CLEPA | Trilogue on CO2 standards concluded: 100% target requires matching ambition for charging and refuelling infrastructure and a thorough review

The European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached an agreement in Trilogue on CO2 emission standards for cars and vans. The co-legislators confirmed the 100% reduction target in 2035, the revision of the text in 2026 and the recital 9a on the role of CO2-neutral fuels after 2035.

in CLEPA, 27-10-2022

On the outcome of the agreement, CLEPA’s Secretary General Benjamin Krieger states:

“The 100% target, the implicit ban on the internal combustion engine, is the most ambitious such target worldwide. We stand for climate-neutral mobility and stand ready to deliver the technologies to make climate-neutral mobility a reality. The most ambitious vehicle target will not succeed, if not accompanied by policies to ensure charging and refuelling infrastructure, green energy, access to raw materials and a just transition.”

The regulation foresees a review in the year 2026, which shall cover not only the deployment of zero-emission vehicles but also of charging infrastructure, availability of green energy and fuels, affordability of vehicles and the impact on the industry.

Benjamin Krieger goes on to say:

“Electrification needs to play an important role in the implementation of this regulation, but there are uncertainties, which we need to acknowledge: Availability of raw materials, affordable vehicles, tightly knit charging and refuelling infrastructure and sufficient renewable energy are important for its success. Not least, in times of rapidly rising energy prices. With a large proportion of raw materials concentrated in few sources, the risk of new dependencies rises. The review must be an opportunity to correct course where needed.”

Automotive suppliers are investing billions in innovation, reskilling programs, and new facilities, but the capacity for investments is at risk. Up to 70% of automotive suppliers have seen their profitability drop to unsustainable levels amid inflation and rising cost for energy and raw materials. It is increasingly important to strike a balance between climate, industrial and social needs.

Suppliers have long been arguing for technology diversity to ensure the most efficient and effective approach to cutting emissions prevails and to ensure a manageable transition. Technology diversity includes full electrification, hybrid drivetrains and vehicles running on hydrogen, either in gas engines or fuel cells. All of these technologies are climate neutral if running on renewable energy, in the form of green electricity or renewable hydrogen and fuels.

“The regulation calls for a role for renewable fuels also in new vehicles. It is up to the Commission to make a proposal for this to materialise, alongside a methodology for life-cycle-analysis to ensure effective emission reduction”, says Krieger.

Ambassadors and European Parliament have yet to formally ratify the agreement before the regulation can enter into force. The next step is the adoption of a proposal for CO2 standards for trucks foreseen in the coming months, revising the reduction targets set in 2019. Even more than for cars, a technology-open approach is necessary to decarbonise heavy-duty vehicles.

Hydrogen or CO2-neutral fuels, for example, can effectively reduce emissions to net-zero, alongside electrification, which may not be the most cost-efficient approach for all commercial transport needs.



CLEPA | Automotive suppliers’ profits continue to drop amid rising costs, putting the ecosystem at risk

  • Sentiment among automotive suppliers drops to historic lows
  • Energy and other cost pressures are impacting operational profitability
  • Despite challenges, the automotive supply industry remains committed to investments in R&I
  • Over the last four years, profitability in the automotive ecosystem has grown, except for suppliers

in CLEPA, 26-10-2022

The 12th Pulse Check survey edition shows that despite optimisation of production costs and other short-term measures, 23% of suppliers expect to record losses this year. For 2023, the outlook is gloomier still with 27% expecting a loss. The concern is reflected in the general sentiment towards the future: 70% of respondents report a negative outlook, significantly up from only 18% who felt this sentiment in the Fall of 2018.

“The Pulse Check clearly documents the pressure that automotive suppliers are facing which may turn worse during winter. With nearly 70% of the suppliers operating far below EBIT margins of 5%, the financing of the green and digital transition is becoming increasingly challenging. Suppliers hold strong to their commitment to R&I spending, but without access to affordable energy in the EU and fair sharing of the burden from inflation along the supply chain, competitiveness and the speed of innovation in the sector will diminish”, says CLEPA Secretary General Benjamin Krieger.

