CLEPA’s Materials Regulations and Sustainability Event 2024: A Landmark Gathering of Global Automotive Experts

CLEPA, the European association representing the automotive supply industry, successfully concluded the 16th edition of its Materials Regulations and Sustainability event (MRSE), held on 27 & 28 June in Frankfurt. The event marked a significant milestone, attracting over 250 attendees from around the world, to discuss the latest advancements in material compliance and sustainability in the automotive industry.

in CLEPA, 03-07-2024


The two-day event featured keynote speeches from industry leaders, such as BMW and Forvia, and representatives from key initiatives including the Responsible Business Alliance and CSR Europe. In addition, several product manufacturers exhibited cutting-edge innovations, driving discourse on materials compliance and sustainability solutions in the sector.

“Automotive suppliers are driving sustainability and innovation in Europe, investing billions in clean technologies.” said Benjamin Krieger, CLEPA’s Secretary General during his opening remarks, “But to keep this momentum, we need smart regulations that balance safety and innovation. We are calling on policymakers to focus on practical implementation and recognise that progress often comes step by step. With the right framework, we can innovate, compete globally, and achieve our shared goal of a climate-neutral future.”

PFAS Regulation: A balanced approach needed

The event kicked-off with a critical session on PFAS (Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), used in various automotive applications. Daniel Kruff from Continental highlighted the collaborative efforts of CLEPA and ACEA, the European vehicle manufacturers’ association, on a new PFAS restriction proposal. He emphasised the necessity of identifying and testing alternative materials that meet safety and performance standards without compromising quality. PFAS are still largely indispensable for the green transition, and identifying suitable substitutes requires substantial investment and sufficient lead time. Instead of sweeping bans, CLEPA and ACEA call for smart regulation that balances safety with the potential for innovation.

End-of-Life Vehicles: Paving the way for automotive circularity

During the session titled ‘ELV – The Future of Automotive Circularity,’ Jaco Huisman from DG Environment and Elena Spoeri from ZF discussed the significance of the End-of-Life Vehicles Regulation for the circular economy in the automotive sector. The regulation introduces a new definition of remanufacturing that aims to ensure that parts fit for reuse and remanufacturing are not wasted. However, Stefan Hillstroem from BMW cautioned against excessive red tape, suggesting that EU regulations should concentrate on overarching targets like CO2 abatement, supported by a harmonised global carbon accounting framework. The automotive industry remains committed to increasing the use of sustainable materials, while also considering aspects of economic and technical feasibility.

Global perspectives and legislative updates

The first day concluded with insights on legislative developments from speakers across four regions – Japan, North America, India and China. European regulations are significantly impacting businesses worldwide, and CLEPA continues to prioritise bringing together stakeholders from various automotive regions to enhance international dialogue and cooperation and global harmonisation.

To reinforce this effort, CLEPA hosted a meeting of the Suppliers Alliance the day before the MRSE, bringing together CLEPA, JAPIA and AIAG to discuss upcoming developments on IMDS and sustainability issues, such as PFAS and Automotive Product Carbon footprint.

Corporate Sustainability and global supply chains

On the second day, Pedro Grossinho from Joyson Safety Systems and Chair of CLEPA’s Sustainability & CSR sub-expert group, moderated four sessions bringing together representatives from RSCI, RBA and CSR Europe to discuss corporate sustainability in the automotive sector.

Ensuring that all materials and components comply with environmental and ethical standards requires complex tracking and documentation processes across global supply chains. Recent files on the Corporate Reporting Sustainability Directive, Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, deforestation and taxonomy were highlighted, underscoring the challenges of identifying and mitigating risks related to environmental violations, human rights abuses, and other issues in the supply chain. Robust auditing mechanisms and, above all, coordination and harmonisation across existing systems are essential to reduce the administrative burden on companies.

This event was kindly sponsored by DXC Technology.

