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René Bohnsack

Car firms and low-emission vehicles: The evolution of incumbents’ strategies in relation to policy developments


This dissertation explores the developments in the international car industry from 1997 to 2010 in relation to low-emission vehicles, with specific attention to electric vehicles. More specifically, the study seeks to better understand strategies of car manufacturers and the interplay of particularly incumbents with governments. In recent years, interest in cleaner, more climate-friendly technologies - such as those related to hybrid, fuel-cell and electric vehicles - has grown rapidly, and new products and markets are emerging, with governments often trying to stimulate such a move towards innovation and lower emissions. However, there is not much research that systematically investigates the drivers and implications for companies in the car industry to move in such directions. This dissertation aims to address this gap by shedding light on company-government interactions on the basis of an analysis of developments over time. In this way, this study provides input to a (re)consideration of government policy as well as of corporate strategy and sustainable business models.