CO2 targets – Automotive suppliers urge co-legislators to take into account the risk for employment

Member States in the Council have adopted their position (‘general approach’) on the regulation for CO2 targets for cars and vans. Environment ministers decided to raise the target for cars for 2030 by 5 percentage points to 35%, raise the threshold of the mechanism to incentivise zero and low emission vehicles by 5 percentage points to 35% whilst better weighting low emission vehicles in the mechanism.

in CLEPA, 10-10-2018


“Both the European Parliament and the governments in the Council have now opted to increase the level of ambition. Automotive suppliers see the targets that have been proposed by the European Commission as challenging yet balanced. Going strongly beyond the Commission proposal carries risks to the industrial footprint of the automotive suppliers industry in Europe, putting high-value jobs in the balance”, says Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of the association of the automotive suppliers industry (CLEPA). “Automotive suppliers advocate an ambitious transformation rather than negative disruption.”


“It will be crucial to not set the targets too high and provide the right boundary conditions through a positive incentive mechanism for low and zero emission vehicles. Specifically, a ‘malus’ as requested by the Parliament will have a negative effect. Better weighting of low emission vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids, is positive”, says de Vries.


“Only a technology neutral regulation will ensure that emissions will be reduced efficiently. However, there is strong pressure towards favouring battery-electric vehicles at the expense of other solutions, such as hybridisation and alternative fuels, which have a major potential to contribute to decarbonisation. Furthermore, it will be important to confirm that the step forward to well-to-wheel or life-cycle analysis will be done in future legislation.”


“Automotive suppliers fully support the goal of decarbonising mobility and produce a wealth of technologies to achieve this. It is a declared aim to remain globally competitive with a large variety of smart, safe and green mobility-related technologies, supporting the jobs of five million people in Europe today. Competitive regulation supporting both the environment as well as employment is a key to Europe’s success.”


Tripartite negotiations between Council, European Parliament and Commission are scheduled to begin today.



Automotive suppliers urge co-legislators to stay with CO2 targets proposed by European Commission

Today, the Plenary of the European Parliament has taken the position for a reduction of 40% of carbon emissions from new passenger cars and vans by 2030, well beyond the European Commission proposal, as well as rules to mandate the sales of electric vehicles. These are the key outcomes of a vote in Strasbourg today.

in CLEPA, 03-10-2018


“The European Commission proposal of a 30% reduction is a challenging yet realistic target, based on a thorough evaluation of the various elements at stake, environmental priorities prevailing”, comments Roberto Vavassori, President of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry. “We call on the co-legislators not to go beyond the original proposal. Any target above 30% is exposing our industry to a concrete risk of disruption.”


Member States are expected to take a decision on their position on October 9 at the Environment Council. Once both institutions have adopted their respective positions, tripartite negotiations will resume with the aim of agreeing and adopting the legislation.


“Automotive suppliers fully support the goal of decarbonising mobility and produce a wealth of technologies to achieve this. Technology neutrality is an important compass which regulators should not abandon, as it enables the deployment of the broadest spectrum of solutions. Today´s vote, however, favours Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) at the expense of other solutions, such as hybridisation and alternative fuels, which have a major potential to contribute to decarbonisation as well,” adds Vavassori.


“It is our declared aim to remain globally competitive with a large variety of smart, safe and green mobility-related technologies, supporting the jobs of five million people in Europe today. Competitive regulation supporting both the environment as well as employment is a key to Europe’s success”, says Vavassori.


“It is crucial too that the boundary conditions for the regulation will be improved in the weeks to come”, says Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA Secretary General. “Today, MEPs not only voted for a stricter regime for ‘eco-innovations’, technology solutions which reduce emissions without being recognised by the test cycle. They also supported a ‘malus’, a penalty for vehicle manufacturers which fail to achieve a benchmark of mostly battery electric vehicles as a proportion of their overall sales. This amounts to a de facto prescription of technology. It is disappointing that proposals for a better recognition in the benchmark of hybrid technology have been rejected.”


