Feasible RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Scientifically & Technically Possible DESIGN COSTS PRICE

8 Methodological discussion (6) The conditions of possibility of an innovation Now our research problem is the puzzle elements arent all constituted at the beginning of the process. So the inquiry questions are: what is the driving force(s) that forms the puzzle elements and leads them to combine correctly ? Is it (are they) specific to each case? Are they the same during all the process and in all countries? - independant trends that converge by accident ? - common cultural principles inspiring all the actors? - consciousness of main actors? - political requirements? - economical necessities? - technical opportunities? etc.

9 Le fardier de Cugnot, 1769 Arts et Métiers Museum, Paris 60 rue Réaumur Métro: Arts et Métiers

10 Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? (1) Comparison with the beginning of automobile The horse-drawn was becoming more an more an obstacle to the mobility and the productivity in the new rural, industrial, urban and military context at the end of the XIXth century. Many people protested and wished to find other solutions Some capitalist entrepreneurs had launched new innovative products in other fields: electricity, benzine, petrol, little motors for family workshops, bicycles, etc. Some technicians, independant or salaried ones, imagined possible combinations of these innovations and proposed engines for vehicles: powered by steam, electricity or petrol Some capitalist entrepreneurs perceived the possible solvent demand, immediately and for the future, and adapted technicians prototypes in complete vehicles for buyers: upper-class, taxi, shopkeepers, transport contractors, army, etc. In first approximation, the driving forces seems to have been the contradiction between the horse-drawn and the new societal context and the necessity/opportunity for the capital to find new fields to make profit

11 Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? (2) The choice of petrol engined car: an incredible paradox Why the carmakers choiced the more uncertain solution ? Many contradictory and historically wrong explanations The probable reason: the petrol was the only energy easely transportable, stockable and distribuable in all territories and in all countries. A complete system of delivery was setting up rapidly. The distribution of petrol wasnt a monopol One misuses the automobile term If that is true, the technic, industrial, price constraints as obstacles to new types of cars must be relativised

12 The electric vehicle « La Jamais-Contente » first automobile to break the 100km/h barrier: 1899

13 Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? (3) The conditions of generalisation of petrol automobile Slowness of electrification, divergencies between companies, few investments to improve the batteries Much more investments to solve the technical problems of petrol automobile, to improve its performances and to produce it massively Setting up of a complete automobile system based on a coalition of interests : oil companies, carmakers, suppliers, sellers, repairers, strengthened by public policies: normalisation, standardisation, etc. But above all, after War II the implementation of a coordinated and moderatly hierarchised national income distribution that allowed the mass production

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15 Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? (4) The current conditions of possibility of a clean(er) automobile The success of the petrol engined automobile have transformed advantages in disadvantages, in spite of many efforts to defer the collapse. Growing protests and use limitations The profitability of the petrol automobile manufacturing is globally declining New big demand impossible to satisfy durably with the petrol automobile in BRIC countries. Political requirements Opportunity for newcomers to impose themselves, proposing new types of car and technologies Many innovations out of automobile sector begin to be combined to create new types of automobile

16 The automobile production by continent and for some countries: BRIC and China

17 Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? (5) Back what clean(er) automobile? Only a complete change could allow a relaunch of profit and of competition The electric vehicle isnt only a new engine, but a complete new automobile architecture, a new product and a new knowledge The electricity is now accessible in all territories and almost in all countries and it is frequently much less expensive than the petrol. The monopol isnt now a problem The technical problems of electric vehicle are much less important than the problems of the petrol automobile at ist appearence The best opportunity for newcomers

18 Source: Midler, Beaume, CRG, 2009

19 Why is starting the transition to a clean(er) automobile? (6) The conditions of generalisation of electric vehicle Proof of the suppression of the current main disavantages of petrol engine and possibility of new automobile uses Leading markets and public policies allowing the mass production and the fall of price under the price of other types of automobile Large possibilities of improvment and more investments Strong coalition between electricity producers, batteries manufacturers, carmakers, electronic suppliers, states, etc. to built up an electric automobile system

20 Under what conditions the transition to clean(er) automobile could be a « revolution »? (1) The electric vehicle could be the vehicle of the Second Automobile Revolution The using, manufacturing and economical potentialities of electric vehicle It is the only solution to delete the current disavantages of petrol engine (except the limitation off space dedicated to the vehicles) It can change the actors and the structure of value chain. This change is favourable for newcomers The integrators of value chain could be some historical carmakers, but also batteries manufacturers, suppliers of driving electronics, etc. A new profit strategy? « innovation and volume »?

21 Under what conditions the transition to clean(er) automobile could be a « revolution »? (2) Uncertainties The steps or different ways? Improvments of petrol engine, hybrid, gaz, agrofuel, electric batteries, fuel cell electric vehicle… Regional options: natural gaz, agrofuel, electricity Oil price: a new counterchoc? The importance of climate warming up and the political will of main countries to fight against it: the carbon tax The volume: national income distribution modes, inter transport modes The profit strategies of firms The growth strategies of countries

22 How could the different trajectories of firms and of spaces evolve during the transition ? (1) Firms trajectories and profit strategies: current and new « permanent cost reduction » strategy: probably will face difficult times « volume and diversity » strategy : the relaunch, but only with a more regulated capitalism. A transition to « negociate » « quality » strategy: is it possible to transform an ecological product in a distinctive sign of upper class? The Tesla, Ventori strategies? « innovation and flexibility » strategy : a great opportunity to stabilize this strategy, if the national income distribution continue to be completely or partially « competitive » Invention of a new profit strategy: « innovation and volume. Compatible with two national income distribution modes: « competitive » and « coordinated » « volume » strategy: a rebirth? Reva strategy?

23 How could the different trajectories of firms and of spaces evolve during the transition ? (2) The spaces trajectories and national strategies Is the « new economy » dead ? The international regime: a global world, a regions world, a multipolar world, a balkanised world… as usual an unstable combination National strategies and models of growth: - USA: « new economy », the best way to protectionnism ? - Great Britain: City or not City? Europe or not Europe? The moment of choice - Japan: a metaphisic question ? - Europe: No Europe without Social Europe - BRIC: divergence

24 Will the crisis accelerate the transition? Two scenarios at two levels: firms and spaces In short term, all pushs to slow any change in the product policy But probably the winners will be those whom have money to prepare and begin to launch the products that the households will to buy after the crisis The reducing of national deficits immediatly after the first signs of relaunch Durable and heavy investments to change the base and the way of capital accumulation

25 Conclusions (1) What do we need to still better know? The techinal questions are largely documented. Not the others The beginning of the automobile industry The current real choices of firms The level of question of the previous strategies and models What is an automobile system?

26 Conclusions (2) testing / development / improvment / modification of our analysis schema the two conditions of profitabilities these conditions arent « economical » the place of the sectorial public policies


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