European Commission’s digital package outlines regulatory and policy actions for connected and automated driving

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented today three publications setting out the Commission’s priorities on digital issues: “Europe for the digital age,” “A European Strategy for data,” and a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. The Commission also sets out to adopt in 2020-2021 a number of legislative proposals which will directly influence the deployment of connected and automated driving, such as a revised liability framework to address safety and liability for automated cars and a review of the type approval legislation for motor vehicles to open it up to more car data based services.

in CLEPA, 19-02-2020


CLEPA supports the European Commission’s overall approach outlined in today’s publications, and stresses the importance of digitalisation in the automotive sector’s transformation. Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe, comments:

“Connectivity, higher levels of vehicle automation, and the move towards near or full autonomous driving are megatrends that are transforming mobility, and the automotive suppliers of Europe are a driving force behind this transformation towards sustainable, safe and smart mobility. We support the Commission’s objective to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to make this transformation a success for Europe.”

In its European strategy for data, the Commission states its intention to make more data available in order to help data-driven businesses to emerge, grow, and innovate. CLEPA shares the Commission’s views on the value of data for the European economy and society. Therefore, we warmly welcome this approach and, in particular, support the idea of developing a “common European mobility data space” in order to make it easier to use data produced by connected cars, while ensuring that citizens remain in control of their personal data. Sigrid de Vries comments:

“Connected and automated vehicles will generate large amounts of data, which holds great potential for the automotive industry. Under the right framework conditions, the availability of automotive data will allow the development of new business models that help finance the innovation that will assure continued European leadership in the global mobility market. For the success of new services, especially in repair and aftermarket, independent and unmonitored access to in-vehicle data and resources must be ensured for third parties.”

CLEPA also welcomes the Commission’s proactive and supportive approach towards the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its objective to make Europe a frontrunner in this new technology. We support the incentives proposed to boost the development and uptake of AI across the EU economy. We also agree that ensuring citizens’ trust and acceptance is crucial. However, automotive suppliers believe that a balance must be achieved to ensure that this goal does not stifle innovation, which could reduce the safety benefits that automated vehicles can bring. Sigrid de Vries says:

“Advanced driverless technology needs to be embedded in a regulatory framework, and public acceptance of future driverless cars and trucks needs to be increased. CLEPA fully supports the Commission’s objective to review existing EU legislation and adapt it to better address the risks of safety and liability in the context of AI. The risk-based approach adopted by the Commission is the right one to prevent the regulatory framework from being overly prescriptive and disincentivise innovation in this emerging field. However, automotive suppliers must also caution against one-size-fits-all approaches: AI for automated cars is highly complex and must make quick real-time decisions. This differs widely from AI applications for other fields, and should be reflected in any regulatory or policy approach.”

 

CLEPA shares the views of the automotive supply industry on the Product Liability Directive during the IMCO Committee public hearing

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection organised today a public hearing to discuss the need to review the Product Liability Directive and related challenges in the new digital age. Frank Schlehuber, Senior Consultant Market Affairs at CLEPA, attended the hearing to present the association’s position on the issue.

in CLEPA, 22-01-2020


It is recognised that most accidents involving vehicles are currently caused by human error, while only a small percentage is credited to technical failures. However, as more autonomous functions start to become present in cars, there is a shift in liability from the driver to the vehicle manufacturers whether they are OEMs or automotive suppliers.

CLEPA supports the need to serve the end-consumer and to provide them with a safe, secure environment and to ensure that a victim of a road traffic accident is compensated in an easy, speedily and efficient manner. However, it is the view of CLEPA that the scope and application should be extended to include all relevant market participants and stakeholders, involved in this new ecosystem.

During the hearing, CLEPA raised four main concerns regarding the need to review the Product Liability Directive, namely the scope of application of its article 1: “The producer shall be liable for damage caused by a defect in his product.”

First, CLEPA believes that the “product” is no longer seen as a physical product, and there should be a new definition that integrates software and other services, as well as recognises that they are dependent on additional data to make them work.

Second, the current definition of “defect” already opens a wide room of flexibility, however there should be a guidance from lawmakers on what is understood under artificial intelligence.

