Consumer and industry groups urge Commissioner Breton to bring forward market-enabling legislation on access to in-vehicle data, functions & resources

in CLEPA, 31-03-2023

A unique and broad alliance of consumer groups, automotive suppliers, leasing and rental industries, aftermarket operators, vehicle dealers, authorised and independent workshops, data publishers, and insurers have joined forces to call on Commissioner Thierry Breton to urgently bring forward long-planned legislation on access to in-vehicle data, functions & resources.

Pro-consumer and pro-competitive legislation is essential to kick-start the development of a vibrant, innovative and competitive European market for Connected Car services, said the alliance. The Commission itself estimates this market could be worth €400bn globally by 2030.

Representing some 80% of the jobs and economic value of the European automotive and mobility eco-system, consumer and business leaders are calling on Commissioner Breton to act on the conclusive evidence gathered over the last seven years by his own officials.

This comprehensive analysis has revealed a significant hurdle to achieving fair and equal access to vehicle-generated data, which gives vehicle manufacturers an almost insurmountable advantage due to the design of the vehicle. In addition to this systemic barrier, the body of work has identified the presence of additional structural and behavioural obstacles, which only serve to compound the issue. It also warns that this problem is likely to be further intensified by the increasing involvement of Hyperscalers, who are partnering with manufacturers to embed themselves more deeply in the vehicle.

The Commission originally scheduled this legislation for adoption in 2021 and the Commission’s proposal for the Data Act itself re-stated the need for sector-specific legislation to address these issues 1 2. The alliance urges Commissioner Breton to come forward with legally-binding sector-specific legislation by the Autumn of this year, at the very latest.

[1] Actions 52 and 53 in Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future, COM (2020) 789 final, Annex, page 3.

[2] “…new rules are needed to ensure that existing vehicle type-approval legislation is fit for the digital age and promotes the development of clean, connected and automated vehicles. Building on the Data Act as a framework for the access and use of data, these rules will address sector-specific challenges, including access to vehicle functions and resources.” Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act), COM (2022) 68 final, page 6.

Tim Albertsen, Group CEO of the global leasing company, ALD Automotive, stated:

“As we move to a world where the on-board computing power of the vehicle will grow exponentially, our duty, as a leading global mobility provider, is to deliver greener and more efficient mobility solutions by investing in new connected car services. This requires having equitable access to the data generated by the vehicles we own.

We can only do this with clear rules to ensure fair competition amongst all market players. Failure to establish sector-specific legislation for access to in-vehicle data act would be a huge, missed opportunity and highly detrimental for European investment, innovation, jobs and competitiveness.”

Representing the voice of European consumers, BEUC, Agustin Reyna added:

“With data being the new gold mine for car makers, making them the gatekeepers of drivers’ and their cars’ data is highly problematic. It is not for car manufacturers to decide who has access to this data but for consumers. The car industry has long opposed any measures that would undermine their monopoly over car data, and this must stop in the interest of competition in after-sales and related mobility services and, ultimately, consumers.”

Lorraine Frega, Executive Vice President Michelin, underscored that:

“A sectoral and legally-binding regulation on access to in-vehicle data is urgent to guarantee users’ freedom of choice, fair competition but also to enable both the deployment of zero-emission mobility and the development of a genuine European business ecosystem that is independent, efficient and competitive. As a major player in connected mobility, Michelin is asking for a level playing field to be able to continue investing and offering European consumers innovative and sustainable digital mobility services.”

Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of CLEPA, and representing Europe’s automotive suppliers, concluded:

“The access to in-vehicle data and resources is not only crucial but absolutely imperative for automotive suppliers in Europe to survive and thrive in an ever-evolving industry. Without fair access, the entire automotive ecosystem, including suppliers and the aftermarket sector, cannot remain competitive versus tech giants that are already dominating the infotainment systems of vehicles, nor can we continue to innovate the components and services that meet new digital demands.”


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CO2 standards: CLEPA urges policymakers to embrace technology diversity for a successful mobility transition

As the European Council prepares to finalise its position on CO2 standards for cars and vans, CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, reaffirms its commitment to a balanced and technology-open approach that promotes affordable and sustainable mobility solutions with a real-world impact while supporting the competitiveness of the automotive supply industry.

in CLEPA, 24-03-2023

CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, states “Mobility is an essential part of our daily lives, and we need to find a way to reduce emissions without compromising affordability, jobs, the ability to innovate, and EU competitiveness. No one is questioning the green mobility transition, but parallel and complementary climate-neutral solutions just make sense in the current economic and political context. Energy prices and the IRA are two key challenges, but not the only ones”.

Electromobility will play a dominant role in personal mobility, but this requires critical enabling conditions, such as charging infrastructure, adequate grid capacity, a deep battery supply chain in Europe and access to raw materials, all powered by renewable and affordable electricity. Automotive suppliers advocate for an approach that encourages innovation and investment in a range of climate-neutral technologies, such as hybrids, hydrogen and sustainable renewable fuels, alongside electrification.

Benjamin Krieger goes on to say, “the solutions that allow for technology diversity in the regulations and to make vehicles compliant are available. These considerations are important for cars and vans as much as they are for heavy-duty vehicles.”

CLEPA urges policymakers to take a balanced and pragmatic approach that considers the impact of a narrow technology path on consumers, businesses, and innovation. Europe needs a coherent and supportive policy framework that incentivises the production and use of all available technologies that can help us meet our climate targets, of which there are many.

