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Teenage pregnancy can be both a cause and a consequence of social exclusion and is more common in areas of deprivation.
Evidence clearly shows that having children at a young age can damage young women’s health and emotional well-being, and severely limit their education and career prospects, resulting in increased levels of poverty and social exclusion. The challenge for Nottinghamshire, therefore, is to provide young people with the means to avoid early pregnancy, but also to tackle the underlying circumstances that motivate young people to want to, or lead them passively to become pregnant or young parents at a young age. Girls having sex under-16 are three times more likely to become pregnant than those who first have sex over 16[2]. Around 60% of boys and 47% of girls leaving school at 16 with no qualifications had sex before 16, compared with around 20% for both males and leaving school at 17 or over with qualifications. Teenage boys and girls who had been in trouble with the police were twice as likely to become a teenage parent, compared to those who had no contact with the police, very much linked to their risk taking behaviours[5]. A significant proportion of teenage mothers have more than one child when still a teenager. Among girls leaving school at 16 with no qualifications, 29% will have a birth under 18, and 12% an abortion under 18, compared with 1% and 4% respectively for girls leaving at 17 or over.
Leaving school at 16 is also associated with having sex under 16 and with poor contraceptive use at first sex (see below).
Research has shown that by the age of 20 a quarter of children who had been in care were young parents[10].
The prevalence of teenage motherhood among looked after girls under-18 is around three times higher than the prevalence among all girls under-18 in England.
Research findings from the 1970 British Birth Cohort dataset showed being the daughter of a teenage mother was the strongest predictor of teenage motherhood. Research shows that a mother with low educational aspirations for her daughter at age 10 is an important predictor of teenage motherhood.
At age 30, teenage mothers are 22% more likely to be living in poverty than mothers giving birth aged 24 or over, and are much less likely to be employed or living with a partner.
Children of teenage mothers have a 63% increased risk of being born into poverty compared to babies born to mothers in their twenties and are more likely to have accidents and behavioural problems. Teenage mothers are 20% more likely to have no qualifications at age 30 than mothers giving birth at 24 years or over.
Children of teenage mothers are at increased risk of lower educational attainment and have lower economic activity in adult life.
The infant mortality rate for babies born to teenage mothers is 60% higher than for babies born to older mothers aged 20-39.
Teenage mothers, young fathers and their children are more likely to be in poor health and to live in poor housing. It is however useful to see how the numbers of conceptions rather than just the rate, the graph below shows the reduction in the numbers of conceptions from the 1998 baseline year to 2011, reducing the numbers of teenage conceptions by 163 conceptions. Nationally it is estimated that 20% of all teenage conceptions are repeat conceptions - local data can be a challenge to source.
In 2011 42.6% of all teenage conceptions resulted in a Termination of Pregnancy (ToP) across Nottinghamshire.
Over time the proportion of teenagers who choose to terminate a pregnancy has remained fairly static for Nottinghamshire as a whole. The proportion of teenage abortions varies across areas, Rushcliffe and Gedling districts having a higher proportion than Mansfield and Bassetlaw. Data also identifies the proportion of young women under the age of 19 who have repeat abortions.
Teenage conception data varies across Nottinghamshire’s districts as can be seen in the table below. It is important to note, that as teenage conception rates reduce overall across England, a larger number of wards within Nottinghamshire have been identified as hot spots compared to 2008-10. The Slope Index score for 2008-10 was 46.2 which means that there were 46 more teenage conceptions per 1,000 in the most deprived ward compared to the least deprived ward.
Figure 12 shows how the SII (without the wards plotted) has changed over different time periods (2001-03, 2004-06 and 2005-07, 2007-09 2008-10). Under 16 conception data is provided on an aggregated basis over three years as numbers are relatively small and this prevents young women from being identified. Using teenage conception data from the last 20 years we can work to predict the teenage conception rates and numbers for the next seven years until 2020. The table below shows the forecasted conception rate for Nottinghamshire along with forecasts for England and the region.
The forecasted rate shows a steady slow decline in teenage conception rates for Nottinghamshire, however experience from the last ten year teenage pregnancy strategy has shown us that fluctuations exist where there are changes in economic status, educational attainment and aspirations. The graphs below show the projected teenage conception rate amd numbers for Nottinghamshire to 2020.
Following the national 10 year teenage pregnancy strategy which aimed to reduce teenage conception rates by 50% by 2010, indicators for the reduction of teenage conception remain in the national Public Health Outcomes Framework so Local Authorities will be held to account for performance in reducing teenage conceptions. The Teenage Pregnancy Integrated Commissioning Strategy includes a detailed action plan with a number of milestones and outcomes to achieve that will contribute to the prevention of teenage conceptions as well as improved outcomes for teenage parents and their children. Effective young people friendly contraception and sexual health service provision which prevents teenage conception and poor sexual health. Ensuring Children and Young People have access to information and education about sexual health and relationships. Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) Services offering a range of contraception and advice for young people in a number of localities and settings including West Nottinghamshire College and secondary schools in Bassetlaw. There are 54 different contraceptive clinics available to people of all ages, which provide the full range of contraceptive methods across the county.
