European Commission’s digital package outlines regulatory and policy actions for connected and automated driving

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented today three publications setting out the Commission’s priorities on digital issues: “Europe for the digital age,” “A European Strategy for data,” and a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. The Commission also sets out to adopt in 2020-2021 a number of legislative proposals which will directly influence the deployment of connected and automated driving, such as a revised liability framework to address safety and liability for automated cars and a review of the type approval legislation for motor vehicles to open it up to more car data based services.

in CLEPA, 19-02-2020

CLEPA supports the European Commission’s overall approach outlined in today’s publications, and stresses the importance of digitalisation in the automotive sector’s transformation. Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe, comments:

“Connectivity, higher levels of vehicle automation, and the move towards near or full autonomous driving are megatrends that are transforming mobility, and the automotive suppliers of Europe are a driving force behind this transformation towards sustainable, safe and smart mobility. We support the Commission’s objective to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to make this transformation a success for Europe.”

In its European strategy for data, the Commission states its intention to make more data available in order to help data-driven businesses to emerge, grow, and innovate. CLEPA shares the Commission’s views on the value of data for the European economy and society. Therefore, we warmly welcome this approach and, in particular, support the idea of developing a “common European mobility data space” in order to make it easier to use data produced by connected cars, while ensuring that citizens remain in control of their personal data. Sigrid de Vries comments:

“Connected and automated vehicles will generate large amounts of data, which holds great potential for the automotive industry. Under the right framework conditions, the availability of automotive data will allow the development of new business models that help finance the innovation that will assure continued European leadership in the global mobility market. For the success of new services, especially in repair and aftermarket, independent and unmonitored access to in-vehicle data and resources must be ensured for third parties.”

CLEPA also welcomes the Commission’s proactive and supportive approach towards the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its objective to make Europe a frontrunner in this new technology. We support the incentives proposed to boost the development and uptake of AI across the EU economy. We also agree that ensuring citizens’ trust and acceptance is crucial. However, automotive suppliers believe that a balance must be achieved to ensure that this goal does not stifle innovation, which could reduce the safety benefits that automated vehicles can bring. Sigrid de Vries says:

“Advanced driverless technology needs to be embedded in a regulatory framework, and public acceptance of future driverless cars and trucks needs to be increased. CLEPA fully supports the Commission’s objective to review existing EU legislation and adapt it to better address the risks of safety and liability in the context of AI. The risk-based approach adopted by the Commission is the right one to prevent the regulatory framework from being overly prescriptive and disincentivise innovation in this emerging field. However, automotive suppliers must also caution against one-size-fits-all approaches: AI for automated cars is highly complex and must make quick real-time decisions. This differs widely from AI applications for other fields, and should be reflected in any regulatory or policy approach.”


A roadmap to climate neutrality

As we go to press, stakeholders of all kinds are scrambling to give input to the public consultation on the roadmap for enshrining in law the ambition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. In parallel, Commission officials at the highest level are clocking up meeting after meeting with those same stakeholders to obtain additional insights and to provide clarifications on some of the language used in the announcements made so far.

in CLEPA, by Sigrid de Vries, 05-02-2020

What stuck with me, having been part of some of these exchanges of late, is that the Commission don’t consider themselves to be implementing a ‘blueprint’, but are rather striving for a ‘roadmap’ – as it is also stated in the consultation.

This is important, because a roadmap leaves open the option of adapting policy along the way, incorporating new facts as well as learnings.

In the case of decarbonising transport, for example, the speed of change is pretty difficult to predict. It will depend on technological advancements as much as on their acceptance in the market or on their deployment which will be dependent on factors such as the availability of related infrastructure. A roadmap sets milestones for reaching the target: carbon neutrality by 2050. Yet, with such approach, the all-important ‘how’ can still be modified, evaluated on the way, and improved as required. It becomes an issue of governance.

The automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe is a driving force behind the transformation to sustainable, safe, and smart mobility. We support the Paris agreement and aspire to contribute to a reliable, technology-open, and ambitious regulatory framework to achieve its objectives.

EU climate policy is currently composed of a variety of instruments regulating emissions in specific sectors and we are concerned that such fragmentation decreases efficiency of the regulatory framework. Specifically, with regard to transport, we advocate a level playing field for different drive train technologies. The regulatory framework should be adapted to remove any implicit or explicit technology bias.

