Connecting mobility and industrial policy and the acceptability of the transition. Lessons from France

Type de publication:

Conference Paper

Source:

Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2021)

Résumé:

Purpose
Since few years, new laws on mobility aims to reduce the use of cars in France. However, many measures like low emissions zones, speed limits reductions, are considered as exclusive from a part of the population. Therefore, mobility policy must answer to many challenges, including environmental, traffic, and accessibility to mobility. Notwithstanding, change in mobility imply changes for the industry. The acceptance of industry stakeholders is then a key issue for the transition to green mobility in France.
The aim of this communication is to evaluate how stakeholders envisions the future of manufacturing in France, due to a growing collective mobility. This communication is based on a report for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, evaluation the condition of conversion of the automotive sector into sustainable transportation system.
Design
We based our methodology on qualitative analysis, through 12 semi-structured interviews. We interview two managers from the automotive industry, 4 trade unionists, 2 public mobility planners, 1 expert in energy, 1 expert in sustainability policy, 1 representative of an association promoting biking, and 1 journalist. The aim of this qualitative is to understand the vision and the acceptability of stakeholder in the new trend in manufacturing and in mobility.
Findings
After having stressed the main trend in mobility in France, in taking a close look to the dependance to cars, we summarize the results from the interviews in two axes. First, we show that there is a thin possibility to structure a sustainable clean electric car industry in France. Moreover, electric cars are considered by many actors as a transparent way to convert mobility to a sustainability while ensuring mobility for everybody. It could require a complex policy system combing industrial policy, energy policy, and training.
Second, we show that the conversion of the industry to produce other means of transportation (collective transport) is not on the scope of actors. However, what we show in this debate is that, that stakeholders lack places where they can exchange their views on the future of the industry, in connecting it with their vision on the future society. Indeed, mobility policy requires, to be accepted by stakeholder, to be included into industrial policy, like training, transition policies…
Practical and theoretical implications
Mobility is generally studied in social science only by the transport (demand) view. By linking industry and mobility, we offer here the possibilities to engage a discussion between two convergent fields of research. This previous work can lead to further studies to evaluate the opportunities and constraint, and the relevant industrial policy measure, that must be framed to convert the industry.
Moreover, we include this report into a discussion on economic and industrial democracy. It is clear that market can not itself fully answer to this social change. Rapid job loss in the French manufacturing sector are not fully compensated by the emergence of a new mobility industry. Coordinated planning policy, through the involvement of stakeholders in a same political place, debating on the whole range of policies that can be taken to change both industry and society may be a more suitable way to enhance social changes.

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