The Parliament also calls on the Commission to develop a methodology for the life-cycle analysis of embedded emissions in fuel and energy production as well as in the manufacture of vehicles and parts. “This is important to level the playing field for combustion engines, electric vehicles and the many variants in between. Making the step towards well-to-wheel or life-cycle analysis is a welcome approach for future legislation”, says De Vries.


Members of the European Parliament approved the report 389 in favour, 239 against and 41 abstentions and adopted the mandate for the rapporteur to begin tripartite negotiations with the Council and the Commission.




CLEPA warns of the effects of a no deal Brexit to the automotive suppliers´ industry

The informal summit in Salzburg will see a special meeting of EU-27 leaders, without UK Prime Minister Theresa May, to discuss Brexit. No formal conclusions are prepared, however it is expected, that this meeting will set the stage for further Council meetings focussed on Brexit and the possible conclusion of a withdrawal agreement to kick off the transition period following March 2019.

in CLEPA, 18-09-2018


“The automotive industry is operating highly integrated supply chains. Parts, components and vehicles cross borders many times before reaching the consumer. Frictionless trade as well as regulatory certainty is important. Brexit impacts both and it is important to make progress on these aspects soon”, says Sigrid De Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the European association of the automotive suppliers.

“It would be very positive, if the informal summit would unlock progress on the way towards an agreement between the EU and the UK on the future relationship, including a transition period and avoiding a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. A no-deal Brexit would be seriously damaging to the supplier’s industry in Europe and the UK. The current uncertainty about the way forward is amongst the key concerns for automotive parts and component manufacturers, as shown in a recent survey of the CLEPA membership.”


Automotive suppliers’ priorities for a future trade relationship cover tariff free exchange of goods, minimal customs procedures and access to trade preferences as provided for by the Customs Union. Furthermore, regulatory alignment and cooperation in the future are essential to avoid non-tariff barriers to trade.


“Validity of type approvals issued by the UK in the past are a particular concern and currently debated in the Council and the European Parliament,” says De Vries. CLEPA advocates that parts, components, systems and equipment bearing a valid UK type-approval certification at the date of Brexit need to maintain their access to the EU-27 market, therefore they need to be considered valid for placement on the market at any future time. In addition, sufficient time must be allowed to permit the application of the solutions provided with this new regulation, therefore this transition period shall cover at least the whole of 2020, with the option to transfer UK type-approvals also after their expiration. Vice versa, under the withdrawal agreement CLEPA calls for a safeguard that shall also be granted to goods bearing a valid EU-27 approval for continued placement on the UK market. “It is important that these points be taken into account by both the Council and the European Parliament when amending the proposed legislation.”



Note to the editor:

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3.000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 20 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ nearly five million people across the continent.



Facts about the European automotive industry:

  • Some 12 million people are employed in the European automotive industry
  • European automotive suppliers directly employ 5 million people
  • European automotive suppliers invest more than €20bn in RDI per year. They are the biggest private investor into research and innovation
  • Per year, 18 million vehicles are manufactured in Europe, contributing to the stability and growth of the European economy



Environment committee underestimates progress in decarbonisation of transport

The environment committee of the European Parliament calls for stricter CO2 targets for passenger cars and vans than proposed by the European Commission and a threshold in addition to incentives for sales of low and zero emission vehicles. These are key outcomes of a vote in the committee last night.

in CLEPA, 11-09-2018

“Automotive suppliers fully support the objective of reducing emissions and are proud to deliver the technology to achieve it. However, the sector calls for realistically ambitious targets to best support the transformation that is unmistakably underway”, says Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive supplier’s industry.

Yesterday’s vote stands in contrast to earlier votes in the committees for transport and industry, where majorities of members confirmed targets as proposed by the European Commission. “The position of the environment committee therefore does not reflect the entire spectrum of opinions in the European Parliament. We hope that the members of the Parliament will come to a more balanced position in the plenary session in October”, says De Vries.