In road transport all efficient and low or zero carbon solutions will be necessary and have to be effective in new vehicles but also in the existing fleet. This includes battery electric vehicles, fuel cells and efficient combustion engines, along with the necessary charging infrastructure and availability of renewable energy as well as refuelling infrastructure and availability of renewable fuels, e-fuels, and hydrogen.

Likewise, in view of levelling the playing field, it is important that the Commission is currently examining the potential contribution of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to tackling carbon emissions in transport. Initially, the Well-to-Wheel approach may provide a less complex alternative to LCA.
It’s encouraging to hear that any upcoming proposal will be fully impact-assessed, and that horizontal and sectoral strategies will be cross-referenced to avoid them being counterproductive instead of mutually reinforcing.
There’s no doubt, the jury is still out on whether Europe will end up managing disruption or whether it will truly be able to turn the Green Deal into a sustainable, inclusive and globally competitive growth strategy. But finding a common language is a big part of the job. Good dialogue starts with listening and truly understanding each other’s needs and concerns.


Sigrid de Vries

CLEPA Secretary General


CLEPA shares the views of the automotive supply industry on the Product Liability Directive during the IMCO Committee public hearing

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection organised today a public hearing to discuss the need to review the Product Liability Directive and related challenges in the new digital age. Frank Schlehuber, Senior Consultant Market Affairs at CLEPA, attended the hearing to present the association’s position on the issue.

in CLEPA, 22-01-2020

It is recognised that most accidents involving vehicles are currently caused by human error, while only a small percentage is credited to technical failures. However, as more autonomous functions start to become present in cars, there is a shift in liability from the driver to the vehicle manufacturers whether they are OEMs or automotive suppliers.

CLEPA supports the need to serve the end-consumer and to provide them with a safe, secure environment and to ensure that a victim of a road traffic accident is compensated in an easy, speedily and efficient manner. However, it is the view of CLEPA that the scope and application should be extended to include all relevant market participants and stakeholders, involved in this new ecosystem.

During the hearing, CLEPA raised four main concerns regarding the need to review the Product Liability Directive, namely the scope of application of its article 1: “The producer shall be liable for damage caused by a defect in his product.”

First, CLEPA believes that the “product” is no longer seen as a physical product, and there should be a new definition that integrates software and other services, as well as recognises that they are dependent on additional data to make them work.

Second, the current definition of “defect” already opens a wide room of flexibility, however there should be a guidance from lawmakers on what is understood under artificial intelligence.

Third, there is a need for an extension on the producer’s definition that includes all players, even to those who modify products.

Lastly, our industry is dependent on R&I and there needs to be a certain freedom during development phase, therefore the exemption to liability during this phase of a product should be maintained and, if possible, reinforced to maintain our industry competitive.



The EU-Vietnam FTA Chances for European and Vietnamese business, consumers and workers

CLEPA supports an ambitious EU trade policy. EU Free Trade Agreements create opportunities for European businesses, contribute to job creation, and enhance global competition and innovation. Vietnam is a fast growing market and a strategic partner, fulfilling a crucial role in global manufacturing supply chains. CLEPA is therefore a member of the EU-Vietnam business coalition to support the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Agreement and calls for a positive vote in the European Parliament’s INTA committee on Tuesday, 21 January

in CLEPA, 20-01-2020

The undersigned business associations respectfully request Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to consider the benefits for both sides and to approve the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

We note that the negotiations on the EU-Vietnam FTA concluded in December 2015, and both European and Vietnamese businesses and consumers have been waiting since then for its ratification and entry into force.

The trade agreement, with its liberalisation of tariffs and deepening of business links, represents a great opportunity for European businesses – granting access to a strong emerging market of close to 100 million people. It also opens the door to partnership, dialogue and cooperation with Vietnam creating stronger ties with the South-East-Asian region and will raise standards for consumers and workers alike. The agreement contains a strong chapter on trade and sustainability, to which the Commission and Vietnam have made a strong commitment to ensure close compliance. Furthermore, the Vietnamese government has made an equally strong commitment to address earlier concerns about workers’ rights and ratify and implement three core ILO conventions. One of these has already been transposed into Vietnamese law, and the Vietnamese government will implement the others shortly, significantly improving the situation of workers in Vietnam.

The EU-Vietnam Business coalition firmly supports the approval of the EU-Vietnam Agreement, and we ask for your support of ratification of this Free Trade Agreement in the INTA committee on Tuesday, 21 January.



