Auto industry remains the backbone of the European economy, new Pocket Guide confirms

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to launch the new ACEA Automobile Industry Pocket Guide at the occasion of our annual general meeting in Brussels. The 2019-2020 edition of this publication contains the latest figures on employment and innovation in the EU auto industry, as well as data on the production, registration, international trade and taxation of motor vehicles.

Message from ACEA's Secretary General – June 2019

Moreover, the new ACEA Pocket Guide – you can download your digital copy here – also shows significant progress in reducing our sector’s environmental impact and improving the safety of the vehicles on Europe’s roads.

The automotive sector provides direct and indirect jobs to 13.8 million Europeans today, representing 6.1% of total EU employment. And more than 11% of all EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the auto industry. As the new Guide shows, the top five countries for direct automotive manufacturing jobs are: Germany (with 870,000 jobs), France (223,000), Poland (203,000), the United Kingdom (186,000) and Romania (185,000).

In 2018 some 16.5 million passenger cars – representing 21% of global car output – and more than 2.6 million commercial vehicles were made in the European Union. The 19.2 million motor vehicles built last year, were produced at 229 automobile assembly and production plants across the European Union.

As our updated interactive map of automobile factories shows, ACEA members now make cars, vans, trucks, buses and engines in 19 EU member states. In turn, almost 6.1 million of those motor vehicles were exported in 2018, generating a trade surplus of €84.4 billion for the European Union.

Apart from generating jobs and economic growth, automobiles are also a vital source of government revenue. New data shows that there are some 308 million motor vehicles in circulation on the EU’s roads at the moment, of which 268 million are cars. Taxation on these vehicles is worth €428 billion per year in the EU15 countries alone – that is more than two and a half times the total EU budget!

At the same time, Europe’s auto industry remains committed to addressing tomorrow’s challenges. Manufacturers are, for example, working hard to reduce the environmental impact of their production processes. The latest data from our members, available in the Pocket Guide, shows that total CO2 emissions from car production have been reduced by 35% since 2005, while the use of water per car produced was cut by a staggering 44.1% during that period.

The same level of ambition also applies to ACEA’s objective of making mobility cleaner, smarter and safer in the future. To that end, EU automakers and suppliers have increased their R&D investments by 6.7%, to reach an all-time high of €57.4 billion per year. This makes the automotive sector Europe’s number one investor in innovation, responsible for 28% of total EU spending on R&D.

A large amount of these R&D investments goes towards vehicle safety, an area where we can report strong progress. While the number of motor vehicles on EU roads increased by almost 46 million since 2005, the number of road fatalities fell by 45% during the same period.

Indeed, the European Union has by far the safest roads in the world. The EU counts 49 road fatalities per million inhabitants annually, while the global average is 182. More is being done to further reduce the number of road fatalities, also through major investments in increasingly advanced automated driving features.

As the representative of one of Europe’s key strategic industries, generating a turnover that represents over 7% of the EU’s GDP, ACEA remains committed to working closely with EU policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure that the EU auto sector can maintain its global leadership.

Given that the recently-elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) soon will take their seats and the new European Commission starts its term after the summer, we hope that the comprehensive information in our new Pocket Guide will contribute to well-informed decision making in the years to come by illustrating the vital importance of the auto industry.

To that end, we are also organising the ACEA Summit 'Leading the mobility transformation: The future of the EU auto industry' on 4 September. This conference will bring together thought leaders in the field of mobility to discuss how we can successfully drive the mobility transformation and create new opportunities for Europe.

If you did not register yet, I would strongly advise you to do that right now by clicking here, as seating is limited.

Erik Jonnaert
Secretary General of ACEA

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