 

 

Presidente da AFIA reeleito para o Conselho Diretor da CLEPA

Varsóvia foi o palco da mais recente Assembleia-Geral da CLEPA onde José Couto, Presidente da AFIA, foi reeleito para o Conselho Diretor da CLEPA para o período 2024-2026.

in AFIA, 28-06-2024


A eleição foi efetuada no passado dia 13 de junho tendo recolhido a unanimidade dos votos dos presentes.

A CLEPA – European Association of Automotive Suppliers, associação europeia dos fornecedores da indústria automóvel, fundada em 1959 e com sede em Bruxelas é a entidade que defende os interesses do setor a nível europeu sendo reconhecida como parceira natural de discussão por outras instituições europeias, pelas Nações Unidas e por outras associações parceiras.

A CLEPA reúne 120 dos mais importantes fornecedores de componentes para automóveis, sistemas e módulos, bem como 20 associações nacionais, entre as quais a AFIA, assim como outras associações setoriais europeias.

A indústria europeia de componentes automóveis é líder mundial no fornecimento de componentes de ponta e tecnologia inovadora para a mobilidade segura, inteligente e sustentável, investindo mais de 30 mil milhões de euros por ano em investigação e desenvolvimento.

Os fornecedores da indústria automóvel empregam diretamente, na União Europeia, 1.700.000 pessoas.

A reeleição de José Couto para o Conselho Diretor da CLEPA vem dar uma força e visibilidade acrescida à AFIA e consequentemente à indústria portuguesa de componentes automóveis, sendo esta nomeação o reconhecimento do prestígio individual do nomeado, mas também o reconhecimento da crescente importância internacional da indústria de componentes automóveis portuguesa.

 

 

CLEPA 2024 General Assembly welcomes Polish state representatives for discussions on driving the automotive transformation forward

The 2024 CLEPA General Assembly, held in Warsaw, welcomed more than 100 participants, representing 11 national associations and 80 corporate and associate members to discuss the future of the automotive industry in Poland, and across the EU.

in CLEPA, 19-06-2024


The Assembly was inaugurated by Mr. Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler and President of CLEPA, who emphasised the industry’s pivotal role in transforming European mobility, and the challenges and opportunities the transition presents.

“In today’s political climate, dialogue is crucial for progress. As we look globally, America promotes, China strategically plans, and Europe regulates. CLEPA has consistently advocated for policies to shape the transition in a way that supports competitiveness. Poland, with its remarkable growth as the seventh-largest exporter of vehicle parts and components, plays a key role in this journey. Our collective efforts and broader collaboration will be crucial to ensure a competitive and green future for Europe’s automotive industry.”

CLEPA Secretary General, Mr. Benjamin Krieger, saw the approval of the association’s membership composition and annual accounts. He also outlined the achievements of the association over the last year and reaffirmed the industry’s commitment to Europe’s twin transition.

“Europe is at a turning point driven by the transition and increased global competition. Automotive suppliers are at the forefront of innovation, developing the components and solutions for clean vehicles that will propel Europe’s transition to greener and smarter transportation. Our expertise puts us in a unique position to shape this shift in a way that also bolsters competitiveness and drives growth.”

The two-day programme also featured prominent speakers including Minister Krzysztof Bolesta, Secretary of State from Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, who emphasises three priorities of climate action, competitiveness and the need for a strategic vision.

Mr. Henning Rennert, Partner, PwC Strategy& also presented an update on investing and financing the industry’s transformation.

On the second day, CLEPA members were joined by Ministers Mi?osz Motyka, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Climate and Environment and Ignacy Niemczycki, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.

This year’s Assembly was co-organised by the Association of Automotive Parts Distributors and Producers (SDCM). Mr. Tomasz Beben, President of the SDCM Management Board, stated:

“Over the past 30 years, Poland has become one of the world leaders in the production of automotive parts. What’s more, our position in the global market is growing every year, and we are now already the seventh largest exporter of vehicle parts and components. It is therefore no coincidence that the largest meeting of European automotive parts manufacturers was held in Warsaw. We are happy to be a part of the CLEPA community and are ready to continue working together for the development of the industry in Poland and Europe.”