“A key requirement is to reduce emissions in the most efficient, technology-open as well as least disruptive way when it comes to jobs and structural change”, she adds. “Electrification is a major part of the solution. Industry assesses that the 30% reduction target proposed by the Commission will trigger a share of electric and electrified vehicles including mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell and battery-electric solutions of at least 60%, and very possibly much higher than that as technologies will increasingly be combined to meet emission targets as well as serve a broad variety of transport needs in a tailored way. Today, this percentage remains in the low single digit range. Major investments are therefore being made and will continue at a fast pace.”

The environment committee voted in favour of compromise amendments proposed by the rapporteur, which call for a reduction of emissions by 20% and 45% respectively by 2025 and 2030 as opposed to 15% and 30% proposed by the Commission. The committee also calls for a “malus”, a penalty for manufacturers which fail to achieve a benchmark of electric vehicles as a proportion of their overall sales. “This is counter the principle of technology neutrality”, says De Vries.

Furthermore, the committee calls on the Commission to develop a methodology for the life-cycle analysis of embedded emissions in fuel and energy production as well as the construction of the vehicle and parts. “Making the step further towards well-to-wheel or life-cycle analysis is important to level the playing field between combustion engines and electric vehicles. Automotive suppliers have long been arguing in favour of a well-to-wheel approach”, says De Vries.

The next step is the vote in the Plenary, likely at the beginning of October. Members of the European Parliament will now have the opportunity to propose amendments to complement the position of the environment committee. Member States’ governments are expected to finalise their position in October as well. Once both institutions have adopted their respective positions, tripartite negotiations will resume with the aim of amending and adopting the legislation.





CLEPA highlights transformative forces during Automechanika 2018 in Frankfurt

CLEPA participates in the 25th edition of Automechanika, presenting how connectivity and digitalisation are changing the automotive aftermarket, as reported in the “Aftermarket 2025” study.

in CLEPA, 10-09-2018


The automotive industry is being transformed by megatrends such as electrification, automated driving and connectivity. This is impacting the aftermarket business as well, that represents on average about 15-20% of the total business for automotive suppliers.

CLEPA commissioned the study “Aftermarket 2025” from the Danish agency QVARTZ and Stern Stewart & Co Munich, who conducted numerous expert interviews with decision makers from the automotive supplier’s industry, trade, OEM and insurance companies, to investigate the effects on individual market participants.

The automotive aftermarket has a global market volume of 400 billion EUR and is estimated to grow to EUR 566 billion by 2025, this corresponds to an annual growth of 4.5%. The study shows that the major growth will take place in Asia (+8.6%), catching up with USA and Europe. This growth will no longer take place in the classic segments, but in new developments, such as software, content, data or retrofit solutions which will be offered over the lifetime of a vehicle.

Taking into account the hypothesis that 70% of vehicles will be connected by 2025, this will open the opportunity to new services and business models. New digital players such as mobility service providers, repair platforms, insurance providers or eCommerce are gaining relevance.

The prerequisite for all these services is, user consent provided, the ability to communicate with the vehicle, make use of the data generated in the vehicle and the access to available resources in the vehicle. Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA Secretary General, highlighted the importance of a fair and equal access to in-vehicle data to utilise the full potential of new and innovative data-based business models. “There is a need to ensure a fair and non-discriminatory access for all market participants to facilitate undistorted competition between service providers in this emerging market of data-based mobility services”.

Also, future vehicle ownership models will change the aftermarket. Leasing, re-leasing and mobility services are gaining in popularity and will lead to more decisions on vehicle repair and maintenance being made by professional fleet operators. Both OEMS and independent providers will increase their share in the fleet business by using the opportunities and offering additional services.

The trend towards fleet business, slow market growth in wear and tear parts in combination with a fast consolidating wholesale distribution will lead to increased pressure on automotive parts manufacturers.

In the next years, CLEPA expects an intense discussion on the total costs in the supply chain and on more efficient flows of goods, which will ultimately redefine the go-to-market strategy of some suppliers, also with new providers of platforms in the field of eCommerce, repair management, repair brokerage or fleet management that will find new cooperation models.