CLEPA PR on Just Transition Fund: Ensure European competitiveness, balance inevitable disruption

The European Commission has today adopted the regulation creating the Just Transition Fund and the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and presented the proposals to the European Parliament.

in CLEPA, 14-01-2020

We welcome the launch of the Just Transition Fund and the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan. Both have to be seen in conjunction with the ambitions of the European Green Deal towards climate neutrality and mutually reinforce each other,” says Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe.

The automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe is a driving force behind the transformation to sustainable, safe, and smart mobility. We support the Paris agreement and are ready to contribute to a reliable, technology-open, and ambitious regulatory framework to achieve its objectives.

We urge the European legislators to build on Europe’s strengths — the single market, the continent’s advanced technology competence, its high value-add industrial base and global competitiveness — and to provide the supportive regulatory framework and financial support needed to master the monumental tasks unfolding and maintain manufacturing and employment in Europe.

Climate policies must be deeply intertwined with a coherent industrial strategy to strengthen our competitiveness and power to innovate, in order to ensure that the three pillars of the sustainability triangle, i.e. environmental, economic and social policies, are balanced. Such balance is precarious and climate protection needs to condition the strategies towards a sustainable economy as much as the social and economic dimensions should.

The fact that a Just Transition Fund will be needed, is ominous. Hence, only in cases where disruption of industries cannot be avoided, it should serve to balance the impact.



Thorsten Muschal (Faurecia) elected new CLEPA President

The European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) has elected Thorsten Muschal as new President for the term 2020-21, succeeding Roberto Vavassori who held the position since 2016. Mr Muschal is Executive Vice President responsible for Sales and Program Management at Faurecia, the Paris-headquartered multinational. He has been CLEPA vice president for the past 4 years and is well versed into the EU policy dossiers impacting the automotive industry.

in CLEPA, 14-01-2020

“Automotive suppliers are key contributors to change in mobility and industry. Europe must succeed in reaping the industrial benefits of climate and digital leadership, and on this crucial question CLEPA stands ready to help with technology solutions and proposals for policy”, said Mr Muschal. “I warmly thank Roberto Vavassori for his important work over the past years and look forward to working with the CLEPA team on further strengthening the voice of our industry.”

The automotive industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in over a hundred years — to a large part because of the need to decarbonise transport. The other two major trends are assisted & automated driving, and data-fuelled connectivity which enables new mobility types and services. 

“At CLEPA, we are convinced that no-one can master these challenges on their own and we believe in European solutions to find and work together. The urgency to deliver is extremely high”, said Muschal. “For Europe to secure strategic autonomy in the field of ‘new mobility’ which is safe, sustainable and smart, and to compete effectively with other world regions while sustaining high levels of employment and innovation in Europe, there are high levels of investments needed in renewable energy, energy infrastructure, secure and fast connectivity as well as in critical technologies, innovation and skills.” 

“As consumer priorities and ever-stricter emissions regulations transform the automotive industry, CLEPA is committed to working with policymakers and nurturing the business conditions that ensure European suppliers maintain their leading position on the global market. European automotive suppliers are at the forefront of shaping the mobility of the future, and the innovation ecosystem they cultivate and drive, which integrates engineering expertise and leadership in technology and digital transformation, is the backbone of the move towards carbon neutrality and a more sustainable approach to mobility.”  

Automotive suppliers aspire for the future of mobility to be safe, sustainable, smart and competitive. This is the vision CLEPA has laid out in full during the 4th December event Future as we Move – Shaping Solutions of Mobility. More information can be found here 


About Thorsten Muschal 

Thorsten Muschal is Faurecia’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Program Management since 2017. He has held leadership positions at Faurecia in Germany, North America, and France. Thorsten Muschal joined Faurecia in 1992. More information can be found here. 

About CLEPA 

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers based in Brussels, represents over 3.000 companies, from multi-nationals to SMEs, supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 25 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ about five million people across the continent. 

For more information, please contact the Communications department at 

About Faurecia 

Faurecia is the 9th largest international automotive parts manufacturer in the world and #1 for vehicle interiors and emission control technology. One in three automobiles is equipped with their solutions. 



“Tenemos que ser líderes mundiales en tecnología ambiental”

Sigrid De Vries, secretaria general de CLEPA

in AutoRevista, 18-12-2019

AutoRevista.- El Libro Blanco ‘Future as We Move’ refleja claramente los objetivos para la industria europea de proveedores de automoción a largo plazo, ¿cuáles son los objetivos a corto plazo? ¿Cómo puede describir la cooperación con las autoridades de la UE y los OEM (CLEPA con ACEA)?

