AUTO MAKERS URGE STABILITY FOR EUROPE







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: December 2, 2011
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Brussels, 2 December 2011 – The members of ACEA call on European leaders to take urgent action to secure a stable economic environment in which businesses of all sizes can be confident about creating jobs and investing in a strong future for Europe.

Europe’s increasing instability risks both the European and the global economy. To secure growth and prosperity in our region, European leaders must act in concert in the best interests of their citizens. It is especially important that confidence in the Eurozone is restored.

The chief executives of the ACEA members met, today, in Brussels for a scheduled board meeting of the association. A substantial delegation of CEOs then participated in a meeting of the CARS21 High-level Group, hosted by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani (DG Industry & Enterprise). The CEOs used this opportunity to stress the importance of securing Europe’s economic future and enhancing the prospects for its peoples.

Europe’s future
In its fifty years of existence, the European Union has made impressive progress in improving the region’s global competitiveness. The Union has created a single market, removed border restrictions, lowered administrative hurdles, promoted greater efficiency in business and established Europe as a major economic block in the world. The Euro has further spurred economic activity across the Union and anchored Europe's position on the global stage.

The stability of the European economy, however, is increasingly threatened by the persistent differences within the Eurozone. There is an urgent need for leadership and action to solve the Eurozone’s problems, most notably the sovereign debt issue. The region’s economic and fiscal governance must be improved and appropriate support mechanisms put in place. Deficiencies that were not addressed at the time of the creation of the euro must now be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

Industrial policy
Europe’s economic recovery and the region’s ability to cope with renewed instability will to a large extent depend on the continued resilience of its manufacturing industries. A sound economy needs a robust manufacturing base, as that is where many jobs are provided and future growth secured. The automobile industry, in particular, is a strategic sector for Europe and this position must be reflected in the Union’s industrial policy, as well as in its trade relations and transport policies.

Note to Editors
CARS21 (short for “A Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st Century”) brings together all relevant stakeholders to reinforce the automobile industry’s competitiveness in a global perspective. The CARS21 interim report published by the Commission, today, assessed which further steps are essential to take in the long and the short term.

The ACEA members welcome the progress made to date and are fully committed to securing further important improvements. The automobile industry needs a stable environment to underpin their investment strategies for 2030 and beyond. Particular attention must go to deploying the ‘smart regulation’ principles to improve the regulatory framework; streamlining and stepping-up of effective R&D&I support for the automotive sector; and promoting the WLTP as the international framework and standard for type approval.

Essential short-term issues include EU trade policy, where more must be done to  secure reciprocity as well as improve access to third markets; In addition, the standardising of the charging of electrically chargeable vehicles must be finalised; the EU framework for market fuels should remain fully harmonised; changes to fuel specifications must remain sustainable and compatible with vehicle designs; and robust and common standards for future biofuels be applied across the EU, including the necessary support and/or policies to promote advanced biofuels.

About ACEA
The European automotive industry is key to the strength and competitiveness of Europe. The ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT S.p.A., Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Truck & Bus, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Group. They provide direct employment to more than 2.3 million people and indirectly support another 10 million jobs. Annually, ACEA members invest over €26 billion in R&D, or 5% of turnover.