ACEA Competitiveness Award 2013 goes to College of Europe graduate

Brussels, 21 June 2013 - The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has awarded its annual College of Europe thesis award to Sabrina Behr, a European Economic Studies Master’s Degree candidate. Ms Behr’s thesis, entitled “ASEAN's Participation in Global Supply Chains: the Impact of Trade in Intermediates on Growth”, was deemed to be the best College of Europe thesis on a topic of relevance to the European automobile industry.

Ms Behr's thesis examines the centrality in intermediates trade to the health of global supply chains and upon economic growth. Her work, which focuses on ASEAN, demonstrates that the fragmentation of production and the lengthening of supply chains has allowed for the inclusion of more and more trading partners, allowing these countries to improve their global competitiveness.

Ms Behr's work is highly relevant to the European automotive industry, given its particularly complex supply chains, as well as in the context of the many ongoing trade negotiations currently being undertaken by the EU. The author examined the effect of the trade in intermediate goods by conducting a thorough literature review and econometric analysis. The results of the econometric study confirmed the findings of the academic literature, showing a positive trade-growth nexus.

Ms Behr concluded that imports in intermediaries exert a significant and positive influence on ASEAN’s growth performance. Ivan Hodac, ACEA Secretary General, applauded the work saying, “given ASEAN’s importance as Europe’s third-largest trading partner, an understanding of the region is vital if European companies are to make the most of the genuine business opportunities to be found there.” “This thesis demonstrates profound understanding and clear-headed thinking about this trade and competitiveness issue. We congratulate Ms Behr on her excellent work.”

About the ACEA Competitiveness Award

The cooperation between ACEA and the College of Europe is rooted in the mutual conviction that close understanding is essential between industry, business, academia and the EU institutions, many of which recruit from the College of Europe. The annual ACEA Competitiveness Award, now in its eighth year, awards a College of Europe student for a thesis that shows academic excellence and investigates a dimension of EU regulation and industrial competitiveness without necessarily being specifically about automotive industry.


Notes for editors • ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT S.p.A., Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, IVECO S.p.A., Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group. More information can be found at

Facts about the EU automobile industry

  • Some 11.6 million people - or 5.3% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3.2 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10.2% of EU’s manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for over €385 billion in tax contribution in the EU.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe’s largest private contributor to R&D, with €26 billion invested annually.
  • The automotive sector contributes positively to the EU trade balance with a €92 billion surplus. This contribution is highly significant today as the EU economy as a whole struggles with 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;