“The aftermarket is evolving from a pure maintenance and repair market into a mobility-related service sector. Access to in-vehicle data and changes in vehicle ownership models are bringing both challenges and opportunities. We expect to see more changes in the aftermarket in the next five years than in the previous two decades”, highlighted Frank Schlehuber, CLEPA Senior Advisor Aftermarket, during the Automechanika press conference.



EU underestimates job losses through EV push, trade group says

The European Union is underestimating job losses linked to the transition to electric vehicles, the European automotive industry association ACEA said in a report, ahead of a key European Parliament vote on Monday over on future emissions standards.

in Automotive News Europe, by Peter Sigal, 06-09-2018

The ACEA said that a “forced push” to EVs to meet emissions standards would have a “profound” impact on EU employment, because the production and maintenance of electric drivetrains is much less labor-intensive than conventional drivetrains. Electric motors and drivetrains have fewer moving parts and less mechanical complexity than internal combustion engines.

The ACEA, which represents 15 major Europe-based vehicle manufacturers, says the industry would be hit hard if post-2021 emissions regulations lead to a rapid shift toward electrification. The EU is expected to call for a further CO2 emissions reduction of at least 30 percent by 2030. That target would be almost impossible to meet without a large increase in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Suppliers are expected to be hit especially hard, according to the report by FTI Consulting commissioned by the automakers group and released this week. The report, citing a study by UBS, said suppliers will produce 38 percent fewer parts and components, while automakers will produce 17 percent fewer components.

Another potential drag on employment is overseas production of batteries, which make up 35 percent to 50 percent of the cost of an electric vehicle, the report said. “Policy makers must face the fact that the EU will become extremely dependent on rare-earth materials and batteries produced outside of Europe,” the ACEA said.

“This report makes it clear that overly stringent CO2 targets, as well as unrealistic sales quota for battery electric vehicles (the so-called ‘benchmarks’), could lead to serious structural problems across the EU,” ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert said in a statement.

The European Commission’s Impact Assessment report on future emissions regulations published in November 2017 forecasts job losses and gains by sector, depending on different levels of adoption of low-emissions vehicles, which it defines as having tailpipe CO2 emissions of 25 g/km or less.

As many as 16,600 jobs could be lost by 2030 in the automotive sector, assuming an adoption rate of 13 percent to 30 percent, according to the EU. However, that would be partly offset by higher employment in the electricity sector, the EU said.

The report commissioned by the automakers’ group said that the EU did not adequately explain its employment forecasts, given the large differences in complexity between electric and internal combustion drivetrains.

It said that a switch to electric vehicles could result in a 60 percent reduction in employment in powertrain manufacturing, spare part manufacturing and maintenance. The report cited Daimler as saying that 80 percent to 90 percent fewer jobs are necessary to produce electric motors than internal-combustion engines.

Roberto Vavassori, the present of European supplier organization CLEPA, has raised similar concerns ahead of the coming votes. “It’s a challenging balance between the aims of the general public and what is doable by the industry,” Vavassori said in June at CLEPA’s annual innovation awards ceremony, noting that one-third of automotive sector employment was in powertrains. “We believe electrification is an important and essential part of the mobility of the future, but we need an orderly transition to it in Europe, otherwise we will lose our world-leading advantage in mobility.”

The automotive industry is already facing challenges meeting a fleet standard of 95 g/km, set to go into effect by the end of 2021.

Consumers are turning away from diesel engines, which generally emit lower levels of CO2 than gasoline engines, in the wake of the Volkswagen Group scandal. In addition, SUVs and crossovers, which tend to be heavier and less efficient than equivalent sedans or hatchbacks, are making up an ever-increasing percentage of sales.

The introduction this year of the WLTP bench tests and RDE road tests, which aim to better duplicate real world driving conditions, have found that some manufacturers are farther away from the 95 g/km limit than thought.



US president announces revised trade deal between US and Mexico

On  27th August, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a common accord between the US and Mexico on key trade terms – a replacement  of the existing 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mr. Trump has   pointed towards  for a decline in US manufacturing jobs.

in CLEPA, 29-08-2018

Negotiators have been rewriting the NAFTA treaty over the past year, but in the past five weeks, Canada has not been part of the discussions.