During the Roundtable discussions, Mr. Mark Nicklas, Head of Unit, European Commission’s DG GROW, shared his insights on the green transition of the automotive industry in Eastern Europe:

“Central Eastern European car makers have set a strong footprint on the region’s manufacturing and supply chain capabilities. New transformation strategies and identifying the enabling factors will be important to fully leverage the opportunities of the green transition for the CEE’s potential as an automotive hub for Europe.”

The General Assembly also confirmed new and re-elected members of the CLEPA Board, and recognised 9 new members, as listed below.

New corporate members:

  • ABEE
  • Deutz
  • DOW
  • Good Year
  • JOST
  • LG Electronics
  • PHINIA
  • TRANE Technologies

New associate member:

  • Upstream

 

 

CLEPA Press release | Tariffs might buy us time, but won’t reverse the threat to EU competitiveness

The European Commission today announced its provisional decision to increase tariffs on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) manufactured in China and exported into the European Union. The additional tariffs, ranging from 17.4% to 38.1%, seek to redress a distortion of competition due to subsidisation and will be added to the existing tariff of 10%. Unless China and the EU are able to resolve the issue, the tariffs will apply as of 4 July.

in CLEPA, 12-06-2024


Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of CLEPA, stated: “The European Commission is right to be concerned about the competitiveness of the EU as a manufacturing hub and the challenges posed by Chinese manufacturers, but tariffs can only provide a temporary respite and bear the risk of retaliation.

Global trade requires a level-playing field and may necessitate corrective measures. However, protectionism cannot be the answer to restoring European competitiveness. Consolidated efforts are needed to make the EU attractive again for investment.”

China’s automotive market represents a third of the global industry, and many European suppliers provide components and systems to both international and Chinese automakers. Even Chinese-built BEVs often incorporate many components and technologies manufactured by European suppliers.

Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are accelerating product development cycles and investing roughly €70 billion annually in R&D to reinforce their competitive edge. Europe’s main challenge is not a lack of innovative capacity but rather high energy costs, regulatory incoherence, and limited access to capital and public funding, which increasingly lead to innovations being manufactured abroad.

Instead of relying on protectionist measures that could hamper European companies’ access to crucial markets, EU policymakers should focus on making the EU more competitive.

CLEPA identifies five priorities to strengthen EU competitiveness:

  1. Bolster investment for industrialisation: Establish an EU industrial transformation fund to derisk investments of innovative green and digital mobility innovations, with special focus on existing facilities and key technologies for climate-neutral mobility.
  2. Create a supportive regulatory environment: Develop a coherent and enabling regulatory framework for the automotive industry, with emphasis on technology-openness, a reduction of the administrative burden and realistic targets.
  3. Affordable and secure supply of energy and raw materials: Reduce the cost of manufacturing by lowering energy prices, promoting the deployment of renewable energy, and concerted efforts to help diversify the raw materials supply chain.
  4. Develop critical infrastructure: Foster a coordinated approach among member states to strengthen enabling conditions, such as the deployment of charging and refuelling infrastructure, green hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuel production, and the development of the grid and digital infrastructure.
  5. Support market access: Strengthen the Single Market, including through regulating access to in-vehicle data to foster the development of digital mobility services. Facilitate access to global markets, capital and skilled workers through a coordinated effort among EU member states.

By addressing these priorities, CLEPA aims to enhance the competitiveness of the European automotive industry, ensuring it remains a global market leader and at the forefront of innovation and sustainability.

