1.3 Manufacturing

PPT from the introductory lesson on manufacturing: Industry 1  This includes details about the Toyota factory in Burnaston, near Derby. (Opened in 1992.)   Basically, what has changed is as follows:

  1. Toyota has announced new long-term investment in Burnaston
  2. The Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which involves standardising engines and components across all its models, means a new structure for the industry, which needs to be closely examined.

Toyota Burnaston plant

Volksvagen Bratislava

Volkswagen Bratislava plant

Case Study: the car industry in UK and Slovakia

Start with the case study of Slovakia motor industry on page 351 in the book.  Update it and expand it making a comparison between the Hyundai 2006 and Toyota 1992 plants in the UK.

Source material:

Automotive industry in the new EU states: Slovakia (PDF file) Slovakia_country_profile

KIA motors website: The Slovak factory is Kia’s only European manufacturing plant. “Located in a vast industrial complex extending over 223 hectares in Zilina (the largest town in hilly North West Slovakia), the plant employs around 3,500 people with more than 95% of all being the citizens of Slovakia.”  Five other company plants are located in South Korea, two in China (with one additional being under construction) and one in the USA.


The 1.2 billion Euro Zilina plant


Toyota production in the UK

Overview http://www.toyotauk.com/toyota-in-the-uk/overview-of-toyota-in-the-uk.html

Post-Brexit situation needs exploring also:


Case study: Airbus A380 production

The details for this study are all on the Geographypods website: http://www.geographypods.com/32-industrial-systems.html

This is a study of a “truly global manufacturing operation” put together by Matthew Podbury, a Geography teacher working in Toulouse where the assembly of Airbus A380 is centred.  The production chain is all over the place: as Matthew said to me, “It is pretty insane what they do to make an A380!”  This material is geared to GCSE level case study, but we can also use it for A-level to examine linkages.


Industrial Agglomeration:

The following five points summarize
the main issues:

1. Interfirm transactions that are small in scale usually incur high costs per unit of distance. The mutual proximity of firms in networks made up of transactions like these is an important factor in keeping costs down.

2. Dense local labour markets represent spatial concentrations of job seekers and
job vacancies, and high levels of mutual proximity make it relatively easy to
acquire, process, and act on information about relevant opportunities.

3. Transactional relations also involve flows of certain kinds of business information
or knowledge spillovers. Interdependencies of these sorts are all the more important because they tend to underpin many small-scale processes of learning and innovation whose cumulative effects greatly reinforce local competitive advantages.

4. The clustering of many different producers can significantly enhance the
formation of beneficial business alliances and organizations that help to augment
local competitive advantage.

5. Significant economies can be obtained  with large localized clusters of firms in the sharing of infrastructure with many positive effects on local competitive

Reference: Economic Geography 79(3): 295–319, 2003. © 2003 Clark University. http://www.clarku.edu/econgeography