This introduction to this special section establishes the context within which automotive firms cope with turbulence caused by globalization, new governmental regulations, and advances in electronics, communication, and drive train technologies. While exploring change, the papers in the special section also report on stability, e.g. in the central role of Original Equipment Manufacturers in systemintegration and their resulting dominance over product architecture and supply chain dynamics. We apply the lens of change and stability to two stages of the innovation lifecycle: (i) knowledge generation; and (ii) the diffusion of innovations. The papers, organized along these dimensions, help us understand how and why automotive firms are changing their ways of innovating, but also why past patterns of innovative behavior persist. Weclose with an outlook on future research topics to complement this special section.