This outlook stems from ongoing difficulties combined with looming threats: 96% of suppliers report a significant profitability impact from energy costs and potential shortages. Raw material inflation is affecting 85% of suppliers, while semiconductor shortages continue to have a significant impact on the profit margins of 65% of the suppliers surveyed.

A key challenge in the industry is fair burden sharing of increasing costs. Around 80% of suppliers receive no or limited compensation from vehicle manufacturers for rising energy and freight costs or supply chain disruptions, while 42% struggle to get compensation for raw material costs.

The limited ability of suppliers to pass on prevalent production cost increases is very critical for many – some even fear bankruptcy of smaller suppliers or suppliers moving to adjacent industries – putting at risk the integrity of the whole automotive ecosystem. Despite widespread pressure, 85% of respondents will not reduce investment in R&I to compensate for losses, showing that the commitment of the automotive supply industry towards new mobility solutions remains strong. The question then becomes – for how long this will be sustainable – given the current economic outlook. Reducing investments in innovation would severely undermine the mobility transition, as well as the sector’s long-term competitiveness and growth.

Looking at the entire automotive ecosystem, in the last four years, suppliers are the only ones registering decreasing profitability margins along the value chain, while OEMs, Retail and Aftermarket recorded significant improvements in profitability between 2017 and 2022.




CO2 standards trilogue: Urgent need for inclusion of a Just Transition framework for Europe’s automotive workforce

Next week it is anticipated that the trilogue on the revision of EU CO2 standards for cars and vans will conclude. As industry, trade unions, employers and environmental organisations, we have been jointly calling for a Just Transition framework within the new rules which will accelerate structural change in the industry.

in CLEPA, 24-10-2022

Currently, there is no such framework for the 16 million workers in our mobility eco-system, and notably Europe’s automotive sector which is a powerhouse of industrial employment. The auto sector accounts for more than 6% of European employment overall and 8.5% of European manufacturing jobs. Pre-crisis, the sector produced nearly 10% of GDP in Germany alone, along with 40% of the country’s research and development spend. The sector plays a key role in trade, with Europe responsible for more than 50% of the world’s exports of auto products. This is an industrial revolution of historic proportions.

A series of publications have quantified potential job losses, gains and changes in the automotive sector due to the current transformation. BCG concluded that the transformation in the passenger car segment alone would require the upskilling and retraining of 2.4 million workers. The European Battery Alliance argues that 800,000 skilled workers are needed for EU e-mobility ambitions. Whilst new jobs will be created in the electromobility ecosystem in battery production and charging infrastructure for example, jobs will be lost in the ICE-supply chain companies and specific regions. Jobs will not be easily interchangeable as they are often located in different places and require different skill sets. The European Commission has already identified the regions depending on the automotive industry as being exposed to multiple challenges while the EU is decarbonising, making the need for regional policy support vital.

A Just Transition framework must support the anticipation and management of change, including, but not exclusively, skills and training, and be underpinned by strong social dialogue. Despite the importance of the industry and scale of transformation underway, a clear, granular mapping of the employment consequences and trends of a shift towards a climate-neutral automotive industry is still to be done. We welcome the proposed amendments to the Regulation from the European Parliament strengthening the Commission’s proposal with the creation of a dedicated fund to accompany the automotive sector (Article 8) and by including regular reporting and monitoring of the transition underway (Article 14a).

The existing EU Just Transition Fund’s resources cannot be spread thinner as they are already needed for the important challenge in the coal-dependent and carbon-intensive regions and industries, however they can offer a model for a Just Transition for the broader automotive and mobility eco-system.

Therefore, we call on negotiators to include the following proposal in the next trilogue discussion on 27th October on the setting up of Just Transition funding to accompany the value chain: “By 31 December 2023 at the latest, the Commission shall present a report setting out in detail the need for targeted funding to ensure a just transition in the automotive sector, with the objective of mitigating negative employment and other economic impacts in all affected Member States, in particular in the regions and the communities most affected by the transition. The report shall, where appropriate, be accompanied by a legislative proposal to establish a Union funding instrument to address the identified needs and to finance the training, reskilling and upskilling of workers in the automotive sector, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Given the number of jobs at stake and the magnitude of the ongoing transformation, social disruption due to a badly managed transition might severely undermine the ability of the European Green Deal to succeed. We are conscious that the world is watching how the EU implements its climate ambitions, we would like Europe to lead the world in implementing Just Transition as well.

