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 B?ben, 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
  • 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.