The deal struck between the US and Mexico must be read in the global trading context and especially in light of the US import duties on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%), which the US has imposed on Canada, China, Turkey, (albeit EU is enjoying temporary tariff relief).


The specific requirements lay down stringent conditions for the import of products, (vehicles and automotive component parts, alike) from Mexico including:

  • Automotive manufacturing: to receive complete tariff free treatment or almost (possibly at around 2.5%), the new deal would require that 75% of the parts in any car sold in U.S. and Mexico would be produced in those countries. Currently, about 62.5% of parts are required to be produced in the US, Mexico and Canada. However, it is not known, at this stage, what the tariffs may amount to if the required local content of 75% is not reached.
  • Higher labour standards: the new deal would require that 40% to 45% of auto parts in cars sold in the U.S. and Mexico are made by workers earning at least 16 USD per hour (aimed at discouraging firms from locating in lower-wage Mexico).
  • Provisions to govern Intellectual Property, digital trade and investor disputes.
  • The pact will expire in 16 years’ time, it is to be reviewed every six years.


The 75% local content requirement is already considered as being challenging to fulfil, in particular because large parts of the automotive supply industry use metal resources in their production, sourced from elsewhere. The costs of metal products will increase and, ultimately, it will be the end-consumer who will pay the price.


CLEPA is looking more deeply into the full impact of the EU-Mexico deal, (as it currently stands), taking into account the increased costs, the revision of the EU-Mexico FTA and the provisions of the EU-Canada FTA.


MEMA, the North American Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, has been advocating for a positive renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. They highlight the importance on the progress made by the Trump Administration and the Mexican government, but they encourage a renewed focus on a three-party agreement that includes Canada.

They also warn that the potential cap of Mexican motor vehicle parts exports into the U.S. may serve to decrease American manufacturing jobs and exports and put U.S. businesses at a global disadvantage — all while increasing costs to consumers.


Casting doubt on Canada’s inclusion, Mr Trump said: “We will see whether or not we decide to put up Canada or just do a separate deal with Canada”. He also stated that he wanted to get rid of the name NAFTA, as it has “bad connotations”.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office published a note saying that both leaders  “had a constructive conversation” and “look forward to having their teams engage this week with a view to a successful conclusion of negotiations.”

The next steps foresee a deal to be taken before the newly elected Mexican President, Mr. Lopez Obrador, who takes office in December 2018. In order to meet that deadline, the Trump Administration must present the U.S. Congress with a deal at least 90 days in advance, i.e. Friday, 31 August.

Mr. Obrador has said that a two-way agreement with the US was just the first step in, expressing interest “in remaining a three-country deal”. In which case, all three legislatures would have the final say over the trade pacts.



  • The North American Free Trade Agreement covers more than $1tr (£780bn) in annual trade.
  • NB the U.S. has threatened to place tariffs on vehicles and automotive parts on cars imported from Europe, Canada and Asia. The outcome of the US Section 232 investigation is still pending.
  • The United States’s imposition of tariffs on metals, as mentioned above, has prompted global countermeasures, with retaliatory measures on US goods coming from Mexico, Canada, EU, China, India and Turkey.
  • The US has also imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, as punishment for alleged Chinese technology transfer. China is levying retaliatory tariffs on 50billion USD worth of US imports..






Positive and constructive dialogue in transatlantic trade

European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed yesterday to work towards strengthening the bilateral trade relationship, including the elimination of tariffs as well as reducing non-tariff barriers to trade and subsidies.

in CLEPA, 26-07-2018

Roberto Vavassori, President of CLEPA, the European automotive supplier’s association comments positively on the results of the meeting:

“It is very positive to see the U.S. and EU talking constructively again. The comments by Presidents Trump and Juncker are promising, specifically that both sides agree to hold off further tariffs and to reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminium in the context of negotiations. The words from President Trump about resolving the steel and aluminium tariff and the retaliation of tariff are of special importance for our industry.

