Call for paper – 25th International Colloquium of Gerpisa – 14-16/06/2017

Never before has the automotive industry has been involved in so many revolutions at once: the EV revolution, the digital and autonomous car revolution, the new mobility revolution, the industry 4.0 revolution. Forecasts from authoritative agencies announce that in the very near future the car as we have come to know it until the beginning of the XXI century – privately acquired and owned, personally driven, propelled by an internal combustion engine and manufactured by human beings – will cease to exist, replaced by electric, autonomous, connected mobility services produced in highly automated and flexible factories.

Carmakers and automotive traditional suppliers do not contest these views: they rather portray themselves as the future providers of these new services and technologies. Several reports suggest that if they don’t (or even if they do), other actors, ranging from GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) to others ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and “social network” firms and start-ups, will take the control of this new digital value chain.

Yet, if one looks at the 91 millions of cars produced worldwide in 2015, an all time record, it is hard to see many traces of these on-going and upcoming revolutions. Indeed, never before in the history of mankind were so many conventional, ICE propelled and privately owned and driven cars produced by the traditional players of the automotive industry.

The problem with disruptive innovations is that they are supposed to start small, before becoming dominant. But how to know in advance if we are dealing with true radical changes or passing fashions? How to properly characterise their dynamics in order to assess what is actually happening rather than what “should” be happening or “will” be happening? More precisely, what are the economic, technological, institutional, political and social conditions that would allow these radical changes to take place and diffuse? Companies like Tesla and Uber do appear as successful disruptive players, pushing forward fully electric cars, new mobility services and autonomous cars, but their impact is still very small and one may question how long they can survive if their losses grow (much) faster than their revenues? More generally, what are the “business models” that sustain these radical transformations, for instance, not only for EV production and sale, but also for the building of the required charging infrastructure, and the provision of the batteries and the electricity in the amount and at the price required to support a fast and large diffusion?

The Call for Papers asks for submissions that examine if and how these “revolutions” are taking place. The contributions may also question the pertinence and relevance of these disruptive “revolutions” for understanding the actual on-going transformations of the automotive sector in mature and emerging markets. More generally, we welcome papers that explore how electric cars, electric mobility, new services and applications, autonomous vehicles, digital cars, automotive big data and factories of future are promoted, conceived, developed, implemented and diffused, and how they impact and transform the market and production of vehicles, the transport of goods and persons, and the work and employment of people in the automotive and transport sectors.

We are calling for empirical and/or conceptual studies focusing on these as well as other questions raised by the present “disruptive” “revolutions” expected to deeply transform the global automotive industry and, more generally, the field of transportation and mobility. Amongst these, the themes of our previous international programme on the structuring/restructuring of the global automotive industry remain important. In particular, do these, as other transformations in the automotive industry, sustain globalization through regional integration, FDI and further development of the global value chains? Or are we witnessing the beginning of a de-globalization process triggered, for instance, by “disruptive” political changes as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the president of the US?

Papers developing historical perspectives on all these issues are welcome. They could focus for instance on previous technological and product revolutions in the automotive sector, on the social and political construction and use of forecasts by governments and consultants, on the role of trade integration and/or protectionism for the development of the automotive sector in mature and emerging countries, and on previous more or less successful, aborted or forgotten “revolutions”.

This call for papers is organized in five major themes of research that structure our on-going international programme on “The new frontiers of the global automotive industry”.

We also draw your attention to the special issue of the international journal IJATM that will be based on a selection of the best papers presented during the colloquium, including the winner of the young author’s prize, and to the special sub-theme on the future of work in collaboration with the International Labour Organization.

1. Embedding the automobile in societal contexts: new services, new uses, new integrated mobility systems, new business models (Bruce Belzowski, Alex Covarrubias, Bertha Vallejo) – click here to get more information
2. New technologies: sustainable mobility or new brave world (Giuseppe Giulio Calabrese, Roberto Marx) – click here to get more information
3. Production models and strategies, new locations and restructuring of value chains: between incremental and disruptive innovation (Tommaso Pardi, Vincent Frigant, Thomas Klier) – click here to get more information
4. Employment and labour relations: between segmentation and convergence (Jorge Carrillo-Viveros, Martin Krzywdzinski, Tommaso Pardi) – click here to get more information
5. Public policies – national and regional clusters: between path dependency/inertia and structural change (Bruno Jetin, Sigfrido Ramirez) – click to get more information


In order to submit a proposal click under the dedicated link below the chosen theme. Proposals should range between 500 and 1000 words. They should present the outline of the research question (Purpose), the methodology (design), the main results (Findings) and their practical implications.

The procedure to submit final articles will be sent by email following the proposal acceptation. Final articles should range between 5000-7000 words (excluding figures, tables and references) in order to be considered for the IJATM special number. High-quality articles which exceed 7000 words will be also considered.

Deadline for proposals : 31st of March 2017

Deadline for final papers : 31st of May 2017

IJATM special issue

The International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM) published by Inderscience publishes each year a special issue based on a selection of the most relevant papers presented during the GERPISA yearly colloquium. One or two papers from young authors will also be published in this special issue. An evaluation committee, composed of members of the GERPISA’s international steering committee, will assess the papers during the colloquium (young authors and others).

The criteria of the assessment are based on the relevance of the topic inquired, the presentation and the accuracy of the results, the quality of the methodological work, and the review of the literature. A variety of work in the field of social sciences (history, management, economics, sociology, geography, political science, etc.) dealing with automobile industry is welcome.

After the decision of the GERPISA’s steering committee, the selected papers will be refereed through a double-blind process, and then published in a special issue of the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management. We are looking forward to reading your papers and attending your presentations.

Gerpisa Young Author Price

The Young Author’s Prize of GERPISA, consisting of the publication of the winning paper in a special issue of IJATM and a 1500 € reward, aims at recognizing the work of young researchers on topics related to the automobile industry, encouraging them to develop their enquiries on automobile industry.

Requirements to submit a paper proposal for the young author’s prize:
1. Master, Ph.D. students, post-doc, etc. (no full-time associate professor, professor or researcher) needs to be less than 37 years old (papers co-authored with a senior researcher will not be assessed);
2. Paper based on the analysis (whether theoretical, methodological, or empirical) of the automobile industry (topics have to cover one of the five themes of the colloquium);
3. Presentation of the paper during the 25th international colloquium, Paris, 14th of June – 16th of June 2017;
4. Submission online (for one of the 5 above-mentioned themes, specifying that the papers are for the prize), and email (name, date of birth, nationality, status, University, topic, abstract) to Giuseppe Calabrese (, and Tommaso Pardi ( before the 31st of March 2017 for the proposal and the 31st of May 2017 for the final paper.

For more information

Géry Deffontaines, GERPISA –


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