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James P. Womack

James Womack teaches at MIT.

Titles by This Author

The Report of MIT's International Automobile Program

A new shape for the world auto industry emerges from this far-ranging study, which reveals a path of development quite different from those widely forecast and leaves no doubt that the changes ahead will be dramatic.

Cited by Business Week as one of 1984's ten best books on business and economics, The Future of the Automobile is the most comprehensive assessment ever conducted of the world's largest industry. In clear, no-nonsense terms it addresses the future of the automobile and the auto industry in the face of environmental and safety challenges, energy constraints, and a striking competitive imbalance among the major auto producing nations.

This collaborative assessment by leading researchers and industry experts in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States covers the industry at the firm and global level. It projects the composition of the industry twenty years hence; estimates long-term demand for the product; focuses on the growing pattern of cooperation between producers on individual products even as overall competition in the world industry steadily intensifies; and reveals two alternative paths of development for industrial relations in Western nations that offer the main strategic options to employers and unions.

In light of these trends, the book takes on the pressing issue of how labor, management and governments in the key auto producing nations can walk a tightrope between totally open trade, which would cause politically unacceptable shocks for many Western auto industries, and rigid protectionism, to develop a creative middle path to the future.