We call on negotiators from all 3 institutions to integrate an effective Just Transition framework within the final joint text of the amended Regulation.

Yours sincerely,

Luc Triangle
General Secretary
industriAll European Trade

Sigrid De Vries
Director General

Delphine Rudelli
Secretary General

Benjamin Krieger
Secretary general

Luca Visentini
General Secretary

William Todts
Executive Director
Transport and Environment





Energy crisis: Impact on competitiveness of EU auto sector – Joint statement from the European automotive ecosystem

Auto sector: a backbone of the EU economy

The automotive sector and its whole value chain is a backbone of the European economy. It represents:

  • Jobs for 13 million Europeans
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing employment
  • €374.6 billion in tax revenue for European governments in major markets
  • €79.5 billion trade surplus for the EU
  • 8% of the EU’s GDP
  • €58.8 billion invested in R&D annually, or 32% of total EU spending

in CLEPA, 21-10-2022

In summary

Rising energy prices and increased production costs are putting the entire automotive ecosystem under strain. High inflation rates, unprecedented concerns about energy prices and supply, and lower incomes for Europeans are alarming the whole value chain, from the largest manufacturers to the smallest SMEs, as well as the aftermarket.

The sector appreciates recent policy initiatives at the national and European levels. However, uncertainties about the implementation and effectiveness of these measures persist. A structured dialogue with the sector is therefore urgently needed.

What are the issues?

  • Rising energy prices, coupled with high costs of raw materials and other components, are negatively impacting the automotive sector as well as its customers.
  • Costs of production are therefore skyrocketing, undermining profitability and putting investments and the very survival of critical industries within the automotive ecosystem at risk. Industry cannot absorb such high costs in the long-term, especially in the face of competition from other major markets like the US or China.
  • As Commissioner Breton pointed out, energy prices in Europe are currently seven to eight times higher than in the US. This clearly undermines the global competitiveness of the EU industry and requires a comprehensive and coordinated policy response. We need a global level playing field.
  • Cost increases will have to be passed on along the supply chain and to customers, at a time where high inflation is already limiting the incomes of European households. Affordability of new vehicles is a concern, as it will impact fleet renewal, and ultimately the speed of decarbonisation. Indeed, sales of new vehicles are already down by almost 10% so far this year.
  • High costs for industry also jeopardises employment. Industry is doing its utmost to re- and up-skill its employees but cannot do so alone. This also requires active labour market measures from member states.
  • Equal conditions must be ensured across the EU. Single market and state aid rules must not undermine fair competition between production sites in different member states. Here, the European Commission has an essential role to play.

The need for strong political action

The whole automotive value chain – represented by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA), the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), European Tech & Industry Employers (CEEMET) and the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) – is concerned that, without significant political action, it will become increasingly difficult to make the case for manufacturing and investments in the EU.

Additional political initiative is urgently needed to avoid new import dependencies and to ensure access to affordable energy. All energy carriers have a role to play.

We need strong and coordinated EU-wide action that supports both the sector and consumers.

We stand ready to work together with policy makers to ensure the success of the mobility transition.




New technologies for green and digital mobility take first prize at the CLEPA Innovation Awards 2022

  • CLEPA has awarded cutting-edge technologies driving forward smart, clean, and sustainable mobility
  • The winning applications provide enormous contributions in two main domains: Smart & Safe and Clean & Sustainable

in CLEPA, 14-10-2022

The most advanced technologies ready to enter into the road mobility market took centre stage on Thursday in Brussels at the ceremony for the seventh CLEPA Innovations Awards.