Sigrid De Vries.- Para la industria, lo más importante es un compromiso con el fortalecimiento de la UE como escenario de negocios competitivos y fabricación sostenible. Esto requiere un marco legal y político confiable y, en el caso del sector de automoción, un contexto de apoyo para el transporte y la movilidad en particular: pensar en la infraestructura para la conectividad y las energías renovables.

La tecnología es el facilitador clave para alcanzar los objetivos establecidos por las instituciones europeas. Para impulsar los objetivos a largo plazo, necesitamos un entorno empresarial flexible que ayude a fomentar la innovación. Necesitamos crear un clima de apoyo que permita que se acepten soluciones avanzadas en el mercado. Europa debería impulsar ideas que garanticen una movilidad más segura, inteligente y sostenible para el futuro. Por lo tanto, como primer paso, necesitamos más recursos públicos en investigación e innovación y financiación para nuevos proyectos con la que apoyar los esfuerzos del sector privado.

La industria europea de proveedores de automoción reclama el establecimiento de un mercado único digital para la movilidad, que vaya de la mano de un plan maestro europeo para la industria. Ambos son esenciales para alcanzar los objetivos ambientales que el “Green Deal” (“Pacto Verde”) ha establecido, así como para aprovechar el potencial de la tecnología, con el despliegue de la movilidad conectada y la conducción automatizada. Estas medidas fortalecerán la competitividad europea, respaldando el papel de los proveedores como motor de transformación hacia una movilidad sostenible, segura e inteligente.

Europa, instamos, debe aprovechar sus fortalezas: el mercado único, la competencia tecnológica avanzada del continente, su base industrial de alto valor añadido y el acceso justo y recíproco al mercado.

Esta estrategia solo se puede lograr con cooperación y un diálogo intenso y constructivo entre todos los agentes involucrados. En lo que respecta a la colaboración con las autoridades de la UE, CLEPA se considera un socio fuerte de los tomadores de decisiones, como las instituciones de la UE y los organismos de normalización, como la UNECE. CLEPA y sus miembros brindan apoyo de expertos en temas que van desde la tecnología hasta la regulación, comercio e investigación e innovación. CLEPA también participa en la implementación de proyectos de la UE, liderados por la Comisión Europea, que se centran en tecnología para la movilidad al servicio de la sociedad.

AR.- El automóvil se enfrenta a su transformación más profunda. Algo similar está sucediendo con la Industria 4.0 en OEMs y plantas de producción de proveedores. ¿Cómo cree que ambos mundos pueden conectarse para mejorar continuamente el automóvil (producto) y los procesos?

S.D.V.- A lo largo de la cadena de valor, los proveedores de automoción europeos están implementando cada vez más recursos clave que permiten la interacción segura y eficiente en sus plantas. De hecho, la nuestra es una industria más variada en comparación con la de los fabricantes de vehículos. Los proveedores de automoción se constituyen empresas de todos los tamaños y tipos: desde pequeñas hasta medianas o corporaciones multinacionales. Si bien las grandes a menudo ya han implementado las últimas tendencias en inteligencia artificial o sistemas de aprendizaje automático (machine learning) en sus fábricas, las pymes están desarrollando soluciones digitales avanzadas para sus procesos de producción específicos.

La industria de automoción se encuentra en medio de la transición hacia la neutralidad climática y una economía basada en datos, y el mundo está cambiando rápidamente. Los proveedores solían ser organizadores de un proceso bastante vertical de materiales, piezas, componentes y sistemas. Hoy, esta tradicional “cadena” ya no existe. Los proveedores operan en un ecosistema, una red de actores interdependientes e interrelacionados, incluidos los OEM, con actores cada vez más diversos y numerosos, y con vínculos cada vez más directos con el ‘usuario final’, el individuo o la empresa que utilizan la movilidad para desplazarse del punto A al punto B.

Los desafíos en torno a las infraestructuras disponibles y seguras, la protección de tecnologías críticas, el acceso a las materias primas y la disponibilidad de personas cualificadas se suman a todo ello. Y también lo hacen las tensiones comerciales mundiales y la desaceleración económica. Todos los actores del ecosistema deben trabajar duro para mantener sus mercados y ser competitivos.