The map below shows there are gaps in the current coverage of the C-Card scheme across targeted localities and further work is being progressed to establish more sites in pharmacists, youth centres, and schools. Community Pharmacists offer a range of services free to young people including pregnancy testing, the C-Card condom scheme and Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC). Teenage Pregnancy Training is offered for free to practitioners working across Nottinghamshire. The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is a licensed, evidenced based, intensive nurse-led prevention and early intervention programme for vulnerable first time young parents and their children. The FNP provides structured home visiting from early ante-natal until the child is 2 years of age, by the same Family Nurse to ensure consistency of support. Children‘s Centres bring together childcare, early education, health and family support services for families with children under 12 years old.
There are plans to increase the engagement of teenage parents to support their access to education, training or employment in addition to holistic interventions. The Special Educational Needs Team in Nottinghamshire County Council  supports educational packages for pregnant young women of school age as well as teenage mothers with a view that they can maintain or reintegrate with their education. The Teenage Pregnancy midwifery team is offered by Nottingham University Hospital (NUH) and covers Gedling, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe as well as the city.
Care to Learn is a national scheme that provides financial support to teenage parents who want to continue their education and need help with the cost of childcare and any associated travel. Healthy Start is a national scheme that aims to improve the health of low-income pregnant women and families on benefits and tax credits. The National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) issued guidance[18] in 2005 which promoted the use of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) for teenagers amongst other groups. The NICE clinical guideline on LARC offers the best-practice advice for particular groups, including women who have HIV, learning disabilities or physical disabilities, or are younger than 16 years. NICE recommends the use of LARC for sexually active young people because the effectiveness of barrier and oral contraceptive pills is dependent on their correct and consistent use. Currently there is very low uptake of long-acting reversible contraception (around 5% of contraceptive usage nationally).
Early intervention can prevent teenage pregnancy and help teenage mothers avoid getting pregnant again too quickly. Early intervention also helps increase young parents’ take up of work, education or training. Education and career development programmes providing support for childcare can be effective in encouraging young parents back into education or employment. The Family Nurse Partnership is well evidenced as improving outcomes for teenage parents and their children.
Improved employment for mothers, and fewer subsequent pregnancies with bigger gaps between births.
When asked what school nurses should provide the following sample of comments shows the need for young people to have someone accessible that they can go to for information and advice.
Teenage Pregnancy disproportionately affects those experiencing poverty and social exclusion.
An Equality Impact Assessment was published alongside the Teenage Pregnancy Integrated Commissioning Strategy in January 2012. There is no evidence to suggest that children and young people with physical disabilities are at risk of teenage pregnancy so the strategy does not target this group actively.
Both genders are actively targeted within the strategy when working to prevent teenage conceptions so there should be no adverse impact on different genders.
Children and young people from BME backgrounds are a key target group within the strategy so there should be no adverse impact on people of different races, ethnicity, colour or nationality.
There is no evidence to suggest any particular faith group is at risk of teenage pregnancy so no specific groups will be targeted for interventions. The need to address homophobia and support the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) children and young people is important in Sex and Relationships Education and through contraception and sexual health services. The numbers of teenage parents accessing children‘s centres should be higher and it is hoped that the new provider of the centres will proactively engage pregnant teenagers and teenage parents to increase their participation in children centre activities. Despite there being a specialist teenage pregnancy midwifery team in the South of the County, there is no similar service in central or north Nottinghamshire. There is no careers service in Nottinghamshire so the need to support pregnant teenagers and teenage parents to access training or employment remains a challenge, this is apparent in the poor take up of the Care to Learn grant which is a key contributor to increasing engagement.
Uptake of the Care to Learn childcare grant for teenage parents is low and further work is required to promote the grant to young people and local practiutoners in education and childcare settings. There are a number of gaps in knowledge and further work is required to identify data and knowledge in order to progress a successful strategy. There is a refreshed Ofsted inspection regime for schools which no longer includes the specific focus on the delivery of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) or Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), this means there is no way of knowing if and how schools deliver SRE which is critical for the continued improvement of young people’s sexual health.
Anecdotal evidence from local services state that many young people seeking support for contraception or a sexual health screen are experiencing sexual exploitation. Teenage mothers are also more likely to need and receive targeted support than older parents.
If teenage conceptions increase there will be a greater financial burden on Central and Local Government and the NHS in terms of housing, welfare benefits, and health interventions. A teenage mother who does not work until her child is three can be entitled to benefits of up to £20,000. Despite the ending of the national teenage pregnancy strategy, there is still a focus on reducing teenage conceptions included in the Public Health Outcomes Framework[3] and Sexual Health Framework[4]. Work to tackle teenage pregnancy is a key element embedded in priority areas of work including Child Poverty and Early Help across Nottinghamshire.
The paper questions the conventional representation of innovation and product policies dynamics in the European automobile industries. During the last 30 years, after the 1970s crisis, the automobile industry has undergone several mutations that have affected all its activities both upstream and downstream. This view of the evolution of the sector is shared by a great number of experts and public policy makers, in particular at the EU level1. By contrast, the post-fordist paradigm pioneered by the Japanese carmakers is generally described as a production system pulled by the consumers’ demand and capable of delivering increasing variety, quality and technological innovation.
According to this view, the forces that govern this new world are impersonal and almost natural: it is the market and the competition in the context of the globalisation of financial and market transactions. Now, the purpose of this article is to question the reality of this representation of the product policies, innovation dynamics and consumers’ wishes in the European automobile industry.