 

 

CLEPA releases new position paper on End-of-life Vehicle Regulation

CLEPA has published a new position paper addressing the proposed End-of-life Vehicle Regulation (ELVR), a significant legislation for the automotive supply industry. This regulation is set to advance a circular economy and support decarbonisation efforts. While CLEPA supports the Commission’s aim to expand the scope of the ELVR, we recommend clarifying certain drafted articles to provide businesses with greater certainty and ensure seamless implementation of the legislation. Additionally, harmonising ELVR with other applicable policies, such as the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), Batteries Regulation, Waste Framework Directive, and other environmental and chemicals legislation, will be essential for the industry.

in CLEPA, 10-06-2024


The position paper provides a comprehensive overview of challenges and offers key recommendations from the European automotive supply industry. It outlines our priorities for the proposal, currently under discussion within the European institutions:

  • Technology-neutral recycled content targets: Achievable and aligned with the EU’s decarbonisation goals, these targets are an effective circularity measure. To ensure the production of newly type-approved vehicles, the Commission should assess the availability of recycled plastics after the adoption of the Regulation to determine the necessity of a more flexible approach to the origin of secondary plastic feedstock.
  • Harmonised calculation methodology for recycled content: We urgently call for EU-harmonised rules for calculating and verifying chemically recycled content using chain of custody (e.g. mass balance approach).
  • Addressing legacy substances: ELVR must tackle the issue of accumulated legacy substances, aligning with other relevant automotive substance legislation.
    Streamlined information requirements: Clear reporting thresholds and requirements are essential for effective compliance.
  • Acknowledging the role of remanufacturing: The regulation should better recognise remanufacturing and its operators. We recommend adopting the industry-agreed definition of “Remanufacturing” and defining the different activities during the treatment process separately in Article 3.
  • Removal of parts for reuse or remanufacturing: This process should remain driven by market demand and ecological feasibility.

 

 

https://clepa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/ELV_PositionPaper_10.06.2024_Final.pdf

 

 

 

CLEPA New Position Paper: Green Claims Directive should support customers in making sustainable choices

  • Automotive suppliers are actively developing strategies and pre-competitive partnerships to provide sound, reliable and comparable tools to measure sustainability progress
  • Uncertainty in the text, legal concerns and financial costs of certifications could prevent companies from communicating about their achievements
  • CLEPA urges the Council and the subsequent Trilogue negotiations to ensure that the new legislation will support transparency, benchmarking and information exchange

in CLEPA, 08-05-2024


The proposal 2023/0085 for a Directive by the European Council and the Parliament on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (Green Claims Directive), aims to enhance sustainability and address the risk of greenwashing in product communication. While CLEPA supports this effort, in its current form, the Green Claims Directive may negatively impact the transition towards more sustainable products. A comprehensive overview of challenges and recommendations by the European automotive supply industry can be found in CLEPA’s new position paper.

Fact-based communication on the environmental contribution of products and services ensures a level-playing field for market actors in the sector. Automotive suppliers have been developing strategies and pre-competitive partnerships to provide sound, reliable and comparable tools to measure sustainability progress. Automotive supply companies acknowledge the importance of transparently communicating on the sustainability of their products. This communication not only empowers consumers to make informed choices, but also fosters a marketplace that promotes truly sustainable products. The Green Claims Directive should aid consumers in discerning between products of varying degrees of sustainability, thereby encouraging greater transparency and accountability across industry.

However, the Green Claims Directive could, in its current form, introduce an excessively high bar for sustainability communication. Uncertainty in the text, legal concerns and financial costs of certifications may result in preventing companies from communicating about sustainability entirely, which would, in turn, mean less transparency for customers. To achieve a sustainable economy, consumers need to be able to not only identify the best-in-class performing product, but also to distinguish between better and worse products. It is therefore crucial that the efforts to substantiate environmental claims are proportional to the competitive advantages that such claims bring to the market.

CLEPA suggests addressing the following elements, explained in depth in the position paper:

  • Subjective wording and definitions
  • Mandatory third-party verification
  • Lack of harmonisation

If companies are not able to benchmark themselves and their products on sustainability, there is a very concrete risk that no market interest and consumer request can be leveraged to afford the significant investments that are needed upfront and throughout the greening process. We urge the Council and the subsequent Trilogue negotiations to consider these aspects and develop a harmonised legislation that creates a level-playing field for EU stakeholders; and not a barrier to environmental communication.

