European auto industry calls legislators to action over manufacturing policy

29 January 2014 #SMMT News

The European Automotive Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) has urged EU policy makers to act on Europe’s struggling automotive industry.

While the UK reflects on a successful 2013 for manufacturing growth – car production grew by 3.1% and is set to reach record levels by 2017 – the situation is bleaker in other parts of Europe.

ACEA set out a series of recommendations for the short-term, based on the European Commission’s CARS 2020 Action Plan:

  1. To drive innovation, by creating a pro-innovation, technology-neutral regulatory environment.
  2. To foster growth through international trade, by ensuring there are mutually-anticipated benefits and a clear ‘level playing-field’ when negotiating free trade agreements.
  3. To build a supportive regulatory framework by reducing the regulatory burden and cost of doing business in Europe.
  4. To anticipate and manage change, including mitigating the social and economic impact of restructuring, and improving labour flexibility.

Philippe Varin, ACEA President and CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen, said, “As manufacturers, we are ready to go on playing our part to make the shift into a higher gear.

“However, the industry also needs supportive policy measures to create the right conditions for re-building competitiveness.”

Erik Jonnaert, ACEA’s Secretary General, said, “We welcome the fact that a number of our priorities are already echoed in the Commission’s Communication, ‘For a European Industrial Renaissance’, published last week. We strongly hope that they will also steer discussions on concrete actions for the automobile industry at the European Council on industrial competitiveness in March.”

ACEA has also released its 2013 new vehicle registration figures for Europe, which show a 1.4% decline over 2012 – a much smaller drop than in 2012 (8.9%). In fact, with demand actually increasing through the latter months of 2013, the European car market appears to be in the very early stages of recovery. ACEA expects the market to grow 2% in 2014.

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