The Development of the Argentine Automobile Industry in the Age of Globalization


  • Mirosław Wójtowicz Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie Instytut Geografii, Zakład Geografii Społeczno-Ekonomicznej



Argentina, automobile industry, Mercosur, import substitution industrialization


The aim of this paper is to determine the transformation of the production potential of theArgentine automotive industry in the years 1952-2011. The evolution of production and investmentstrategies of the international automotive companies were also examined, considering changes in theindustrial policy, progressing globalization and integration within Mercosur. The origins of this industryin Argentina were associated with acceleration of industrialization and modernization under therule of Juan Peron administration. Developed behind the “cover” of high tariffs, the automobile industryhas contributed to the modernization and transformation of the economic structure of the country.The studied period can be divided into three main phases of development. The first phase (1952-1975) is associated with the introduction of the automobile industry to Argentina, which initially took placeunder the heavy involvement of the state and private capitals. Its second stage was characterized bythe consolidation of the companies operating in the country with the decisive role played by transnationalcorporations. The second phase (1976-1990) covers the years of deep crisis in this sector, whichwas the outcome of the unfavorable economic situation in the country and wrong industrial policyliberalizing imports of finished vehicles. This led not only to the decrease in the number of producedvehicles, but also some of the automobile companies opted to leave the country. During the third phase(1991-2011) the auto sector witnessed a rapid increase in production, which reached the highest pointin the history in 2011. This success was attained due to export-oriented policy in this sector, which tookadvantage of the creation of Mercosur.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Mirosław Wójtowicz, Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie Instytut Geografii, Zakład Geografii Społeczno-Ekonomicznej

Mirosław Wójtowicz, Ph.D. in Earth Sciences in the field of Geography (specialization in Socio--Economic Geography), Senior Lecturer in the Department of Socio-Economic Geography at PedagogicalUniversity in Cracow. His research interests focus on issues of urbanization and industrializationprocess in Latin America, with particular emphasis on Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.


Albornoz, F., Yoguel, G. (2004). Competitiveness and production networks: the case of the Argentine automotive sector. Industry and Corporate Change, 13(4), 619–641, doi:10.1093/icc/dth025.

Aliberti, M., Casati, D., Galindo, D., Riveros, M., Vargas, L. (2010). Industria Automotriz Argentina Año 2010. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Facultad de Ingenieria Industrias y Servicios II, Mendoza.

Anuario ADEFA 2010 (2011). Asociación de Fabricantes de Automotores – ADEFA. Buenos Aires:

Anuario ADEFA 2011 (2012). Asociación de Fabricantes de Automotores – ADEFA, Buenos Aires:

Barbero, M.I., Motta, J. (2007). Trayectoria de la industria automotriz en la Argentina desde sus inicios hasta fines de la decada de 1990. W: M. Delfini, D. Dubbini, N. Lugones, I.N. Rivero (red.), Innovación y empleo en tramas productivas de Argentina. Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros, 189–229.

Belini, C. (2006). Negocios, poder y politica industrial en los origenes de la industria automotriz argentina, 1943–1958. Revista de Historia Industrial, 31(2), 109–135.

Biggart, N.W., Guillen M.F. (1999). Developing difference: Social organization and the rise of the auto industries of South Korea, Taiwan, Spain and Argentina. American Sociological Review, 64(5), 722–747.

Catalan, J. (2010). Strategic policy revisited: The origins of mass production in the motor industry of Argentina, Korea and Spain, 1945–87. Business History, 52(2), 207–230.

Catalano, A.M., Novick, M.S. (1998). The Argentine Automotive Industry: Redefining Production Strategies, Markets and Labour Relations. W: J.P. Tuman, J.T. Morris (red.), Transforming the Latin American Automobile Industry: Unions, Workers, and the Politics of Restructuring. Armonk New York: M.E. Sharpe Publisher, 26–76.

Datos de la industria autopartista 2011 (2012). Asociación de Fábricas Argentinas de Componentes – ADEFA, Buenos Aires, 2011.pdf.

Dorocki, S. (2010). Współczesne procesy internacjonalizacji produkcji i delokalizacji przemysłu samochodowego Francji. Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego, 16, 125–136.

Foreign Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 1998 (1999). United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago de Chile.

Garzon, J.M., Berniell, I. (2006). Los ultimos 40 años de la produccion automotriz. ¿Radografia de una industria argentina? Serie Documentos de trabajo, Instituto de Estudios sobre la Realidad Argentina y Latinoamericana (IERAL). Cordoba: Fundación Mediterránea.

Gocłowska-Bolek, J. (2007). Rozwój oparty o strategię substytucji importu w krajach Ameryki Łacińskiej. Ameryka Łacińska, 3–4(57–58), 10–29.

Ianni, V.L. (2008). La especificidad del desarrollo de la industria automotriz en la Argentina, 1959– 1963. Estudos Ibero-Americanos, PUCRS, 34(2), 97–113.

Kilar, W., Cieluch, M. (2008). Kształtowanie się i organizacja przestrzenna korporacji ponadnarodowej Honda. Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego, 10, 188–203.

Kosacoff, B., Todesca, J., Vispo, A. (1991). La transformación de la industria automotriz Argentyna. Su integración con Brazil. CEPAL, Documento de trabajo n. 40, Buenos Aires.

Lizak, P. (2012). Kształtowanie się aliansu strategicznego firm Nissan i Renault. Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego, 20, 108–123.

MacDonald, N. (1988). Henry J. Kaiser and the Establishment of an automobile industry in Argentina. Business History, 30(3), 329–345.

Miozzo, M. (2000). Transnational Corporations, Industrial Policy and the ‘War of Incentives’: The Case of the Argentine Automobile Industry. Development and Change, 31(3), 651–680.

Schvarzer, J. (1995). La reconversión de la industria automotriz argentina: un balance a mitad de camino. Revista Ciclos en la Historia, la Economía y la Sociedad, 5(8), 5–27.

Wójtowicz, M. (2008). Rozwój przemysłu samochodowego w Brazylii w latach 1957–2005. Prace Komisji Geografii Przemysłu Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego, 10, 140–153.

Żuławska, U. (2004). System gospodarczy krajów Ameryki Łacińskiej. Warszawa: Wydział Geografii i Studiów Regionalnych UW.



How to Cite

Wójtowicz, M. (2013). The Development of the Argentine Automobile Industry in the Age of Globalization. Studies of the Industrial Geography Commission of the Polish Geographical Society, 21, 268–293.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>