Corona crisis: Guidelines for re-launch of EU auto industry

Brussels, 16 April 2020 – As Europe is grappling with the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has set out four guiding principles for a successful re-launch of the auto industry, which will be vital to the wider economic recovery of the continent.

“It is in Europe’s interest that this key strategic sector not only recovers, but also is revitalised in order to make a strong contribution to the EU’s industrial strategy, the European Green Deal as well as the continent’s global innovation leadership,” stated Eric-Mark Huitema, Director General of ACEA, which represents Europe’s 16 major car, truck, van and bus manufacturers.

The four key principles are:

1. Defining a coordinated strategy to safely relaunch vehicle production as soon as possible

As soon as the immediate crisis ceases, it is vital that both manufacturers and suppliers can rapidly and simultaneously get their plants up and running across the whole supply chain and in all countries. Otherwise it will be impossible to return to full-scale production. ACEA therefore is requesting EU-wide support for a coordinated re-start of activities and investments right along the supply chain.

“A top priority is to protect the health of all those who work in the auto sector,” said Mr Huitema. “To that end, we need clarity on the relevant health and safety rules in each country for when production re-starts.”

2. Stimulating market demand for all vehicle categories

Huitema: “As Europe looks to reboot its economy, it will be crucial that clean road transport and mobility are affordable for everybody across the continent. Given the fragile economic situation, however, many consumers and professional transport operators will be simply unable to purchase new vehicles.” Therefore, fleet renewal schemes for all vehicle categories across the EU would be needed to help re-launch demand for the latest vehicle technologies.

3. Unblocking type approval and registrations of the latest-technology vehicles

Today’s standstill within the industry, technical services and national type approval authorities is understandably disrupting the approval or ‘homologation’ of new vehicles, meaning they cannot be sold. Similarly, if vehicle registration authorities are shuttered and cannot grant registrations, businesses and customers cannot use their new vehicles. ACEA therefore urges authorities in the EU member states to accelerate the type approval and vehicle registration process to the maximum extent possible, given the constraints currently in place.

4. Accelerating investment in recharging and re-fuelling infrastructure

An EU-wide network of charging and re-fuelling infrastructure will be key to ensuring that the fleet can be renewed in an environmentally-friendly way, according to ACEA.

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Notes for editors

About ACEA

  • ACEA represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information about ACEA can be found on www.acea.be or www.twitter.com/ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, [email protected], +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 13.8 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.1% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.4% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles account for €428 billion in taxes in the EU15 countries alone.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €84.4 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents over 7% of EU GDP.
  • Investing €57.4 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe's largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 28% of total EU spending.

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