 

DOWNLOAD THE NEW CLEPA POSITION

 


About CLEPA

  • CLEPA represents over 3,000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over €30 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers directly employ about 1.7 million people in Europe.

 

 

 

 

CLEPA | European automotive suppliers face unprecedented uncertainty amid shrinking profit margins

CLEPA and McKinsey & Company unveil the latest insights into the European automotive supply industry’s health and sentiment through its bi-annual survey. With over 130 responses, the survey provides comprehensive perspectives on the sector’s business climate, trends, current challenges and opportunities.

in CLEPA, 16-04-2024


  • A prevailing sense of uncertainty leads to 42% of suppliers expressing a negative outlook, signalling a decline in overall industry sentiment.
  • 65% of suppliers expecting profits to remain low, and approximately a quarter expecting to operate at break-even or facing losses.
  • Survey indicated a modest outlook for business growth in China, with 31% of suppliers expecting a substantial share of future business from this market.
  • In response to mounting challenges, suppliers are seeking to optimise investment, including in R&D, while accelerating product development cycles.

The European automotive supply industry, a vital pillar of the EU economy, is confronted with volatility and uncertainty from both their customers and upstream suppliers. Despite facing substantial headwinds, industry players maintain a cautious optimism, navigating through challenges and strategising for transformation.

Industry sentiment and profitability projections

High levels of uncertainty surrounding new projects and EV demand in Europe, coupled with pressure from vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) to cut costs and concerns regarding EU competitiveness, are contributing to the deterioration of business sentiment in the sector. As a result of these challenges, 25% of suppliers anticipate operating at marginal or negative profitability levels, while only 37% expect profitability above 5%. While 47% of suppliers expect an increase in revenues for 2024, 31% expect a decline.

Lukas Michor, co-leader of McKinsey’s EMEA supplier practice states, “The outlook for the automotive supply industry has worsened over the past twelve months. While some suppliers managed to structurally improve their cost base during COVID-19 and are now able to reap the benefits from it, most continue to face significant challenges. The high uncertainty with regards to the future market development and the transition to electric vehicles are key concerns.”

The Pulse Check reveals that suppliers are facing tough price negotiations from OEMs, with 74% citing insufficient OEM compensations as the most pressing operational challenge, followed by demand reduction (52%), disruptions in the supply chain (24%) and suppliers moving to other industries (20%). Correspondingly, 70% of respondents prioritise engaging in commercial re-negotiations with OEM customers to offset inflationary production costs.

Benjamin Krieger, CLEPA’s Secretary General, underscores the sector’s concerns, stating, “More than half of European suppliers fear production costs are making the EU uncompetitive, and 65% of the sector is operating at profitability levels that are not sufficient to sustain investments. The deterioration in sentiment on both of these fronts compared to six months ago, highlights the need to enhance EU competitiveness.”

Outlook for business growth and resource allocation

The survey also highlights strategic challenges, including decreasing EU competitiveness due to high production costs (54%) and faster technology implementation in other regions (39%). Forecasts indicate a modest outlook for business growth from China, with only 31% of suppliers expecting a substantial share of future business from this market.

In response to mounting challenges, suppliers are intensifying resource allocation towards R&D and production while streamlining efficiency gains. Additionally, 58% of respondents identify material and component design optimisation as key for achieving an optimised cost structure, while 54% emphasise the importance of efficiency gains in manufacturing.

Moreover, European suppliers express decreasing EU competitiveness due to the high production cost structure (54%) and faster technology implementation in other regions (39%) as major strategic challenges. Cost competitiveness and product development cycles are also of specific concern for suppliers operating in China.

Difficulty implementing OEM requirements (24%) and compliance with emission targets (22%) are strategic concerns for a smaller part of the supply chain. However, CO2 reduction targets are a major challenge for the industry as a whole, with 52% considering required changes in the supply chain and production footprint as the most relevant challenge.

The survey also revealed the need for hiring and developing skilled talent, including software engineers, as a major challenge. Two-thirds of suppliers are currently re-skilling their workforce or are planning to do so, indicating a proactive response to the talent challenge.

