Put sectoral industrial competitiveness at heart of policy, says automobile industry

Brussels, 2 December 2014 - The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) today called on policy makers to take genuine action on industrial competitiveness in the EU.

The Competitiveness Council will meet on 4 and 5 December and agenda items include the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy and a policy debate on the ‘mainstreaming’ of industrial competitiveness. Following the debate, the Council is expected to approve conclusions with the preparation of a roadmap for dealing with challenges and opportunities of the European industry.

ACEA, in line with other industrial players, emphasises the need for this roadmap to genuinely support European industry. ACEA welcomes the fact that political leaders recognise the contribution of industry to EU growth, and ACEA fully supports the aim for industry to contribute 20% of GDP by 2020.

However, ACEA is of the opinion that stronger sector-focused strategies will be needed to support the new European Commission’s call for greater job creation through strengthened competitiveness and stimulated investment in Europe.

Speaking ahead of the Competitiveness Council, ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said, “ACEA calls for a more specific competitiveness strategy for the automotive industry in Europe to make the Commission’s Jobs, Growth and Investment Package meaningful for all those who are active in our industry.”

Mr Jonnaert added, “There is now a need to follow through on the recent CARS2020 initiative. The automotive industry favours a more focused policy framework, which prioritises innovation, balanced international trade and smart regulation principles. Every new legislative proposal should be screened to ensure they are cost effective and do not add unnecessary additional burdens on our companies. ACEA members are ready to act as a pilot sector for this focused policy approach.”

ACEA believes that a sectoral approach to competitiveness is the most effective way forward.

***

Notes for editors

ACEA’s members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Opel Group, Hyundai Motor Europe, IVECO, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group. More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu.

Facts about the EU automobile industry

  • Some 12.7 million people - or 5% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10.3% of EU's manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for €388 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 €32.3 billion invested annually.
  • The automotive sector contributes significantly to the EU trade balance with a €95 billion surplus.

For more information, please contact Cara McLaughlin, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45; +32 485 88 66 47