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Week 8 - Post Fordism

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University of Toronto St. George
Deborah Leslie

Week 8GGR221PostFordism and the North American automobile industryHow is the automobile industry changing from early days of Taylorism and Fordism What does this signal in terms of a new model of production and regime ofaccumulationWhat is the impact of the current economic crisisThe Canadian Automobile industryoMade of six diff automakers plus firms that produce heavy trucks and bussesoAlso comprised of over 500 parts suppliers oIndustry is dominated by the Big 3Ford General Motors DaimlerChrysleroBut theres a growing role of Japanese producersHonda Toyota and SuzukithCanada is the 9 largest producer of automobiles in the worldthHowever in 1999 we ranked 4We fall behind a range of rapidly growing countriesGermany has always been a very big producer China has been growing fast2007135500 direct jobs in automobile manufacturing assembly and parts plants so its a huge industry in CanadaConsider the spin offs as wellautomobile dealerships etc accounts for over 440000 jobsOver 400000 are in Ontario vastly concentrated in OntarioCanadas largest exportlarger than oil and gas16 of nations exports in 2007So consider the current crisis in terms of the future of our countryThe industry is concentrated in a corridor between Windsor and oshawaOne historic reason for this is that auto industry is focused in Michigan in the statesThe Industry in Historical Perspective1960s80soprior to 60s the Canadian industry was separate from USA industryIn Canada we had car manufacturers making cars for Canadian market some were local Canadian firms some were GM Ford etc but making cars in the country for their own domestic market onlyoIn the US there were very high tariffs so thats why the Big 3 set up operations in CanadaoDespite barriers Canadian industry declined consumption outpaced the production oSo in 60s govt said there was a crisisOrdered a royal commission to study theproblem The Bladen Commission 1961oCanadian market was too small and auto makers incurred very high costs producing the vehiclesno economies of scaleBasically market was too smalloRecommended the full integration of the Canadian and American industries in the 1965 Auto PactoVehicles and parts would cross the border without tariffsoA conditional free trade agreementConditions include that production must always be located in Canada
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