The event celebrates the achievements of the biggest private R&D investor in the EU, the automotive supply industry, which every year invests €30 billion in developing the solutions for the mobility of tomorrow.

The final eight winners were selected by an international jury of 28 experts from academia, industry stakeholders, and research & innovation centres who thoroughly reviewed a record 93 applications, assessing the innovations’ impact and readiness to enter highly competitive and cutting-edge markets in the two categories of Smart & Safe and Clean & Sustainable.

In general, the 2022 results reaffirm the need for new solutions driven by the rolling out of electromobility and autonomous driving, currently two key market trends for the whole automotive industry.

Smart & Safe mobility nominees

The winner of the category Smart & Safe was GMV with its GSharp, a highly accurate, safe Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for autonomous vehicles. In addition to being ready to use in autonomous vehicles, this innovation promises to be available at a competitive price in the market.

Plastic Omnium developed Smart Tailgate, a next-generation rear-closure solution that boasts cutting-edge functionalities as well as onboard intelligence, which was awarded the second prize. With four times fewer components than metal substitutes, it weighs up to 30% less, contains 20% recycled carbon fibres and produces a staggering 30% fewer emissions compared to metal rear.

The third prize went to Brigade for its CarEye® Safety Angle (CSA), a next-generation intelligent blind-spot assistant designed specifically for heavy-duty vehicles, buses and coaches. This technology combines a wing camera with pixel recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) placed at the side of the vehicle, that can reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists in an extended monitoring area alongside the vehicle.

NoTraffic received the SMEs mention in the category thanks to a traffic management platform for urban mobility that optimises traffic lights in real-time based on smart sensors. Placed at eye level at each road intersection and using computer vision and radar, the sensors classify all road users, including bicycles, scooters, pedestrians, cars, heavy trucks, and emergency vehicles.

Clean & Sustainable mobility nominees

Joyson Safety System won in the Clean & Sustainable category with a device that disconnects the flow of high voltage current from an electric vehicle battery to the surrounding electric vehicle systems in case of emergency. The pyrotechnic battery disconnection protects the vehicle occupants and the rescuers in the event of a fire outbreak.

Schaeffler, with the second prize, presented Enertect PC+, a thin, high-performance coating for the Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates, which significantly improves fuel cell performance for green hydrogen-powered transport.

Forvia received the third prize thanks to its innovative seating design that completely rethinks seats from frame to foam, covers and accessories. Seat for the Planet reduces the carbon footprint at every step, from seat architecture and sustainable materials to industrial processes and life-cycle management.

The winner in the SMEs category was NGV Powertrain, which has developed a technology that allows existing High Duty Vehicle (HDV) diesel based-engines to run with biofuels and e-fuels. Applications include off-grid fast-charging stations of electric vehicles enabling e-mobility everywhere.

Celebrating cutting-edge innovations in Brussels

The ceremony took place on Thursday, 13 October, at the Claridge Events Room in Brussels, where over 100 guests participated in the presentation of the Awards and the announcement of the winners. Organised by CLEPA, the European Automotive Suppliers Association, with the support of Deloitte, the CLEPA Innovation Awards are an exceptional testing ground for the entire ecosystem of automotive suppliers.

The competition is open to any company from the supply industry, and the assessment considers innovation elements such as ambition, market relevance, impact and quality, in determining their score. These criteria are assessed by the international jury of experts from industry, academia and European institutions to determine the finalists in each category, which this year were brought from four to two, to provide a better representation of the industry’s evolution.

CLEPA’s President Thorsten Muschal and CLEPA’s Secretary General Benjamin Krieger opened the celebration, addressing mobility experts and representatives from the selected companies.

“What we are celebrating tonight is not just the winners of a competition but the true spirit of our industry, which has always linked its success to the ability to take the results of the most advanced research and make them available to drivers on the road”, said CLEPA President, Thorsten Muschal.

“For our members, investing in innovation means investing in people: empowering new talents, funding programmes for young minds that bring new skills and ideas to the industry; investing in making new competencies more accessible for workers; and ultimately, increasing comfort, sustainability, and safety of the mobility experiences that citizens choose. In other words, automotive suppliers’ innovation comes from people and has true contributions to society as a whole”, noted CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger.