 


 

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 €30 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe directly employ 1.7 million people in the EU.

 

About McKinsey

  • McKinsey is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organizations accelerate sustainable and inclusive growth. We work with clients across the private, public, and social sectors to solve complex problems and create positive change for all their stakeholders. We combine bold strategies and transformative technologies to help organizations innovate more sustainably, achieve lasting gains in performance, and build workforces that will thrive for this generation and the next.

 

 

Auto sector CEOs to EU leaders: Europe needs robust Industry Deal to make the Green Deal happen

13 CEOs of leading European vehicle manufacturers and automotive suppliers met today with the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra, for an ‘Automotive Roundtable’ to discuss the green transition of the sector. This was preceded by a meeting with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, ahead of next week’s EU Summit on competitiveness.

in CLEPA, 10-04-2024


The auto industry – one of the most important sectors of the EU economy – is at a critical junction as it makes its biggest transformation in the last century, revving up to meet the world’s most ambitious CO2 reduction targets for vehicles.

Automotive manufacturers and suppliers want to maintain production in Europe, keeping jobs and investment in the region. But they are currently facing a ‘perfect storm’ of fierce global competition for critical resources, funding, investments and customers, compounded by rising costs of doing business, a radically changing geopolitical landscape, and an electric vehicle market that is far from mature. Given these profound challenges, Europe must strengthen its competitiveness and build a stronger business case for the auto industry’s green and digital transition.

Mr Hoekstra committed to holding this roundtable during his confirmation hearing in the European Parliament, as he stepped into his role as Climate Commissioner late last year. Its aim was to identify the practical barriers to implementing the Green Deal, and possible ways to address these.

Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group and President of ACEA: “EU car manufacturers are strongly committed to decarbonisation, investing over €250 billion in electrification, but we cannot make this transition alone. Europe needs to create the conditions for competitiveness and market demand for electric vehicles. These include charging and hydrogen refilling infrastructure, a sufficient supply of critical raw materials, better access to finance, and market incentives. In other words, a holistic industrial strategy will be the key to achieve Europe’s green ambitions.”

Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies at SCHAEFFLER and President of CLEPA: “Europe’s automotive suppliers drive innovation and sustainability with €30 billion in annual R&D investments and 1.7 million direct jobs. Suppliers are key enablers of the transition, bringing smart and sustainable mobility solutions to market. However, in the context of a challenging economic environment, a downturn in EV adoption and diminishing profits within the supply chain, funding the transition becomes key. It is therefore crucial to ensure that framework conditions are in place to de-risk investments in innovative technologies and the transformation of facilities and our workforce. The regulatory framework must remain ambitious yet flexible to keep Europe competitive. This will help us reach our goals faster and more efficiently while also catering to consumer needs.”

During the roundtable, both European truck and bus manufacturers and automotive suppliers underscored the pressing need for getting zero-emission trucks and buses on roads. The sector is committed to providing the right trucks and buses to move the road transport industry into fossil-free solutions by 2040, focused on battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. Technology neutrality should remain a guiding principle ensuring that all technologies contribute to decarbonisation efforts. Recognising that the internal combustion engine will continue to play a long-term role in heavy-duty transport, climate-neutral solutions and other complementary technologies will be needed to meet our climate targets. But the overarching challenge persists. Achieving the CO2 reduction targets remains highly ambitious in the near absence of vital enabling conditions, such as a dense network of truck-suitable charging and refuelling stations and a supportive carbon pricing framework to ensure cost parity for zero-emission vehicles. The European auto sector calls on Europe’s policy makers to take ambitious action to address these concerns.

