Automobile CEOs make the case for Europe

Brussels, 24 March 2017 – Marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome tomorrow, the CEOs of Europe’s 15 automobile manufacturers have adopted a statement re-iterating their commitment to the founding principles of the European Union.

“In these times, when principles such as free trade and the freedom of movement are under pressure, we believe that it is more important than ever to make the case for Europe,” stressed the CEOs, who are all members of the Board of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

The automobile industry values the EU for enabling the free movement of goods, people, services and capital, all key to growth and competitiveness. It now enjoys access to a single market of half a billion consumers, who in turn can profit from the benefits of scale. Today, vehicle manufacturers operate almost 300 plants across the continent, often manufacturing engines in one country and assembling vehicles in another, something that would be impossible without the four freedoms. At the same time, the industry employs 12.2 million Europeans across the value chain and contributes 6.5% to the EU’s GDP.

“Without Europe, we would not have a level playing field in which all auto manufacturers can compete to offer affordable cars,” stated Erik Jonnaert, ACEA Secretary General. “Likewise, following the recent issues faced by our industry, EU rules are important to help win back the trust of consumers.”

Jonnaert: “What is true for our industry, is also important for society: trade barriers, isolation and borders are no answers to today’s challenges. We believe that we have a duty to speak up against any attempts to turn back time. It is not about what we can save from the past. It’s about what we can win for future generations.”


Notes for editors

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels-based trade association of the 15 major car, van, truck and bus producers in Europe.
  • ACEA Board’s statement on the Treaty of Rome can be found here:
  • The members of ACEA’s Board of Directors are:
    • BMW Group: Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • DAF Trucks: Preston Feight, President
    • Daimler AG: Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: Sergio Marchionne, CEO
    • Ford of Europe: James D. Farley, Chairman and CEO
    • Hyundai Motor Europe: Hyung Cheong Kim, President and CEO
    • Iveco: Pierre Lahutte, Brand President
    • Jaguar Land Rover: Ralf Speth, CEO
    • Opel Group: Karl-Thomas Neumann, President
    • PSA Group: Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Renault Group: Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO
    • Toyota Motor Europe: Didier Leroy, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Volkswagen Group: Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Volvo Car Corporation: Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO
    • Volvo Group: Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO
  • More information can be found on or @ACEA_eu

Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director,, +32 2 738 73 45; +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.2 million people - or 5.6% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3.1 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10.4% of EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for over €400 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €44.7 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €100.4 billion for the EU.