In order to do so we will rely on the concept of “conception of control” developed by the sociologist Neil Fligstein. Reframed in these terms, the purpose of our article is to deconstruct the dominant model of explanation and to show how it contributes to the structuration and the reproduction of a specific conception of control. The crisis of the Western automobile industry in the 1970s can be explained by three main interrelated factors. The collapse of the production of Western carmakers –the direct outcome of these three interrelated factors– started to be perceived at the time as the sign of a structural crisis of the mass production system. During the 1980s this representation of the Japanese competitive advantage became stronger and led to the lean production thesis which stages a complete opposition between the two models (Womack et al.
Lean production has been presented as the definitive solution to the problems generated by the crisis of Fordism. Despite several incoherencies and a regrettable tendency of the sector to not comply with this idyllic representation, the lean production thesis remains today the main explanatory model of the evolution of the automobile sector –and more broadly of the manufacturing sector– during the last thirty years. However, when one takes a closer look at the features of the Japanese offer of cars in the 1970s and 1980s, one will discover that this widespread representation is fundamentally false.
But if the faster launch of new models and their building to order to better satisfy the wishes of the consumer were not the weapons that have allowed the Japanese offer to take market share from the Western carmakers, the question is: what pushed Western consumers to buy in mass these cars during this period?
Beside their supposed greater variety and customization to the consumer needs, the superior quality of these models is often mentioned to explain the choice of the Western consumers (Abernathy et al. The decisive factor was simply the most evident and distinctive feature of these Japanese cars: their price.
To answer in a satisfactory manner the first question we should develop a detailed analysis of the post-fordist debate that would overstep the frame of this article (Amin 1994). Concerning the second question, it is important to keep in mind the disruptive nature of the price competition embodied by the Japanese offer during the 1970s and early 1980s. On the other hand, the multiplication of the models and of the options available in order to saturate the market and optimise the profit margins according to the profile of the buyers, was not at all a new strategy emerged during the fordist crisis. In Europe, it is in the 1950s and 1960s that this market strategies has been widely implemented. The continuation of this strategy in the 1980s was therefore completely coherent with what the industry had been doing for more than half a century and had nothing to do with the emergence of a so-called new post-fordist demand.


The first tendency increased competition between carmakers at the level of the number of models introduced into the market.
When one considers the long-term implications of this evolution on the French automobile market, it emerges that this proliferation of models and its faster renewal have benefited a decreasing number of households to the detriment of the majority. For instance, the number of new cars sold to households has been decreasing each year, and the contrary is true for the sale of second hand cars (figure 1), suggesting a growing difficult of average households to afford a new car. As a result, for structural reasons, the automobile firms –which already sustained aneconomic system biased toward the rich (Jullien 2002)– have been led to accentuate this drift. In order to do so, not only they had to multiply their marketing and commercial efforts, but they also came to the conclusion that the growing expectations of these elusive customers and their shifting and unpredictable preferences required from them an even larger offer of models that had to be renewed faster. The outcome of this process has been a structural tendency to increase relative prices of new cars that promotion and discounts could not compensate (figure 3). One of the outcomes of this situation has been a chronic difficulty to make profits by selling new cars. It was therefore the poorer who had no other choice than driving aging second hand cars who had to pay through their maintenance expenses for the incapability of the carmakers to make profits on the sale of new cars to the richer (figure 5). This trend explains also why the after-sale market has been marked during this period by the successful entry of new actors.
The “Fordism” is symbolically linked to the intuition of Henry Ford that the creation of a mass market for his Ford “T” required the famous five dollars a day wage for his workers.
Now, the evolution of the automobile offer of the 1980s and in particular of the 1990s, contributed in two ways to the transition to the “glass-clock” society. On the one hand, since the core of the market was not represented anymore by the middle classes to which the autoworkers could aspire during their careers, carmakers came to consider (consciously or not) that the fordist link was forever broken. On the other hand, the proliferation of models, their faster renewal and the accelerated introduction of new technologies required by this commercial strategy, generated rising engineering and production costs for a production whose prospects were more and more uncertain.
Conversely, one can also say that this drift in the commercial strategy of the carmakers was possible, because the carmakers could take advantage of this room to manoeuvre, and did not hesitate to do so. Whether we consider the relative weight of the expenses to acquire a new car versus a second hand car (figure 8), the average age of the buyers of new cars (figure 9), or the average rate of increase in the cost of car ownership and in retailing prices of new cars (figure 10), it seems that the evolutions identified in France are largely present in all the other mature markets in Europe. This submission of the “dominated” carmakers to a conception of control that does not suit their interests can be observed through their ambition to be present in the high-end segments to contest the quasi-monopoly acquired by Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen on the sale of these luxury cars. But beyond this “trickle down” logic of technological innovation (Aghion & Bolton 1997), the marketing in the automobile sector adheres as well to this conception of control, and considers the small cars in the range of each brand as cheaper imitations of the bigger vehicles that are often presented by the specialised press as the “flagships of the range”. This mimetic logic, which emerges spontaneously from competition and explains in broad terms the contrasted trajectories of the European carmakers, is also reinforced by the normative practices that have been put in place at the EU level. Instead of limiting the impact of the automobile vehicles on road safety and on the environment by aiming at reducing the size, the weight, the power, the top speed or the acceleration of new cars, the European norms have aimed at equipping these cars with new technological devices to reduce risks and emissions without compromising the race to variety and performance. ABS, ESP, Airbags, catalytic converter, diesel particle filters and pedestrian impact directive have been successively made compulsory with the consequence of making all cars introduced in the EU market more expensive, but also heavier and bigger. In making compulsory these technologies, the regulation institutionalizes or naturalizes the conception of control “trickle down”.
