During the past few decades the global auto industry has concentrated into a small number of groups led by GM, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, VW, Toyota, and Renault. The trend is of great political and economic significance because of the large size of the industry, its importance to the economic health of many countries, and its geographic spread around the globe. Many reasons are commonly cited when trying to explain this rapid corporate consolidation-cost savings, new products and markets, price controls, and labor negotiations chief among them. Frequently, however, mergers do not achieve their stated goals. Merging Traffic explores all these factors and goes on to suggest that, as with the mystique of the automobile itself, other motivations may prevail.
John A. C. Conybeare is professor of political science at the University of Iowa.
Chapter 1 I Introduction: One Hundred Years of Consolidation Chapter 2 II Cost-Cutting Imperatives Chapter 3 III The Quest for New Products and New Markets Chapter 4 IV The Lure of Market Power Chapter 5 V Sovereign States and Corporate Governance Chapter 6 VI Conclusion: Economics, Politics, and Strategy