The comparative institutionalist literature stresses that capitalist relations of production vary between industrialized nations. This has implications for car firms' environmental, as well as economic strategies, because they retain distinct national and regional home bases. But how relevant are national institutional variations given the industry's global interests and recent tumult in world markets? This article finds that they remain highly relevant and demonstrates that institutional path dependence as well as the established market profiles in the industry's three traditional hubs of the European Union, USA and Japan are likely to be better guides to predicting the industry's future ability to reduce its carbon emissions than the impact of the recent turmoil.

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