This normative dynamic has the support not only of the carmakers that are the most present in the luxury segments but also of the main first-tier suppliers.
Nevertheless, as we have stressed before (see figure 10), this race to develop new technologies, to increase the variety of the offer, and to accelerate the pace of its renewal, contributes to the constant rise of the retail prices for new cars and of the costs implied by their production and it also generates a saturated market that makes difficult for most of the carmakers to be profitable in selling new cars. For example in the case of France, imports from new entrants14 have increased six times (in value) from 2003 to 2009, rising from 2,8% of total imports to 16,1% in 2009 (source: Eurostat). From this perspective European integration reinforces on two counts the antifordist dynamic observed in the French case.
If the analysis presented in this paper is right, the general dynamic of the automobile sector in Europe and the managerial credo that has carried it, have to be considered at least as much the producers of the “new consumer” and of his requirements as the consequences of his “existence”. Even if the economic logic that explains this historical movement goes largely beyond the automobile industry, the automobile companies retain a form of macro-economic responsibility both in the way they influence on regulation at national and supranational levels and in the way they put people to work. The waves of relocation implied by this logic (see Klier, Rubenstein, 2011, this issue), as well as the underlying trend of technological and commercial innovation, are therefore justified in the name of a consumer that is in reality more and more older, richer and rarer.
2  It is between 1973 and 1981 that Japanese carmakers took most of the market share that they still have in European and North American markets: from 3% to about 19% in the US, from 1% to slightly less than 11% in the European Economic Community. 3  By contract Toyota dealers in France have to keep 1,5 month of their yearly sale of cars in stock, and they have 45 days to sell them without paying any interests, and 45 extra days before they have to buy the vehicle from Toyota.
The poorer outcomes associated with teenage motherhood also mean the effects of deprivation and social exclusion are passed from one generation to the next.
Research shows that children born to teenagers are more likely to experience a range of negative outcomes in later life, and are up to three times more likely to become a teenage parent themselves. Among 16-18 year olds surveyed in London, non-use of contraception at first intercourse was most frequently reported among Black African males (32%), Asian females (25%), Black African females (24%) and Black Caribbean males (23%)[3].
Mansfield has the highest conception rate across Nottinghamshire closely followed by Ashfield. Rates are starting to increase in Ashfield, Mansfield and Rushcliffe but rates do fluctuate over time as can be seen below.
The relationship between a health issue and deprivation can be quantified using the slope index of inequality (SII) and changes can be monitored over time.
This shows that the conception rate in the most deprived wards has reduced in 2008-10 from that of 2001-03 (top right end of slope) but the conception rate in the least deprived wards has increased. Under 16 aggregated conception rates for Nottinghamshire increased in 2003-05 and have remained static since 1998.
It is also important to remember the high levels of teenage conception in some districts and wards across Nottinghamshire.
The map below shows the location of all CaSH services with the exception of school based services.
There are higher numbers of specific Children and Young People clinics in the Northern Clinical Commissioning Groups (Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark & Sherwood and Bassetlaw). There are targets for the scheme to increase the number of access points across settings in hot spot wards. The location of the pharmacists that offer EHC is included in the map below and plans are under way to encourage more pharmacists to offer the service throughout Nottinghamshire in particular in teenage pregnancy hot spot wards.
388 local practitioners participated in training activities from April 2012 to the end of March 2013, all training courses have been evaulated well and plans to target those working with at risk groups are well under way.
Families in receipt of FNP support will be supported to access wider service provision, including children’s centre activities.
They aim to tackle child poverty and social exclusion by working with parents-to-be, parents, carers and children to promote physical, intellectual and social development of babies and young children so they have the best start in life. They are commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council and delivered by a partnership of County Health Partnerships, North Nottinghamshire College and Family Action.
There is, however, variation across districts, as it is unclear what proportion of the teenage parent population have engaged with children‘s centres across each district. The service also leads on ensuring that homeless young people are offered appropriate packages of care including supported accomodation when required. Schools are offered funding to support education at school or through a specialist PRU or alternative education provider. Women qualify during the whole of their pregnancy if they are under 18 when they apply, even if they do not receive welfare benefits. Evaluation of work in England and in other countries has shown that the three most important aspects are high quality sex and relationships education (SRE), easy access to youth-centred contraceptive services and early intervention to target young women at greatest risk of pregnancy[16]. High quality SRE gives young people the information and skills to make informed choices about relationships, sex, contraception and protection against sexually transmitted infections. In 2008 more than 22,000 young people signed a petition organised by the UK Youth Parliament in favour of improving SRE in schools. By contrast, long-acting reversible methods have high effectiveness that does not depend on daily compliance which is useful for teenagers. A number of studies have shown that many young women wished, in retrospect, that they had waited longer before becoming parents. For example in Stoke-on-Trent, dedicated teenage pregnancy prevention officers use a screening toolkit to identify young people at risk. For some young people, becoming a parent is a positive choice especially if the young person has low aspirations. There is however emerging evidence that children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are often at risk because they face a number of risk factors as stated previously. Because historically pregnancy and sexual health work focused on young women there has in fact been an increased emphasis on young men.
