Automobile industry urges EU policy makers to take concrete actions to restore competitiveness

Brussels, 29 January 2014 - The European Automobile Manufacturer's Association (ACEA) today issued concrete policy recommendations to help the industry on its transition to growth.

"As manufacturers, we are ready to go on playing our part to make the shift into a higher gear," said incoming ACEA President and CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroën, Philippe Varin at ACEA's Annual Reception in Brussels last night. "However, the industry also needs supportive policy measures to create the right conditions for re-building competitiveness."

The industry's short-term recommendations to policy makers, based on the European Commission's CARS 2020 Action Plan, are:

  1. To drive innovation, by creating a pro-innovation, technology-neutral regulatory environment.
  2. To foster growth through international trade, by ensuring there are mutually-anticipated benefits and a clear 'level playing-field' when negotiating free trade agreements.
  3. To build a supportive regulatory framework by reducing the regulatory burden and cost of doing business in Europe.
  4. To anticipate and manage change, including by mitigating the social and economic impact of restructuring, and improving labour flexibility.

Erik Jonnaert, ACEA's Secretary General said: "We welcome the fact that a number of our priorities are already echoed in the Commission's Communication, 'For a European Industrial Renaissance', published last week. We strongly hope that they will also steer discussions on concrete actions for the automobile industry at the European Council on industrial competitiveness in March."

ACEA today released figures for total motor vehicle registrations. 2013 marked the sixth consecutive year of decline in total motor vehicle registrations, with 13.6m vehicles sold (11.8m passenger cars and 1.7m commercial vehicles). Although the figure for total motor vehicle registrations is down 1.4% on the previous year, this decline was not as steep as in 2012 (-8.9%).

"We are hopeful that this year will herald the transition towards a recovery of the automobile market in the EU, as GDP is forecast to grow by 1.4%," stated Mr Varin. In terms of passenger car registrations, ACEA expects this growth to be in the region of about 2% compared to 2013.

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Notes for editors

  • ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT SpA, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, IVECO SpA., Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group.
  • ACEA's proposals for the implementation of the CARS 2020 Action Plan are detailed in 'Shifting into Higher Gear', available on www.acea.be.
  • ACEA's Economic and Market Outlook for 2013 can be found at www.acea.be.

 

Facts about the EU automobile industry

  • Some 12.9 million people - or 5.3% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10% of EU's manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for over €385 billion in tax contribution in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €32 billion invested annually.
  • The automotive sector contributes positively to the EU trade balance with a €92 billion surplus, despite a total trade deficit for goods of €152.8 billion.

 

For further information, please contact Cara McLaughlin, Director of Communications,
ACEA - Tel: +32 2 738 73 45; Mobile: +32 485 88 66 47; cm@acea.be