AR.- El 75% es la cifra habitual para hablar sobre el valor de la industria proveedora para el automóvil. ¿Cree que este porcentaje puede aumentar en los próximos años? ¿Podría explicar por qué o por qué no?

S.D.V.-Históricamente, las empresas europeas han liderado el mundo en el sector del automóvil, en tecnología e innovación. Las regulaciones europeas han sido fundamentales para lograr este liderazgo en áreas como las emisiones y la seguridad.

En Europa, debemos continuar desarrollando tecnologías de vanguardia para seguir siendo competitivos. La inteligencia y la innovación son más importantes que la escala, por lo tanto, debemos continuar mejorando la calidad de nuestros productos y servicios. Los fabricantes de automóviles europeos se encuentran entre los clientes más exigentes a nivel mundial, por lo que los proveedores europeos ofrecen altos niveles de calidad y más tecnología. Los proveedores de nivel 1 han sido tradicionalmente proveedores de soluciones para fabricantes de automóviles; ahora nos estamos convirtiendo en proveedores de soluciones para la industria de la movilidad y, por lo tanto, estamos viendo una extensión de nuestra cartera de clientes y nuestra oferta.

AR.- Hace unos meses un responsable de innovación de Grupo Antolin me explicó cómo su compañía influye en la tendencia del uso compartido del automóvil, porque el habitáculo debe parecer nuevo para cada nuevo conductor. ¿De qué otras formas cree que influye la industria de proveedores de automoción en el usuario final?

S.d,V.-Todos tenemos diferentes necesidades de movilidad. Por eso no podemos seguir pensando en el sector de automoción como una industria que ofrece una sola posibilidad. Actualmente, los consumidores están acostumbrados a navegar en cientos de plataformas eligiendo diferentes productos, comparando precios y decidiendo las características que mejor se adaptan a ellos. Cuando se trata de opciones de movilidad, los consumidores deberían poder elegir los servicios que se ajustan a sus requerimientos y personalizar sus vehículos con sus componentes preferidos.

La tecnología es un facilitador. La innovación continuará y se acelerará. Los proveedores de automoción necesitan seguir usando su conocimiento avanzado en tecnologíal para desarrollar experiencias de consumo. Tenemos que acercarnos a los consumidores para poder resolver sus problemas y anticipar sus deseos.

AR.- La industria proveedora europea es líder en innovación en comparación con China y otros competidores, ¿cree que será suficiente para mantener esa posición en el futuro? Por ejemplo, la tecnología de baterías está dominada por empresas asiáticas. ¿Cómo debe seguir luchando la industria europea en los próximos años?

S.D.V.- Si seguimos aprovechando la fortaleza de Europa y nos centramos en nuestra experiencia en tecnología avanzada, esto es ciertamente posible. La UE aspiraba a ser el líder mundial en innovación, digitalización y descarbonización, y este es el enfoque correcto. La competencia se está volviendo más dura; China ya no es un país en desarrollo y Estados Unidos está tratando de llevar a su terreno algunas tecnologías fundamentales.

Bruselas debería desempeñar un papel clave a la hora de garantizar que Europa sea un actor en el escenario geopolítico. Si no hacemos eso, corremos el riesgo de ser marginados cuando se trata de las grandes decisiones que afronta el mundo. En otras palabras, los responsables políticos deben darse cuenta de que estamos en una dura competencia con países y regiones como América del Norte, China, India y Rusia.

Tenemos que ser líderes mundiales en tecnología ambiental, al mismo tiempo que creamos las condiciones para permitir que las empresas empleen a personas en Europa. Y debemos ofrecer a los consumidores la mejor gama de opciones para moverse.

AR.- ¿Qué valoración puede hacer de los recursos humanos? Desde un punto de vista europeo, ¿cuáles son los puntos fuertes y débiles para poder contar con jóvenes con las habilidades adecuadas para la industria europea proveedora de la industria de automoción en los próximos años?

S.D.V. -Los proveedores de automoción representan cinco millones de empleos directos e indirectos en la Unión Europea. Teniendo en cuenta que nos estamos moviendo hacia un ecosistema de movilidad cada vez más conectada y automatizada, la industria tiene un potencial de empleo increíble. El sector necesita habilidades críticas en los campos de automatización, robótica, ciberseguridad e integración de software y hardware.