A better understanding of sexual exploitation locally is required and a new Child Sexual Exploitation pathway is in place[1]. Plans are underway for services and commissioners to enable the assessment of services by seeking user feedback and scrutiny of policies and processes. It shows that the proliferation of models, their faster renewal and the increasing technological content of new cars have not been pulled by the “postfordist” demand of the new “king consumer”, but pushed by corporate strategies within a well defined conception of control. One of the most striking evidence but also one of the main causes of this underlying trend has been the exponential growth in the range of models offered to the consumer, their faster renewal, and the accelerated pace of technological innovation displayed by these models.
It does also fall within the conventional representation of the transition between the “fordist” and the “post-fordist” paradigm (Freeman & Soete 1997). In order to survive the production and the work are supposed to become increasingly flexible, efficient, creative, innovating and profitable. What we would like to show in particular is that this evolution has not been pulled by the “new consumer” but pushed and shaped by the strategies of the carmakers.
According to Fligstein, the stability of a given market depends on the capability of the dominant sellers to reproduce their positions in time. It will emerge in particular that the supposed elusiveness of the consumer it is not only a mirror, but also a vector in the rise of inequalities by the way it legitimates working and employment regimes that increase inequalities.
In the first part we will develop a synthetic analysis of the evolution of the automobile offer from the 1970s until today. First, the shift –older in the case of the American market– from a first equipment market to a renewal market that slowed down the growth of demand. What was reproached at the fordist model of production was its supposed incapability to produce the variety, the quality and the innovations demanded by this new renewal demand (Abernathy 1978). Its global diffusion is supposed to have restored the profitability of the firms, given back to workers the liking for work through their personal contribution to an inexhaustible technological progress, provided consumers with a greater variety of cheaper and better goods, and the States with a stable economic growth. The dramatic market share increase of the Japanese in the Western markets, which took place mainly during this early period2, was in fact achieved by an offer that was characterised by a much smaller variety of models (table 1) that contained a much smaller variety in terms of options and designs than those of Western carmakers (table 2).
Japanese cars cost much less than comparable Western models in terms of segment and options. The choice of Western consumers in favour of these cars during the 1970s and 1980s was not therefore pulled by a larger offer of more sophisticated cars built to order, but by cars that were more frugal in terms of variety and options, that were more standardised in their conception and production, but that were significantly cheaper to buy and to use. It is possible however to emphasise here the composite nature of the consensus that has been built around the lean production thesis. By selling cheaper cars than their Western competitors, the Japanese were not only taking market share, but they were also forcing Western carmakers to reduce their prices and margins in a context of crisis. For example, in 1969 a Ford advertisement in UK explained that with all the different versions and options “… YOU end up with a car that has the features that you decided to have. The shift however from a first equipment market to a renewal market led to some significant modifications in the implementation of this strategy by most of the European carmakers. The second led them to concentrate their offer on the wealthier households that were the best able to change their car for a new one, or to equip themselves with an extra car. Indeed, the households that buy new cars have become richer –relatively to the average– older, and also rarer8 (figure 2). According to Regulationist economists, and in particular to Alain Lipietz, these could be explained by a shift from the fordist distribution of revenues to the so-called “hourglass shaped distributions”.
Now, according to the neo-liberal view, only the consumption of the rich can boost production. Since they aimed at a decreasing minority of the households, the carmakers whose customers were less and less representatives of the middle or upper middle classes were now trying “to make drink donkeys (old and rich) that were not thirsty”. We can see therefore behind the well-known discourse on “the growing expectations of customers more and more difficult to meet” the effects of this change of regulation. As a result, the faith in this discourse led the carmakers to give to the customers more room to formulate even greater expectations and to behave in even more unpredictable ways by extending and renewing incessantly the range of choices available.
This tendency contributed also in accentuating this on-going trend and in self-sustaining it. Since these new actors were free of the burden of having to subsidize the sale of new cars and to maintain an expensive sale force, they could propose a competitive offer of after-sale services to the customers “abused” by the carmakers and their dealer networks. Of course, the “Fordism” as a capitalist mode of regulation cannot be reduced to this intuition (Aglietta 1979), but it represents somehow its cornerstone: the regular and predictable growth of a mass market of goods is linked to the stable and predictable growth of wages and to the reduction of inequalities. The hierarchy of wages is indeed firmly constrained by collective agreements: the well-off, the middle class, the working class, have access successively to the same structure of consumption, which rises then following trajectories that are differed in time but similar. They have therefore sacrificed the redistribution of the productive gains to workers to the search for competitiveness in the international arena. In order to face this double constraint, carmakers increased the pressure on the production structures to reduce costs and increase flexibility. Despite the relative stability of the market share of the French carmakers both in France and Europe, since the early 1980s there has been a clear decoupling between the rise of the hourly productivity and its remuneration (figure 6) accompanied by a dramatic reduction of employment in the sector (figure 7). Beyond the fact that the macroeconomic changes that have affected the distribution of revenues in France are for most of them even more pronounced in the other countries of the EU (Amable 2005), this is not very much surprising since the underlying conception of control is not specific to France. Despite the fact that their domestic markets are much less welcoming to the luxury and semi-luxury segments, PSA, Renault and Fiat have systematically tried to develop platforms and models capable of justifying prices of more than 25 000 € when the average of their sales is in fact located between 10 000 € and 12 000 € (figure 11). Therefore, even if the volumes involved and the chances to obtain market share in this dominant segment in Germany, but marginal in Italy or France, are very limited, Fiat, PSA and Renault devote important amount of efforts and money to fulfil these targets, at the detriment of their entry of the range11. Indeed, even though Fiat and PSA have from time to time emphasized the need to focus on the “affordability” of the vehicles on the market12, the two major forms of intervention of the Union in the regulation of the sector that are the road safety and the protection of the environment, have been used in ways that have contributed to reproduce and protect this conception of control. In order to propel these cars without compromising their performances, the power of the engines had to be systematically increased.
