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have come to the Slavic Research Center of the Hokkaido University to study the profound changes that have been taking place in the automotive industry of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) since 1990. My work is based on several field research visits to the Czech Republic that included in depth interviews conducted with key informants (plant managers, trade union leaders and ministry officials) in car factories, car component plants and governmental institutions. The automotive industry restructuring in the 1990s involved a number of complex issues that my research addresses, such as the effects of price and trade liberalization in the early 1990s, privatization of the industry, including various privatization methods used to privatize different plants with their various outcomes, the role of foreign capital in the process of privatization and restructuring, and the transformation of car assemblers and component suppliers relationships. Geography of the industry is being rewritten as some plants have closed down while others have been built. The life of communities and entire regions has been affected and more changes are underway. How do these changes fit into the overall picture of economic transformation in CCE? What can the analysis of car industry restructuring tell us about the post-1989 economic change as a whole in CEE?


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