Por otro lado, estas habilidades no son fáciles de adquirir. Por ello, la industria está trabajando junto con los responsables políticos, las universidades y los grupos de expertos con el objetivo de crear una fuerza de trabajo ágil en Europa, que se adapte rápidamente a los modelos de negocio cambiantes y a estas nuevas tendencias. Un ejemplo: CLEPA participa en el Proyecto DRIVES, una sólida red de comunicación entre actores de la industria y proveedores de aprendizaje que asegura intercambios exitosos. Opciones como plataformas digitales conversacionales o eventos interactivos pueden ayudar a la hora de compartir información y puntos de vista, identificando las necesidades de los empresarios de la industria en términos de formación.

AR.- ¿Está la industria europea proveedora de automóviles en una buena posición para luchar contra el cambio climático?

S.D.V.- Está en muy buena posición. Los proveedores desempeñarán un papel de liderazgo en el desarrollo de los trenes de potencia más eficientes y en las innovaciones de movilidad sostenible. Los diversos niveles de electrificación permiten soluciones óptimas específicas para vehículos, desde vehículos urbanos pequeños hasta vehículos de largo alcance, lo que ayuda a reducir las emisiones y el impacto ambiental. Esto significa que tenemos las soluciones, ahora solo necesitamos las condiciones marco adecuadas para respaldarlo. La comunidad de proveedores abogó por una regulación tecnológicamente neutra que garantice que las soluciones más eficientes prevalezcan en el mercado.

Además, los proveedores se comprometen a entregar productos que sean sostenibles desde su concepción hasta el final de su vida útil. Actualmente, más del 85% del peso de los vehículos que alcanzan el final de su ciclo de vida se reutiliza o recicla.

Sin embargo, Europa debe restablecer un campo de juego equilibrado para todas las tecnologías, adoptando un enfoque neutral de políticas y permitiendo que todas las tecnologías puedan competir. La Comisión Europea tiene como objetivo convertir a Europa en el primer continente climáticamente neutral. Esto requiere un plan integral para descarbonizar todos los sectores utilizando soluciones tecnológicas tanto innovadoras como ya existentes. También requiere un fuerte pilar industrial, ya que nosotros somos los que estamos desarrollando y brindando las soluciones.

Lo que vemos, en particular con el diseño de la legislación sobre CO2 para vehículos, es el riesgo de que su cadena de valor industrial se desacople del resto del mundo. Es esencial, ahora que la UE está a punto de embarcarse en el Pacto Verde Europeo (Green Deal), que se evite este desacoplamiento. Los objetivos del Pacto Verde no pueden lograrse sin nuestra competencia industrial para proporcionar soluciones.

Todos estamos de acuerdo: la movilidad eléctrica es una gran solución, pero no es la única. Se necesita una amplia gama de tecnologías y soluciones para alcanzar la neutralidad climática. Más allá de 2030, la UE debe dejar atrás el enfoque del tubo de escape del vehículo en la legislación de CO2 del vehículo y adoptar el planteamiento de evaluación del ciclo de vida. De esta manera, las tecnologías pueden competir en igualdad de condiciones. Para alcanzar el objetivo de una Europa climáticamente neutral, también abogamos por un papel importante para el hidrógeno y los combustibles, gases y materias primas derivados en todos los sectores, incluido el transporte.

AR.- ¿Cuál es la hoja de ruta de CLEPA para el futuro? ¿Cómo puede cada asociación nacional mejorar su apoyo a la asociación europea? ¿Cómo puede CLEPA expandir sus actividades en otros países?

S.D.V.- Nadie comprende mejor la realidad nacional de la industria que las asociaciones nacionales. Son estructuras fuertes que interactúan constantemente con las autoridades gubernamentales, los actores de la industria y los medios de sus propios países. CLEPA confía en ellos para acercar a Europa la dimensión de los Estados miembros, así como para ayudar a difundir mensajes a los gobiernos nacionales. Los intercambios entre asociaciones son una gran fuente de mejores prácticas, por lo que cada ejemplo de flujo de comunicación y difusión de información es significativo. Las asociaciones nacionales también ayudan a CLEPA a tener mejor en cuenta los intereses de las pequeñas y medianas empresas, que representan gran parte de la cadena de valor de la industria proveedora de automoción.

Los proveedores europeos de automóviles son líderes tecnológicos en todo el mundo y los actores de otros países están aumentando su interés en las prácticas y tendencias europeas. Por lo tanto, las actividades de CLEPA no se limitan a la Unión Europea. CLEPA mantiene estrechos intercambios con JAPIA y MEMA, nuestros homólogos en Japón y Estados Unidos.



