Resilience has a name: the EU auto industry!

Resilience has a name: the EU auto industry!

ACEA — 2022-10-26

News from Brussels

The last three years have been marked by major events and large incisions like Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic, semiconductor supply bottlenecks and the war between Russia and Ukraine, with its impact on prices and availability of energy. Foremost this conflict is a humanitarian catastrophe. ACEA’s members have provided support to the Ukraine and the surrounding countries that have embraced refugees.

Message from ACEA’s President – October 2022

All of these things underline how quickly, how profoundly and how unpredictably our world is changing. This applies not least in the geopolitical context – where there are direct consequences for our globally interconnected industry and its close-knit value chains.

For me, ACEA is a reflection of the diverse, overlapping demands all around us. Our organisation continues to be in transition. And that naturally means that we engage in tough discussions concerning the best way to manage the transformation, and how we can meet the climate goals set by policymakers.

For me it is clear: the European automotive industry has always delivered. We continue to provide around 13m skilled jobs in the European Union – even though, due to factors like the pandemic, the number of new vehicle registrations in the EU is expected to fall by about 26% between 2019 and the end of 2022. And we remain a reliable partner and the engine for an economically strong Europe that can assert itself globally.

In a nutshell; resilience has a name: the European automotive industry! Indeed, we view transformation and changes in our environment as a task for management and the core of our corporate responsibility.

We in the automotive industry are experiencing the biggest transformation and technological turning point in our history. We are in the midst of a broad push for zero-emission vehicles, with new models arriving constantly. And we are making the transition to zero emissions, in parallel with the equally disruptive digital transition. 

All of this clearly demonstrates that external factors will decide whether we succeed or fail as an industry, whether we win or lose as national economies and whether we win or lose as Europe.

The auto industry delivers – even in difficult times. But this is not only about transformation within our industries, it is also about what happens with regards to political framework conditions. This is particularly true, given the current danger of recession, high inflation and the drop in new vehicle registrations expected in 2022.

To ensure a return to growth – with a continued strong trajectory in electric car sales, so climate targets can be met – we urgently need the right framework conditions to be put in place. This includes resilient supply chains and an EU Critical Raw Materials Act that advocates for the interests of European industry – to just name a few examples.

Indeed, the future direction for our industry will be steered by the transition to zero emissions. All other regulations should support and be in line with that overriding objective. This means especially that the ramp-up of charging infrastructure needs to be significantly accelerated to keep up with the timeframe for CO2 reduction.

A strong, globally competitive industrial base in Europe is the prerequisite for a green, digital transformation. We in the automotive industry will actively contribute to this. We want to send the right signal by meeting this volatile world full of uncertainty with the strength, unity and determination of ACEA – an association that is a strong partner for industries, policy makers and society as a whole.