 


 

Notes to editors

The CEOs present at the Automotive Industry Roundtable with Commissioner Hoekstra were:

Vehicle manufacturers / ACEA:

  • Luca De Meo, CEO, Renault Group; President of ACEA
  • Harald Seidel, President, DAF Trucks NV; Chairperson of ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board
  • Martin Sander, CEO, Ford in Europe
  • Domenico Nucera, President, Bus Business Unit, Iveco Group; Chairperson of ACEA bus and coach division
  • Ola Källenius, CEO, Mercedes Benz Group AG
  • Christian Levin, President and CEO, Scania Group
  • Didier Leroy, Chairman of the Board of Management, Toyota Motor Europe
  • Thomas Schäfer, Member of the Board, Volkswagen Group; CEO, Volkswagen Brand; Head of Brand Group Core

Automotive suppliers / CLEPA:

  • Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive, SCHAEFFLER?and President of CLEPA
  • Dr Markus Heyn, Chairman Mobility, ROBERT BOSCH GmbH
  • Marco Stella, CEO, Duerre Tubi Style SpA
  • Patrick Koller, CEO, FORVIA
  • Dr Holger Klein, CEO, ZF

 

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/

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 €30 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers directly employ 1.7 million people in the EU.
  • Visit clepa.eu for more information about CLEPA, and follow us on https://twitter.com/CLEPA_eu or www.linkedin.com/company/clepa

 

 

CLEPA Press Release: Fair regulation will enable greener and smarter solutions for the aftermarket and a stronger mobility ecosystem in Europe

  • Market outlook: Industry leaders emphasise the need for a clearer legislative framework to unlock innovation and competitiveness in the aftermarket.
  • Advocacy for fair regulation: CLEPA calls for a sector-specific legislation, and supports the intention of the Commission to regulate secure access to OBD only if covering all vehicle interfaces.
  • Innovation takes centre stage: 10 start-ups pitch cutting-edge aftermarket solutions, offering promising advancements in sustainability, talent acquisition, customer experience, and more.

in CLEPA, 26-03-2024


The automotive aftermarket in Europe faces a transformative landscape shaped by sustainability policies, technological advancements, and evolving regulatory frameworks. Ahead of the upcoming European elections, the 15th edition of the CLEPA Aftermarket Conference welcomed a distinguished line-up of policymakers, specialists and trendsetters providing insights and strategic guidance for a more competitive mobility ecosystem.

The event, held on 20 & 21 March in Brussels under the theme “Digital and Sustainable Solutions for a Competitive Aftermarket,” brought together over 250 participants, including top-level speakers from the European Commission and industry.

In his welcome speech, CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, stated: “Achieving sustainability strategies will only be possible with public support for the derisking of investments in new technologies and rules which are coherent and consistently in line with policy objectives. Looking towards the European elections, we have seen five years of unprecedented political and regulatory activity – now is the time to focus on implementation of these policies.”

CLEPA President, Matthias Zink, reaffirmed his commitment to shaping policies that foster climate action while supporting a competitive EU industry: “The overall regulatory framework in Europe must remain ambitious yet flexible to empower continuous innovation and allow all solutions to play their part. This will help us reach our goals faster and more efficiently while also catering to consumer choice.”

A line-up of 10 innovative start-ups showcased cutting-edge technologies in electrification, sustainability, big data and AI, offering a glimpse into future services in the aftermarket. Canadian BL Innovare won ‘best pitch’ for presenting their touchless drive-thru inspection system, capable of capturing thousands of measurements per second, offering a comprehensive vehicle check from documentation of the outer vehicle shape to the measurement of the wheel alignment angles.

On Day 2 of the conference, the first session centred on the legislative environment and market outlook for the European aftermarket, setting the stage for discussions on industry trends and regulatory developments.

Debbie Capell of S&P Global outlined major trends impacting the European aftermarket, including electrification and the surge of Chinese battery electric vehicles. Louise Wohrne, Chair of the Forum on Automotive Aftermarket Sustainability (FAAS), highlighted the association’s commitment to advancing sustainability along the aftermarket value chain. Mariam Lochoshvili from Next Automotive Aftermarket Generation (NAAG) focused on how talent acquisition and retention can be improved in the automotive industry. Sebastian Kempf of McKinsey presented a use case demonstrating how generative AI is unlocking new opportunities in mobility and the aftermarket, leveraging the complexity of the aftermarket business to drive AI-based solutions.