In practice, this means that barriers to entry have been placed against those vehicles that would try to swim against the tide: for example, the need to put the “low cost” Logan in conformity with the European regulation has increased the production cost by more than 10% (Jullien et al.
These are indeed those that supply the automobile systems with new technologies and it is to their own advantage if these technologies co-developed with different carmakers become compulsory and diffuse to the rest of the brands and models. In this context, the European integration has provided to carmakers and suppliers the opportunity to shift production and investment from their domestic high-wages countries to the new low-wages entrants in the EU.


Most of these imports are due to small and medium cars produced by Renault and PSA in Romania, Slovenia and Czech Republic and sold in France15.
On the one hand, it allows the carmakers to increase the pressure on wages and employment conditions in their domestic countries. But because automobile companies sound the behaviour of this “new consumer” with methods that consist mainly in focusing on the buyers of their own products or of those of their competitors, marketing and sale people are persuaded that this is a reality that cannot afford to ignore. As it stems for example from the French debate on the competitiveness of the sector during the recent crisis18 and from the interpretations that has been given at this occasion of the “German model”19, it is clear that this responsibility is exerted today in a way that reinforce the adherence to an antifordist logic of globalisation and that contribute in making the EU a sort of mini-globe where the competition between countries and regions is the rule. As our paper shows this “new consumer” is not the cause of this trend, but one of its political and cultural consequences.
Their mission is therefore explicitly to sell their stock as fast as they can (Pardi 2006). Most young parents do not regret having their children but wish they had waited until they were older. The SII takes into account the relative population size and the level of deprivation of each ward in Nottinghamshire. This implies that health inequalities have reduced slightly but not in the way we would want. The team was launched in April 2012 and so far 14 school aged young women have received support to remain or reintegrate into education. Maternity services are now commissioned to provide an enhanced service for mothers under 20 years of age, who are now classed as intermediate on the maternity pathway. Childcare payments are made directly to the childcare provider and travel payments are made to the learning provider.
It has a vital role in equipping young people to handle pressure to have sex as well as helping them recognise inappropriate behaviour. Issues for providers include the initial cost, which may be thought of as too high particularly if the methods may not be used or required for the intended duration, the need for specific clinical skills (including awareness of current best practice, insertion practice and ability to give information or advice on the methods available) and facilities.
There is no additional funding for the work as plans to assess services will be embedded into core provision and commissioning. When questioned on what has been the main reason for this evolution in their product policy, the representatives of the sector, both in production and sales and in specialist and generalist brands, have one and only answer: the consumer. According to this widespread narrative model in social sciences, the “fordist” model was characterised by the “mass production” of standardised and unsophisticated products pushed by the economies of scale. In other terms, a world where the consumption was somehow subordinated to the needs of the production and work, had given way to a world where it is the production and the work that are subordinated to the needs of consumption. It is indeed almost only from this perspective that the debate on the deindustrialisation takes place nowadays in high wages countries. This is achieved by neutralising price competition that tends to destabilize all the firms in a given market by pushing them to undercut the price of other firms. The dynamics of competition in the automobile industry, both at the level of the supply and of the organizations involved in its production, and at the level of the markets and of its apprehension by marketing and sales organizations, will then appear as the complementary and interdependent levers of a conception of control that is as much meaningful in order to understand the historical dynamic of the sector, as it is economically and socially problematic for its present and future sustainability. We will show that this evolution did not reflect the new needs of the consumers, but the transformation of the supply strategies of carmakers confronted to a change in their competitive context related to the emergence of a new sectorial conception of control.
Second, the two oil shocks of 1973 and 1981 that have brutally reversed this slow growth while shifting the demand towards cheaper and lower fuel consuming cars that Western carmakers, in particular the American Big Three, were not able to manufacture (Freyssenet 2000).
Marie-Claude Belis-Bergouignan and Yannick Lung (1994) have also shown that the rate of renewal of this offer was similar to the rate of renewal of the Western offer and that the product policy of the Japanese was rather conservative and aimed at reducing costs and increasing the quality of the export models already available.
On the one hand, the inertia of the post-fordist debate has led to project on the collective representation of the Japanese model the fantasized features of a utopic postfordist model, creating the premises for a wider and passive acceptation of this “fantasized Japanese model”. The social and economic impact of the Japanese competition has been so devastating during this period that most of the Western manufacturers had to be saved by their own governments in order to avoid bankruptcy. Chamberlain, already described this strategy in the 1930s by analysing the differentiation of products through the concept of monopolistic competition.
