Abstract What are the positions and trends of the EU member states in the global integration of production? The patterns of shift in production are analyzed by means of an indepth study of the European automotive industry. The focus is on outsourcing strategies performed as offshoring in production of physical goods. The outline of the European automotive industry considers indicators such as production and employment data, industry dynamics through Foreign Direct Investment (PDI) and two-way trade. An interesting result is that Western European multinationals are frequently offshoring production stages to new markets in Central and East Europe.!