The automotive industry currently faces huge challenges. The fundamental technological paradigm it relies on, volume production, has become progressively more unprofitable in the face of increasingly segmented niche markets. At the same time it faces increasing regulatory and social pressures to improve both the sustainability of its products and methods of production. Building on a wealth of research, The automotive industry and the environment addresses those challenges and how they can be met in producing a sustainable and profitable industry for the future.
The authors first discuss the development of the automotive industry and the problems it currently faces. They then consider the solutions the industry can adopt. The book reviews trends in more environmentally-friendly technologies such as the use of more sustainable fuel sources and new types of modular design with built-in recyclability. However, these technologies can only be fully exploited if methods of manufacture change. The book also describes models of decentralised production, particularly the micro factory retailing (MFR) model, which provide an alternative to volume production and promise to be both more sustainable and more profitable.
The automotive industry and the environment provides both a cogent diagnosis of the environmental and other problems facing the industry and a blueprint for a better future. It will be widely welcomed by the industry, policy makers and all those concerned with sustainable transport.
- Addresses the challenges facing the automotive industry, from the increasing unprofitability of volume production to regulatory and social pressures to improve environmental and product sustainability
- Examines how the automotive industry can meet the current challenges in producing a sustainable and profitable industry for the future
- Reviews trends in more environmentally-friendly technologies such as the use of more sustainable fuel sources and new types of modular design with built-in recyclability