Leaders of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association want EU policy makers and national governments to raise support to the auto sector.
It continues to grapple with the fallout of COVID-19 while already at a critical juncture on the road to carbon neutrality.
Indeed, the corona crisis has rocked the EU auto industry, leading to production losses of more than 4 million motor vehicles to date (worth some €122 billion). Registrations of all vehicle types have plummeted over the first three quarters of the year, with car sales forecast to drop by a historic 25% in 2020.
ACEA President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Michael Manley said, “The COVID pandemic is clearly the biggest single risk ever to face the auto industry.
“It is adding massive pressures on our sector at a time when it is navigating fundamental technological shifts, as well as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. We urgently need to find ways to pull through this with minimum damage to jobs and investments, while at the same time keeping strong focus on the climate challenge.”
The European Commission’s recently-proposed 2030 Climate Plan will require massive additional investments from our side at this difficult time, Manley continued.
“However, our investments alone will never be enough. If we want zero-emission mobility to become a real option for all Europeans, we also need a vast network of charging points and re-fuelling stations right across the EU, coupled with economically-sustainable incentives.”
ACEA is therefore calling for support from national COVID recovery plans to be channelled into these areas, stimulating demand for alternatively-powered cars, vans, trucks and buses. This will bolster Europe’s economic recovery as well as its climate ambitions.
Failure to reach an EU trade deal will hit cash-strapped UK businesses, destroy the fragile recovery in the automotive sector and slow down the uptake of electric vehicles, the BVRLA has warned.
The BVRLA is the trade body for the vehicle rental, leasing and fleet sector. Its members own and operate a combined fleet of five million cars, vans and trucks and buy around half of all new vehicles registered each year. It has written to senior policymakers across Government, highlighting the devastating impact of a No Deal EU Exit.
The BVRLA estimates that the resulting tariffs imposed on new car and van imports from the EU would add £2.1 billion to the fleet sector’s annual new car costs. The transition to zero emission motoring will also be threatened, with the association estimating that fleets will need to spend an extra £2.8 billion on battery electric cars over the next five years.
“The time for political posturing has passed,” said Gerry Keaney, BVRLA Chief Executive.
“We need policymakers on both sides to reach a deal soon so that business and consumers can acquire new vehicles in cost-effective confidence and support a green recovery across the UK automotive sector and the wider economy.”