On the one hand, the slowing down of the growth of the demand pushed the carmakers to enlarge their offer of models as a way to increase their market share, notably on their domestic markets, in order to preserve their economies of scale. The locking-in of the sector in this double strategic choice is the key to understand the evolution of the car offer during the last thirty years. In the first type of distribution, the larger share of revenues goes to the middle classes giving to the distribution of revenues the shape of a “hot air ballon”. Governments come to the point of assuming that it would be a good thing that the rich become richer so that they would consume more, buy a third car, hire maids and gardeners, go more often to the restaurant. Furthermore, despite the efforts deployed at the level of the productive organization to sustain this increasing variety and shorter cycle products at constant costs, these targets were simply impossible to meet. On the one hand, carmakers were led to believe that the supposed saturation of the mature markets implied greater differentiation and faster renewal of models as the only way to seduce these difficult customers. Indeed the temptation to make up for this lack of profitability on the after-sale and on services (i.e. This explains notably the rapid development of the new chains of quick repair shops and the good resistance of the traditional network of independent repair shops (Jullien 2008). The life-style of the engineer precedes of few years that of the skilled worker, which shows the way to the unskilled one” (1998, p. 24).
This drift was also inherent to the diffusion of the lean production paradigm as a new conception of control.
The generalisation of this anti-fordist logic within the industry, but also within the services, contributes therefore to the rise of inequalities. Despite the fact that this way of considering what is best to do in order to be successful in the automobile sector suits better the interest of the German automobile industry than those of the other European countries (being the German carmakers the best placed to sell successfully expensive cars), all the European carmakers and suppliers, including Fiat, PSA and Renault, adhere to this conception of control.
If this is the case, it is because the race to the renewal, the variety and the technological amelioration is directly linked to the capability of the carmakers to obtain from a substantial part of their customers the willing to pay for expensive cars. As a result, most of the progress achieved with the new engines has been used to preserve the acceleration and the top speed of these heavier cars rather than to reduce the level of consumption. To the extent that these suppliers promise to the regulators to reduce the cost of these technologies as soon as their diffusion will increase their economies of scale, the issue of their “affordability” appears, at least on the paper, solved.
This has concerned in particular the production of small and medium cars whose margins are most affected by the dynamic described above.
On the other hand, since new entrants are integrated as low cost countries, they produce relatively expensive cars that are exported to high wages countries. As a result, they provide (in good faith) the top management and their colleagues in production and in human resources with injunctions that nourish the inherent antifordist dynamic of this conception of control and lock-in the industry in a more and more unsustainable form of development. More broadly, our paper shows that the post-fordist narrative model implied by this argument is a myth aimed at decoupling production and market dynamics in order to depoliticize the issue of how people are put to work and how they can afford to consume. The SII shows the difference in conception rates between the most deprived wards and the least deprived wards. The figures below demonstrate that the Slope Index Value has reduced and is going in the right direction, therefore health inequalities are reducing. Further work is required to enable young people to access LARC methods from a range of accessible sites including GP practices located in hot spot wards who are able to offer one-to-one support. At the market level, it shows that this trend has led to an increasing inegalitarian access to new cars reinforced by the rising cost of ownership of second hand cars.
It is because the consumer has become more exigent, sophisticated and complex that they had to enlarge their offer, to renew it faster, to introduce new options and designs, to increase the rate of technological innovation.
Because this production focused on the first equipment needs of a homogenous middle class, it paid little attention to the consumers’ wishes. In the second part, we will analyse the political outcomes of this evolution on the demand.
Third, the massive exports of Japanese carmakers that could rely on a low cost export base and on models that responded better than those of their Western competitors to these new needs.
Concerning the capability of the Japanese carmakers to build this offer to order, this was also a myth. On the other hand, there was an important effort on the Japanese side to support this utopic representation that cast a very positive image of the “Japanese model” at a time when it was very much criticized at home and abroad5. A wide range of political measures were taken by all these governments to neutralise this lethal threat to their national automobile industries, such as protectionist barriers, quotas on imports and coordinated international pressure on the yen. General Motors that pioneered this strategy in the automobile industry started to implement it about the same period. On the other hand, since the game consisted now in persuading households that already owned a car to buy a second or even a third one, or to change it for a new model, the choice to renew the fleet faster, to provide it with better performances, new designs and new technologies was a way to adapt the existing conception of control to the changes occurred in the economic environment. This evolution is indeed characterised not only by an exponential growth in the variety of the models on sale and by the accelerated rate of renewal of the fleets, but also by an underlying rise in the average prices of sale.
In the second type, the number of households receiving less than half of the median revenues and those receiving more than the double of the median revenues increase substantially giving to the distribution of revenues the shape of an “hourglass”.
But despite these recent evolutions, the underlying trend has not been modified (figure 5) and this keeps generating a very much inegalitarian access to motor mobility in France. This reinforces the locking-in of the carmakers in their commercial offer, while making it –paradoxically– less and less sustainable. This is indeed what allows to develop –or to make develop from first-tier suppliers– the main technological advances that would be then diffused to the rest of the range. The paradoxical outcome of this trend is that the carmakers that produce the heavier and most powerful vehicles appear as the most ecological ones because they have the means and the motivations to develop the technologies that allow vehicles of two tons to consume 5 litres of petrol for 100 kilometres. In the case of the famous Tata Nano the press suggested that its price would more than double if it had to satisfy the European norms13. This has been the case of the ABS, and the ESP and Stop and Start are now the next technologies on the list.