Deloitte Global Automotive Sector Leader Harald Proff, also added: “Transformation needs innovation – so much of the new normal still has to be fully developed. The thorough assessment of the innovation opportunities is paramount to supporting suppliers maximise their capabilities. Deloitte is fully engaged with the transformation of the automotive sector and joins forces with CLEPA to recognise the role that innovation has in delivering the technologies that can solve tomorrow’s challenges”.


Smart & Safe

  • WINNER: GMV – GSharp
  • 2nd PRIZE: Plastic Omnium – Smart Tailgate
  • 3rd PRIZE: Brigade – Car Eye Safety Angle
  • SME WINNER: NoTraffic – Real-time, Plug-and-Play Autonomous Traffic Management Platform

Clean & Sustainable

  • WINNER: Joyson Safety System – Pyrotechnic Battery Disconnect for Electric & Hybrid Electric Vehicles
  • 2nd PRIZE: Schaeffler – Enertect PC+ – Coating for Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates
  • 3rd PRIZE: Forvia – Seat for the Planet
  • SME WINNER: NGV Powertrain – Carbon-Neutral HDV Engine

Information on all the selected technologies is available on the CLEPA Innovation platform.


Watch the videos of the winning technologies



CLEPA and ACEA join with Auto-ISAC on motor vehicle cybersecurity

The Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC) announces a formal collaboration with the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) to create a central European hub for information sharing on motor vehicle cybersecurity.

in CLEPA, 12-10-2022 

“The physical presence of an Auto-ISAC Office within Europe is indispensable for our collective cybersecurity defence,” said Dr. Martin Emele, European Regional Director, Auto-ISAC. “The automotive sector is an early industry leader in cybersecurity, and our priority is to continue moving forward, engaging with those in the industry, policymakers and stakeholders.”

The Auto-ISAC launched in 2015, and in June 2021 appointed Dr. Martin Emele as European Director to establish a presence in Europe by shepherding close coordination and alignment with European-based Auto-ISAC members, potential new members and key partners within Europe.

“The automobile industry is one of the primary cutting-edge industries in Europe, with automakers leading the way towards a new generation of mobility that is ever more sustainable, safe, and smart. Through the European Auto-ISAC, we will push ahead with our digital transformation while working to protect the security of connected vehicles,” said Sigrid de Vries, ACEA Director General.

“For European suppliers, this agreement provides a roadmap for working together and coordinating activities and information flow between the Auto-ISAC based in North America, as well as other future regional offices. We are all stronger when we share potential cyber threats and the means to prevent and respond to them,” said Benjamin Krieger, CLEPA Secretary General.

Under the agreement, a formal European office will be incorporated as a legal entity in an EU member state, with a Steering Committee formed that is composed of an equal number of representatives from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers.

ACEA and CLEPA intend to provide support to Auto-ISAC in establishing its European presence and partnering with the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), to actively encourage its members and stakeholders to participate in the European Office and to promote the Auto-ISAC as the leading automotive information-sharing entity in Europe dedicated to the mission of increasing the cybersecurity resilience of the automotive industry through sharing and analysis of cybersecurity intelligence.

The Auto-ISAC has global representation. Its members represent more than 99 percent of light-duty vehicles on the road in North America. Members also include heavy-duty vehicles, commercial fleets, carriers, and suppliers. For more information, please visit and follow us @autoisac



Caetano Coatings Group is present at IZB 2022

Caetano Coatings [Carregado, Portugal] and Caetano Coatings International [Valencia, Spain] will be present at the International Suppliers Fair (IZB) which will take place on October 11, 12 and 13 at Allerpark in Wolfsburg, Germany.

in Caetano Coatings, 03-10-2022

The constant presence of the Caetano Coatings Group at the main European fairs is aimed at closer collaboration with the markets and acquiring knowledge. We follow trends today to prepare for the future.

Come to Hall 4 Stand 4107B-10 to discover the main coating solutions we offer for industries around the world.