Automobile industry urges EU policy makers to take concrete actions to restore competitiveness

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Source: ACEA, 29th January 2014.-   The European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) on 29th January issued concrete policy recommendations to help the industry on its transition to growth. “As manufacturers, we are ready to go on playing our part to make the shift into a higher gear,” said incoming ACEA President and CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroën, Philippe Varin at ACEA’s Annual Reception in Brussels on 28th January. “However, the industry also needs supportive policy measures to create the right conditions for re-building competitiveness.” The industry’s short-term recommendations to policy makers, based on the European Commission’s CARS 2020 Action Plan, are:

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 by mitigating the social and economic impact of restructuring, and improving labour flexibility.

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 released figures for total motor vehicle registrations on 28th January. 2013 marked the sixth consecutive year of decline in total motor vehicle registrations, with 13.6m vehicles sold (11.8m passenger cars and 1.7m commercial vehicles). Although the figure for total motor vehicle registrations is down 1.4% on the previous year, this decline was not as steep as in 2012 (-8.9%). “We are hopeful that this year will herald the transition towards a recovery of the automobile market in the EU, as GDP is forecast to grow by 1.4%,” stated Mr Varin. In terms of passenger car registrations, ACEA expects this growth to be in the region of about 2% compared to 2013.

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