The competitiveness of the European automotive industry is at stake, and EU policy measures need to match foreign competition in the short-term, and in the long-term, a holistic industrial policy is needed that does not distort the single market, provides more access to finance and skilled labour, reduces burdensome regulations, while enabling innovation.




CLEPA | Automotive suppliers concerned insufficient infrastructure will undermine a successful mobility transition – February 2023 Pulse Check Results

The automotive supply industry is investing in new solutions towards climate-neutral mobility, but suppliers are concerned that investment will not be matched by an equal public effort to ensure that the infrastructure is fully in place at the right time.

in CLEPA, 22-03-2023

Nearly all automotive suppliers (98%) are apprehensive about ongoing efforts and investments in climate-neutral mobility being undermined by insufficient charging and refuelling infrastructure. This data comes from the 13th edition of the CLEPA Pulse Check, a bi-annual survey of auto suppliers carried out by McKinsey in February 2022.

According to McKinsey research, the rapid uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) will require a public infrastructure of at least 3.4 million charging points by 2030. Based on this target, the current rollout of the recharging network needs to accelerate four times faster among EU countries to meet the needs of future vehicles.

CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, commented, “Ensuring a sufficient number of public charging points for EVs and refuelling stations for hydrogen-powered vehicles is an essential enabling condition to turn current industry efforts into a successful transition for Europe and our climate. We need to see the ambition matched at the member state level.”

Compared to last September, when industry sentiment hit an all-time low due to rising energy and material costs, there has been a significant improvement in the overall outlook of suppliers. In February, 35% of suppliers expressed a positive outlook, while another 35% indicated a negative outlook. This marks a stark contrast to September, when a staggering 70% of suppliers reported a negative outlook.

Despite 64% of suppliers expecting revenue growth over the year 2023, profit expectations remain bleak. Cost pressures and suppressed volumes due to the on-going semiconductor shortage continue to weigh on the profitability of the sector. A significant number of suppliers are facing intense margin pressure, with 67% of the respondents indicating that their operational profitability level is below 5%. In fact, roughly one in four suppliers are even operating at a loss.

Long-term investment capabilities of the sector are under increasing pressure and 37% of suppliers are reducing investment, with companies doing the utmost to maintain R&D budgets. While the automotive supply industry is making progress towards climate-neutral mobility, it requires public support and investment to ensure the necessary enabling conditions are in place. Without this, the industry’s efforts may be undermined, and the green mobility transformation may be compromised.



CLEPA | Net-zero industry: EU policy measures need to match international competition

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a Critical Raw Materials and a Net-Zero Industry Act as part of the green industrial transformation in Europe.

in CLEPA, 16-03-2023

However, the association calls for the inclusion of the following principles to ensure a successful and competitive transition to a net-zero industry:

  • EU policy measures should match international competition in magnitude and time horizon to avoid investments being redirected
  • A holistic long-term industrial strategy should fast track permitting procedures and financially support upscaling of green and smart mobility and manufacturing
  • Access to skilled workforce and reinforcement of existing R&I programs will be essential enablers of a successful net-zero industry
  • Reduction of regulatory burden, and a technology open and market oriented approach will be key
    Automotive suppliers fulfill a crucial role in five of the six identified critical value chains, however, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and high energy costs increasingly impact investment decisions.

Therefore, EU-funded instruments and policy measures should match policies of other trade blocks to avoid investments being redirected.

CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger states, “The EU needs a holistic industrial strategy and the proposals are a first step. However, focusing on production targets for specific technologies overlooks the crucial role of critical value chains and smart manufacturing towards the long-term success of Europe. Industrial strategic objectives risk being undermined by incoherent regulations, an overload of bureaucratic requirements and a focus on technologies instead of objectives.”

The green transition will require increased focus on access to raw materials, circularity and resilient sourcing from as many trade partners as possible. The CRMA can support automotive suppliers in diversifying sourcing, strengthening the EU’s material supply chain and fostering circularity. Nevertheless, supply chain related reporting requirements and targets for use of recovered materials should be reasonable to avoid undermining business cases. The Act could contribute to our industry’s resilience, but will not secure the EU’s competitiveness.

The NZIA should anchor the EU’s long-term industrial strategy and provide investors with certainty that the EU is committed to stay an attractive place to invest. An EU funded program would be the best instrument to implement a strategy that will enable an unprecedented industrial transformation, both in terms of scale and pace.

The Commission and member states together have mobilised significant funds, but opportunities are scattered, lack scale and are difficult to access. The temporary adjustment of state aid framework can therefore, at best, be an intermediate solution to allow member states to limit the worst impact of the IRA and energy costs.

The Commission must develop a five to ten-year funding framework based on objectives linked to the green and digital transition for the fourteen industrial ecosystems and six critical value chains identified in 2021, building on globally integrated value chains and driving the further integration of the EU Single Market. Companies can then invest with confidence to scale the production of green and circular technologies and manufacturing processes.



Novacoat celebrates important milestone

Novacoat celebrates painting over 2.5 million parts since the beginning of 2022!

in Novacaot, 01-03-2023

We are thrilled to mark this significant milestone for Novacoat and we would like to thank our entire team of employees, customers and suppliers for their role in making this possible.

It is with pride that we can say cars produced by leading OEMs were equipped with parts painted by Novacoat.

This milestone is a testament to Novacoat’s continued commitment to providing high quality painting solutions to our customers.

Our success would not have been possible without the collaboration of everyone involved, and for that we would like to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work.

We continue to look forward to working with our partners, customers and suppliers to provide market-leading painting solutions to meet the needs of the automotive and general industry.

Thank you all for your dedication and continued support!