Brussels, 25/02/2009 – The European automobile manufacturers call on the European Commission and EU member states to urgently deploy measures to help the auto industry through the current financial and economic crisis.
‘The EU has started filling a toolbox with potential instruments but too little of them have been actually
put into use due to time-consuming procedures and a lack of guidance at EU level”, said Ivan Hodac,
secretary general of the automobile industry’s trade association ACEA. The most pressing issue to
resolve remains the limited access to credit due to the non-functioning of the financial market. Other
immediate needs include fleet renewal incentives and the postponement of further costly regulation.
“The EU must show its ability to act in times of crisis. EU leaders, at their summit this weekend,
should give the political message to lift bureaucratic barriers and speed up implementation. A
coordinated European policy would not only ensure more fairness and respect for EU competition rules
but – more importantly – greater efficiency in a single, European market”, added Hodac.
The Communication on the European automotive industry, presented today in Brussels by the
European Commission, is a welcome step. “The paper clearly shows the need for urgent action and lists
various options. What we now ask is to add an early deadline to each suggested measure.” The paper
also emphasises the importance of the CARS21 process, a tested framework for dialogue between the
industry, EU policy makers and other stakeholders. “CARS21 is proving its value as an early-warning
mechanism for developments that affect the European automobile industry’s strength and
competitiveness”, said Hodac. “We fully support today’s recommendation to weigh up the costs and
benefits of any new legislative initiative and to avoid creating new economic burdens.”
Automakers have called for urgent and drastic measures to prevent a prolonged period of recession, to
support manufacturing and continue to drive forward the environmental goals that are shared by policy
makers and manufacturers. In short, the automotive industry asks the EU to:
• Ensure a level playing field by coordinating support measures
• Improve access to liquidity by allowing state guarantees for low-interest loans and provide lowcost
• Increase European Investment Bank (EIB) funding to 40 billion EUR, a more rapid validation
of projects (2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 months), a higher level of EIB intervention (75% instead of
• Stimulate demand through measures such as market incentives, fleet renewal schemes including
vehicle scrappage, public spending on infrastructure
• Relieve the cost of temporary unemployment and/or training in production downtime through
the EU Social Fund and Globalisation Adjustment Fund
• Safeguard the competitiveness of the industry by, among others, postponing costly new
regulation and ensuring that newly negotiated free trade agreements are balanced.
Support is vital
New ACEA data shows that vehicle production declined by 28% in the last quarter of 2008, almost
10%-point more than estimated, resulting in a 7% cutback for the year 2008. Anticipating a further
decrease of the markets in Europe and around the world, ACEA expects European vehicle production
in 2009 to decline by at least 15%, which inevitably puts further massive pressure on costs and
Supporting the industry through the downturn will protect a sector that is vital to the wider European
economy. The auto industry is a technology leader and the largest private investor in R&D in the EU.
Twelve million Europeans rely on the automotive industry for their jobs, 2.2 million directly in
manufacturing quality products for home and international markets. Vehicle production takes place in
around 250 production sites in 18 EU countries, with the additional large automotive industry supply
chain being present in all EU member states.
Every job within one of the vehicle manufacturers provides at least another five at vehicle-parts
suppliers, other equipment producers, car dealers, repair workshops and other vehicle-related activities.
In countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Slovakia or the Czech Republic, the ratio is at least
double as high. In addition, the auto industry generates activity and employment in sales & finance,
repair & maintenance, the energy and transport sectors, and many more.
*Nota de prensa en viada por ACEA, Asociación Europea de Fabricantes de Auotmóviles.