This study aims to analyse the scientific literature on sustainability and innovation in the automotive sector in the last 13 years. The research is classified as descriptive and exploratory. The process presented 31 articles in line with the research topic in the Scopus database. The bibliometric analysis identified the most relevant articles, authors, keywords, countries, research centers and journals for the subject from 2004 to 2016 in the Industrial Engineering domain. We concluded, through the systemic analysis, that the automotive sector is well structured on the issue of sustainability and process innovation. Innovations in the sector are of the incremental process type, due to the lower risk, lower costs and less complexity. However, the literature also points out that radical innovations are needed in order to fit the prevailing environmental standards. The selected studies show that environmental practices employed in the automotive sector are: the minimization of greenhouse gas emissions, life-cycle assessment, cleaner production, reverse logistics and eco-innovation. Thus, it displays the need for empirical studies in automotive companies on the environmental practices employed and how these practices impact innovation.
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