Sustainable Automobility

Sustainable Automobility

Understanding the Car as a Natural System

Paul Nieuwenhuis

If we are part of nature, then so is everything we make. This unique book explores this notion using the example of the car, how it is made and used and especially how we relate to it, with a view to creating a more sustainable automobility.

Chapter 5: A changing industry

Paul Nieuwenhuis

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, management and sustainability, environment, corporate social responsibility, ecological economics


As a result of the Ford–Budd system and the market created by Sloanist thinking, car manufacturing has become a major industry with a real impact on the economies of large and small car-making countries. For this reason, particularly after World War II, more and more did governments start to take a direct interest – and in some cases even ownership or part ownership – in the car industry. This period consists of five distinct phases: ● 1945–55: the first wave of nationalizations ● 1955–73: growing markets and regional development ● 1974–83: state aid to an industry in crisis ● 1984–95: privatization and restructuring ● 1995–: globalization and erosion of government influence. In the first wave, European governments in particular were faced with ruined economies as a result of war, which they wanted to revive as quickly as possible. Many saw the car industry as a key to this. Thus it was that in France the government nationalized Renault, turning it into a ‘Régie Nationale’, a company run directly by government. In Italy the government took a specialist producer of luxury sport cars, Alfa Romeo, and turned it into a nationalized producer of mass-market cars for the people, managed via the state holding company. This was done in part to provide a counterweight against the very powerful and privately owned Fiat group. We thus see the first signs here of an

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