The Case of the "Common Rail" in the Car Manufacturing IndustryBy Edouard Barreiro
Faced with growing competition, carmakers have to become increasingly efficient. Their favorite strategy for maintaining their competitive position is innovation. However, this innovation is increasingly coming from specialized firms that cause a complexification of the productive process, which requires a reorganization of the entire automotive industry. This paper analyzes the new forms of coordination set up to manage these constraints and the reasons for the restructuring of the industry. The increased subcontracting of productive activities by carmakers to their suppliers is part of a broad adaptation of the industry to a changing environment.