Hence, there as well the fordist link is broken and carmakers and suppliers do not see why they should raise the wages of Polish, Czech, Romanian or Slovenian workers at the same pace of their productivity gains. Hence, all the importance of re-establishing at the analytical level the political and social links that subsist between these two sides of the capitalist economies.
However, this is mainly due to teenage conception rates in the least deprived area increasing slightly or remaining static rather than because they are reducing in the most deprived areas within the County.
At the production level, it shows that in order to manufacture and sell profitably this wide range of new models carmakers have increased work productivity while reducing the cost of work. And it is because this new consumer has also become increasingly whimsical and unpredictable that they needed to look for more flexibility and cost reduction activities all along the value chain. Its crisis during the 1970s is explained by the shift to a renewal market, and the emergence of new demands in the context of greater competition. In particular, how customers manage to access this supply of cars characterised by higher variety, increasing technological content, new designs, and faster renewal. As the data collected by the European network International Car Distribution Programme shows, the factories of the Japanese carmakers in Europe produce only one car out of five to order in 1999, against one out of two for the European generalist carmakers, and two out of three for the European specialist carmakers (table 3). Cusumano already showed in 1985 that Japanese consumers had systematically placed during the 1970s (with the only exception of the year 1971) the Western models exported to Japan in front of their domestic competitors in terms of quality –measured by engine performance, driving comfort, gearbox quality, fuel consumption and passenger comfort (Cusumano 1985, pp. 371-373).
Finally, on the American and European sides, carmakers rapidly understood that some of the Japanese methods of production would help them in restoring the “right to manage” contested by workers and unions during the 1970s crisis, contributing also to the reduction of cost of production, and in particular the cost of work (Babson 1995). And indeed from the second half of the 1980s onwards the Japanese carmakers not only started to massively invest in these countries to produce locally, but they were not anymore cutting the prices of their Western competitors (Pardi 2006).
Already in the 1950s, American researchers were able to express their astonishment at finding factories that could “run for more than a year”, and at a “maximum rate”, without being obliged to produce two identical cars (Walker et al.
Our hypothesis is that the rising inegalitarian access to new cars and the rising inegalitarian distribution of revenues are linked together. They are ready to subsidize the hire of maids, the purchase of cars, to exempt from taxation capital gains as soon as these gains are ‘dissaved’”(Lipietz 1998, p. 45). And all along the value chain, from suppliers to carmakers, from distributors to dealers, the 1990s and 2000s have witnessed the generalisation of a system of cross-subsidies from the activities related to the use of cars (after-sale, sale of parts, services) to the activities related to the production and the sale of new cars. Within this logic, all the carmakers have to focus their efforts to be present in the top-of-the-range otherwise they would abandon the monopoly of the technological innovation to the German groups10. Typically, the new hybrid engines have been introduced first on the SUV of luxury brands as Lexus, BMW or Mercedes providing at the additional cost of 5 000 € up to 8 000 € a reasonable level of consumption and emission.
As a result, sales of new cars in these countries stagnate: they have indeed regularly dropped from about 800 000 vehicles in 1999 to slightly less than 600 000 in 200916, and the share of passenger cars on the road older than 10 years in these countries is stable at around 65% against a EU 12 average of 28% in 200917.
The paper argues that this double antifordist dynamic has locked-in the sector in a conception of control that is both economic and socially unsustainable.
Building on the detailed analysis of the French case, we will show that this evolution has led to the exclusion of a growing part of the French population from the access to new cars. The “revolutionary” and very positive image of the Toyota Production System conveyed by the lean production theory made it easier to introduce these methods in the Western factories (Lyddon 1996; Coffey 2006).
In other words, Western carmakers did not have the slightest intention to follow the disruptive strategy used by the Japanese carmakers during this period.
As a result, the growing number of customers who had to equip themselves with second hand cars ended up paying more and more to use their car (figure 4).
Similarly, electrical vehicles have been so far developed in the higher range (Tesla, Mini E) on the basis of the same specifications of conventional vehicles at prices that float between 35 000 and 150 000 €. These results confirm also our own findings based on an inquiry in a Toyota French dealer, that show that the priority of the French dealers’ network of Toyota was to sell cars that were already in stock rather than to give the priority to the customers’ orders3. American consumers tended to attribute a slightly advantage to the Japanese cars in terms of quality, but only at the level of the number of manufacturing defaults, and not in terms of mechanical reliability or performance (Abernathy et al. From this perspective the diffusion of lean production did not imply the convergence towards a common productive model, but rather the emergence of a new conception of control. What they did was to force the Japanese to respect the implicit rule of their own market architectures that forbade competing on prices.
We will show in particular that from the 1980s onward the share of value added distributed to the employees of the motor industry in France has been significantly reduced even as work productivity was significantly increased, and that this trend has been reinforced by the wave of externalisations of the 1990s and by the wave of relocations of the 2000s.
In the fourth part, finally, we will compare these results based on the French case with data from other European countries. Despite certain differences between countries, we will show that it is possible to identify the same pattern of evolution both in terms of market and production trends in the other major European countries. First, European carmakers share a same conception of control even if this does not profit in equal terms to each of them. Second, European regulation and European integration have largely contributed and indeed reinforced these underlying trends.



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