CLEPA | Living the balancing act in a sustainable economy

The European Parliament declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ earlier this month, not accidentally on the eve of the COP25 meetings in Madrid. The European Commission has presented its first set of plans to bring the European Green Deal to life. And the automotive industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in over a hundred years – to a large part because of the need to decarbonise transport. The other two major trends are assisted and automated driving and connectivity, with all the data-fuelled new mobility types and services that come with it.

in CLEPA, by Sigrid de Vries, 18-12-2019

At CLEPA, we are convinced that no-one can master these challenges on their own. And we believe in European solutions to find and work together.

The urgency to deliver is extremely high. As citizens, we expect innovative solutions to transition towards a sustainable economy, to embed digital opportunities in our daily lives in a safe and secure manner, as well as for Europe to remain competitive worldwide. As businesses, we contribute our world-leading industrial competence and our ability to provide solutions.

The urgency to deliver is extremely high

The European automotive supply industry, therefore, calls on the new European Commission to establish a Digital Single Market for Mobility to unleash the potential of connected mobility and automated driving as well as support reaching environmental targets included in the European Green Deal.

This should go hand in hand with a European masterplan for the mobility industry to harness the potential of technology, strengthen European competitiveness, address key infrastructure needs (both in the fields of energy & digital communication) and ensure safe, sustainable and smart mobility as a cornerstone of society.

Why is this relevant? European automotive suppliers hold an impressive 40% of global revenue in the sector and are a major pillar under the European economy. We want to decarbonise and digitalise, but not deindustrialise.

We want to decarbonise and digitalise, yet not deindustrialise

Suppliers urge the European legislator to build on Europe’s strengths – the Single Market, the continent’s advanced technology competence, its high value-add industrial base, and its global competitiveness – and to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to master the monumental tasks unfolding.

Europe has to be world leader in environmental and digital technology, the automotive industry wants to offer the best range of options for people and businesses to move around, and society needs the conditions to let companies manufacture and employ in Europe.

Automotive suppliers aspire for the future of mobility to be safe, sustainable, smart and competitive. This is the vision CLEPA has laid out in full during the 4th December event Future as we Move – Shaping Solutions of Mobility, opened by the French minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, and the German minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier.

For Europe to secure strategic autonomy in the field of ‘new mobility’, which is safe, sustainable and smart, and to compete effectively with other world regions, there are high levels of investments needed in renewable energy, energy infrastructure, secure and fast connectivity as well as in critical technologies, innovation and skills.

Remaining barriers in the Single Market should be removed

Remaining barriers in the Single Market should be removed. We do have an internal market for automotive products but not for automated driving or for electromobility. Yet, success or failure depends on market acceptance, which in turn relies on a supportive and harmonised European playing field. Last but not least, a functioning, reliable and innovation-friendly legal framework across European borders will be essential too in light of global competition and tendencies to depart from open and rules-based access to global markets.

We must allow for the best solutions to efficiently address our highly diverse mobility needs, to reduce the environmental impact of mobility and to maintain our competitiveness on global markets. Climate policy has to be deeply intertwined with a coherent industrial strategy, in order to ensure that environmental, economic, and social policies are balanced.

Such balance is precarious, and climate protection needs to condition the strategies towards a sustainable economy as much as the social and economic dimensions should.

Wishing the very best for 2020,


Sigrid de Vries

CLEPA Secretary General


Suppliers look to European Commission for leniency on CO2 targets

Suppliers had hoped for a reduction of around 20 percent in CO2 emissions for 2030. Companies are pictured at a meeting of the European suppliers group CLEPA in Brussels last week.

in Automotive News Europe, by Peter Sigal, 11-12-2019

After lobbying for less-stringent emissions targets failed to sway EU legislators, European auto suppliers hope that the new European Commission will be more receptive to their message.

Earlier this year, the EU approved CO2 emissions targets for 2030 that will be 37.5 percent lower than the 2020-21 fleet limit of 95 grams per km. Suppliers and automakers say that the 2030 figure — equivalent to around 60 g/km — will mean a costly and disruptive switch to mass electrification.

The industry had hoped for a reduction of around 20 percent, arguing that they needed more time to prepare and to avoid potential job losses.

Suppliers say they can live with that figure, so long as they have some certainty. “We need a reliable framework,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, the CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen, said an event for the suppliers group CLEPA in Brussels this week.