The announced dialogue on standards would be crucially important for the automotive industry where high standards of vehicle safety, environmental performance must be maintained, supported by convergence between our two different regulatory systems. CLEPA positively encourages both sides to revisit the chapters already included in transatlantic trade negotiations, including existing tariffs on cars and car parts.

It is important to note that even a reform of the WTO seems to back on the agenda. Challenges such as intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and the conduct of state-owned enterprises are best dealt with in the framework of multilateral rules.

The EU and the U.S. combined are the most important markets in the world and of crucial importance to the automotive industry. We have always supported talks to facilitate trade between the two partners and will continue doing so. We hope that the meeting between President Trump and President Juncker marks the start of a renewed and lasting dialogue and constructive negotiations.”



CLEPA on the vote on opinions on CO2 standards: Tough balancing act

The committee for Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament has voted yesterday to confirm the Commission’s proposed reduction targets for cars and vans, to call for more flexible rules on eco-innovations and to request the Commission to introduce Life-Cycle Analysis and Well-to-wheel data in emissions regulation. The committee for Industry, Research and Energy did not adopt a position after a vote which overall had produced contradictory results.

in CLEPA, 11-07-2018

CLEPA Secretary General Sigrid de Vries comments:

“Today’s vote reflects the tough balancing act policy makers are tasked with: Defining ambitious but realistic CO2-reduction targets while balancing environmental, consumer and economic interests at the same time. The European Commission has put a highly demanding proposal on the table, which will contribute to the Paris climate goals and to a transformation of the industry. Elaborating on this proposal is a complex task and today’s votes show that policy makers intend to take a detailed and critical look at the Commission’s proposal and the suggestions of stakeholders.

The proposed ambition level will drive the rapid transformation of the automotive landscape, both on the roads with a significant amount of electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as in the automotive industry where alternative propulsion technologies will become a major part of daily manufacturing. Together with digitalisation, decarbonisation constitutes the main transformational force in the sector.

The automotive suppliers support realistically ambitious reduction targets and stress the importance of a technology neutral approach to reduce emissions in the most efficient as well as least disruptive way. In that respect, CLEPA welcomes the support for eco-innovations reflected in the position of the committee for Transport and Tourism as well as for the inclusion of synthetic fuels in the scope of the legislation and a stronger recognition for hybrid technology in the so called ‘benchmark’.

Automotive suppliers are fully part of the transformation process manufacturing everything from electric drivetrain, to advanced combustion engine solutions to hydrogen and other alternative fuels-based technologies. Long-standing innovation and solution providers, they industrialise those technologies that help make transport safe, smart and sustainable. “

The opinion of the committee for Transport and Tourism will be taken into consideration by the leading committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in the preparation of its vote in September and subsequently the vote in the Plenary of the European Parliament (EP), which is scheduled for October. Once EP and Council have decided on their respective positions, interinstitutional negotiations to adopt the regulation will start.

CLEPA statement on the applicability of End of Live Vehicle (ELV) Directive

CLEPA has just published the statement on the applicability of “End of Live” (ELV) Directive vs the “Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment” Directive (RoHS)/ “Waste electrical and electronic equipment” Directive (WEEE) in the automotive industry.

in CLEPA, 04-07-2018

EU WEEE directive 2012/19/EU (“Waste electrical and electronic equipment directive”) opens its scope by 15th of August 2018. WEEE applies to electrical / electronical equipment (EEE) and excludes specific EEE for the means of transport, that concerns vehicles, which are in scope of ELV.


As a consequence the directive covers further EEE, which were not in scope before. Exemplary examples of EEE new in scope include, but are not limited to clothes and furniture with installed electrical / electronical function such as:

  • Bathroom cabinets with installed illumination
  • Desks, which are adjustable by height through electrical function
  • Shoes with installed blinking lights.


The EU “End of Life” (ELV) Directive 2000/53/EC applies to vehicles, including components and materials of vehicles, as defined in article 3(1).


The CLEPA statement shall help CLEPA companies to define, which directives apply to their parts, either ELV directive or RoHS / WEEE directive. The statement is supported by JAPIA, the “Japan Autoparts Industry Organization”.


You can check the statement below