ABOUT GLOBAL CAR
The automobile was once a shining example of American ingenuity and industrial might. America’s car culture has shaped our cities, defined our lifestyles and is tightly woven into the fabric of the American psyche. The automotive industry as well has become identified with the hardworking blue-collar middle class that is a pillar of the U.S economy. However, with world dynamics shifting and an economy in crisis, the American and global car industry is facing an uncertain future.
The automotive industry has truly become global. It can take up to nine hundred parts from as many as forty different countries to construct one vehicle. Global Car looks at globalization and its effects by exploring the dynamics of automotive global supply chains. By following the component parts of the cooling system used in a Dodge Ram Pickup, the scale and complexity of the modern automotive industry is revealed.
The film traces the steps of a simple radiator cap. From the steel that originates in Germany, to the shop in the United Kingdom that tools the cap, to the assembly of the caps in India, to Tennessee where it installed in the cooling system, and finally, to the original equipment manufacturer in Detroit where it is installed into the vehicle.
Throughout this journey we are introduced to the people behind the process, and how their lives are inextricably linked to each other’s through the supply chain. From the U.K supplier who has grown dependent on the same cheap labor that threatens its existence, to the factory worker that has joined India’s burgeoning middle class, to the American autoworker who is being phased out of a once dominant national industry.
Filmed over the course of four years, and a half dozen locations, Global Car provides a unique supply-side perspective of the auto industry and where it is headed.