In the second session, Marcus Sacré and Thomas Funke from Osborne Clarke delivered a keynote on the relevance of the Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI)-legislation and the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption regulation (MVBER), highlighting enforcement challenges. This presentation was followed by a panel discussion focusing on how to maintain a level-playing field for vehicle repairers. The panel featured Mark Nicklas, Head of Unit Mobility at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Laurianne Krid from FIA Region I, Jeremy Smith from Belron and Jan-Willem van der Linden from CECRA. Discussions revolved around the legal framework’s role in maintaining competitiveness among aftermarket players. While sector-specific legislation on access to data remains in discussion in the Commission, the panel emphasised the immediate priority of regulating secure access to the On-board Diagnostics (OBD) and ensuring secure spare parts installation. CLEPA calls for a sector-specific legislation, and supports the intention of the Commission to regulate secure access to OBD only if covering all vehicle interfaces. Consensus was reached on the necessity of a clear legal framework to uphold competition and consumer choice, with the RMI-legislation and MVBER emerging as essential pillars with heightened relevance in the future.

The final session focused on the impact of AI technology and electrification on the aftermarket. Stefan van Dalen (Hella), Adnan Cemal (Hella Gutmann) and Bastian Mertens (AHEAD Automotive) introduced AI-powered aftermarket service solutions designed to aid technicians in navigating the complexities of various technologies. Alma Oprasic (Exfluency) showcased a translation tool using AI for multilingual technical documentation and repair manuals. Richard Stooß (Authentic Vision) and Alfred Wimmer (Dana) showed their approach to smart customer engagement through secure product authentication. Bas Wintjes (WESP) explained how data can be used to make repair shops even more efficient and profitable and Marlies Doornenbal (Auto Totaal Houten) and Michael Dittmar (Dittmar & Stachowiak) concluded the session by emphasising the importance of investing in the capability to offer service and maintenance for battery electric vehicles.

Frank Schlehuber, CLEPA Senior Consultant for Market Affairs, closed the 15th edition of the conference with an optimistic note, stating: “We are on the right track towards sustainability, and technologies like AI are pivotal in simplifying processes for a green and digital transformation. The Commission’s focus on formulating a new regulation for secure access to OBD signals progress, yet the challenge remains in extending this general solution to all available vehicle interfaces. I invite all to advocate for secure and fair access to vehicle interfaces, essential to sustaining a green and competitive, as well as an affordable and consumer-friendly, mobility ecosystem in Europe.”

The next edition of the CLEPA Aftermarket Conference is planned for Spring 2025.

 


 

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 €35 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers directly employ 1.7 million people in the EU.

 

CLEPA welcomes additional weight allowances for zero-emission technologies, but urges further progress in upcoming Council negotiations

Following the European Parliament vote on the Weights and Dimensions Directive, CLEPA underlines the need for further improvements and clarifications in the approved text, which would be vital for the efficient implementation of the new criteria and the uptake of zero-emission technologies in the heavy-duty (HDV) transport sector.

in CLEPA, 12-03-2024


CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, states: “We are committed to the uptake of zero-emission technologies as part of an overall technology-diverse approach for heavy-duty vehicles. This is crucial to the heavy-duty sector and the EU’s climate neutrality ambition. The Parliament approved important amendments to increase the weight allowances for vehicle combinations with zero-emission trailer technologies, though further improvements are necessary for the efficient implementation of the regulation.”

Mr. Krieger goes on to say: “Making zero-emission trailer technologies in the heavy-duty sector available requires the appropriate regulatory incentives. Industry needs clear definitions of those technologies and their potential must be highlighted to eliminate any legal obstacles. Member States should address these elements to optimise the potential of zero-emission technologies, including an increase of the axle load for the truck-trailer combinations, the recognition of hydrogen powertrains and the use of the aforementioned trailer technologies with conventional trucks for emission reduction in the medium-term.”

 


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  • 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 €30 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe directly employ 1.7 million people in the EU.