“The EU decided last year on the toughest emissions regulations worldwide. We’re against discussions to restart new regulations because it creates uncertainty.”

Roberto Vavassori, the president of CLEPA, said suppliers would make sure their voice was heard when the next round of emissions targets is considered.

“Beyond 2030 we want to work well in advance to suggest new regulations, “said Vavassori, who is a board member at brake manufacturer Brembo. Any new rules, he said, should take into account life cycle assessment, meaning a vehicle’s entire carbon footprint, rather than tailpipe emissions.

The new Commission, under President Ursula von der Leyen, took office Dec. 1 and will serve for five years. The Commission has the final vote on EU legislation and rules changes.

Von der Leyen signaled that the Commission will take a hard line on greenhouse gas emissions, declaring a climate “emergency” ahead of the recent COP 25 climate summit in Madrid and seeking to reduce 2030 carbon emissions to at least 50 percent, up from an earlier target of 40 percent.

Looking further ahead, the Commission’s “green new deal” is targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a goal that Von der Leyen seeks to enshrine into law.

Vavassori and others said the VW diesel-emissions scandal had caused a rift between regulators and the automotive industry.

“The fight that started after dieselgate left our industry without a voice, without the possibility to represent the facts and figures correctly,” he said. “We see opportunity now with the new Commission.”

Faurecia CEO Patrick Koller said the diesel scandal had “triggered two things: The regulations and a kind of antagonism between politicians and the industry.”

“This antagonism was counterproductive, and it happened in a very short period of time,” Koller added. “It’s my belief we ended up with (emissions) penalties because of this. These penalties are a real pain, because if you have to pay them you can’t invest that money into transforming the industry.”

Vlad-Marius Botos, a newly elected member of the European Parliament from Romania, said EU legislators were committed to going carbon-neutral by 2050, but added, “We will do our best to ensure the internal market will not suffer: to meet targets.”

Botos, who worked as a manager for an automotive company, called for a better relationship between the automotive sector and legislators. “I know we can do better if we work together rather than fight and point fingers,” he said. “This time you are called to do more. You know as well as we do that this is the time to act on the environment.”



Green deal needs to balance climate protection, economy and social dimension

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented today the Communication on the European Green Deal, detailing next steps in climate policy, including the announcement of a proposal to enshrine the 2050 climate neutrality objective in legislation. The Commission also sets out to adopt proposals for specific sectors, such as a revision of the CO2 standards for light duty vehicles, deployment of charging infrastructure, support for alternative fuels and more stringent pollutant emission standards.

in CLEPA, 11-12-2019

Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe, comments:

“The automotive suppliers of Europe are a driving force behind the transformation to sustainable, safe and smart mobility. We support the Paris agreement and are ready to contribute to a reliable, technology-open and ambitious regulatory framework to achieve its objectives. We urge the European legislators to build on Europe’s strengths — the single market, the continent’s advanced technology competence, its high value-add industrial base and global competitiveness — and to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to master the monumental tasks unfolding.”

“Ideally, climate policies would be deeply intertwined with a coherent industrial strategy, which ensures that environmental, economic and social policies are balanced. Such balance is precarious and climate protection must condition the strategies towards a sustainable economy as much as the social and economic dimensions should.”

“The recently agreed CO2 limits for cars are the world’s most ambitious and will spark real progress towards defossilisation and cleaner air. An earlier revision of the CO2 standards may provide a good opportunity to take stock of progress and to examine whether industry and society are on the right path. However, such revision cannot realistically include a renewed debate on the level of ambition so shortly after adoption. Focus should now turn to enabling the transformation.”

“We advocate for an even more intense and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders concerned.  In the crucial and highly-complex area of electrification, we now first and urgently need to enable scale. This means forging a high level of collaboration across Europe to secure the necessary charging infrastructure, stepping up renewable energy generation, promoting green public procurement, and enabling development and production of next-generation batteries.”

“There is additional decarbonisation potential in the car fleet which can be realised without changing the current CO2 regulation. This includes making the use of e-fuels a reality by putting binding targets in the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and Renewable Energy Directive, establishing the emission trading system for the road transport sector, promoting the modal shift via Eurovignette and Combined Transport Directives, improving the prospects for hydrogen and increasing investment in R&D.”

“Automotive suppliers are technology solution providers and stand ready to work together towards the common objectives.”