Get access

The Internationalization of Corporate R&D and the Automotive Industry R&D of East-Central Europe


  • Petr Pavlínek

    1. Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia, and Department of Geography and Geology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 60th and Dodge Streets, Omaha, NE 68182-0199, E-mail:
    Search for more papers by this author


This article examines the development of corporate research and development (R&D) in the automotive industry of East-Central Europe (ECE) in the context of the internationalization of corporate R&D generally and the automotive industry R&D specifically. Driven by large inflows of foreign direct investment since the early 1990s, vehicle assembly and the production of automotive components grew significantly in ECE. In my study I investigated the extent to which these increases in production have also led to the development of automotive R&D as an example of a higher value-added function of the automotive value chain. I conducted a more detailed analysis of Czech automotive R&D because of its prominent position in ECE. Despite modest growth, my analysis uncovered inherent weaknesses of automotive R&D in ECE and strong barriers to its future development related to its peripheral position in the European and global automotive production networks.