Third, there is a need for an extension on the producer’s definition that includes all players, even to those who modify products.

Lastly, our industry is dependent on R&I and there needs to be a certain freedom during development phase, therefore the exemption to liability during this phase of a product should be maintained and, if possible, reinforced to maintain our industry competitive.

 

The EU-Vietnam FTA Chances for European and Vietnamese business, consumers and workers

CLEPA supports an ambitious EU trade policy. EU Free Trade Agreements create opportunities for European businesses, contribute to job creation, and enhance global competition and innovation. Vietnam is a fast growing market and a strategic partner, fulfilling a crucial role in global manufacturing supply chains. CLEPA is therefore a member of the EU-Vietnam business coalition to support the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Agreement and calls for a positive vote in the European Parliament’s INTA committee on Tuesday, 21 January

in CLEPA, 20-01-2020


The undersigned business associations respectfully request Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to consider the benefits for both sides and to approve the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

We note that the negotiations on the EU-Vietnam FTA concluded in December 2015, and both European and Vietnamese businesses and consumers have been waiting since then for its ratification and entry into force.

The trade agreement, with its liberalisation of tariffs and deepening of business links, represents a great opportunity for European businesses – granting access to a strong emerging market of close to 100 million people. It also opens the door to partnership, dialogue and cooperation with Vietnam creating stronger ties with the South-East-Asian region and will raise standards for consumers and workers alike. The agreement contains a strong chapter on trade and sustainability, to which the Commission and Vietnam have made a strong commitment to ensure close compliance. Furthermore, the Vietnamese government has made an equally strong commitment to address earlier concerns about workers’ rights and ratify and implement three core ILO conventions. One of these has already been transposed into Vietnamese law, and the Vietnamese government will implement the others shortly, significantly improving the situation of workers in Vietnam.

The EU-Vietnam Business coalition firmly supports the approval of the EU-Vietnam Agreement, and we ask for your support of ratification of this Free Trade Agreement in the INTA committee on Tuesday, 21 January.

 

 

CLEPA PR on Just Transition Fund: Ensure European competitiveness, balance inevitable disruption

The European Commission has today adopted the regulation creating the Just Transition Fund and the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and presented the proposals to the European Parliament.

in CLEPA, 14-01-2020


We welcome the launch of the Just Transition Fund and the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan. Both have to be seen in conjunction with the ambitions of the European Green Deal towards climate neutrality and mutually reinforce each other,” says Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe.

The automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe is a driving force behind the transformation to sustainable, safe, and smart mobility. We support the Paris agreement and are ready to contribute to a reliable, technology-open, and ambitious regulatory framework to achieve its objectives.

We urge the European legislators to build on Europe’s strengths — the single market, the continent’s advanced technology competence, its high value-add industrial base and global competitiveness — and to provide the supportive regulatory framework and financial support needed to master the monumental tasks unfolding and maintain manufacturing and employment in Europe.

Climate policies must be deeply intertwined with a coherent industrial strategy to strengthen our competitiveness and power to innovate, in order to ensure that the three pillars of the sustainability triangle, i.e. environmental, economic and social policies, are balanced. Such balance is precarious and climate protection needs to condition the strategies towards a sustainable economy as much as the social and economic dimensions should.

The fact that a Just Transition Fund will be needed, is ominous. Hence, only in cases where disruption of industries cannot be avoided, it should serve to balance the impact.

 

Thorsten Muschal (Faurecia) elected new CLEPA President

The European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) has elected Thorsten Muschal as new President for the term 2020-21, succeeding Roberto Vavassori who held the position since 2016. Mr Muschal is Executive Vice President responsible for Sales and Program Management at Faurecia, the Paris-headquartered multinational. He has been CLEPA vice president for the past 4 years and is well versed into the EU policy dossiers impacting the automotive industry.

in CLEPA, 14-01-2020


“Automotive suppliers are key contributors to change in mobility and industry. Europe must succeed in reaping the industrial benefits of climate and digital leadership, and on this crucial question CLEPA stands ready to help with technology solutions and proposals for policy”, said Mr Muschal. “I warmly thank Roberto Vavassori for his important work over the past years and look forward to working with the CLEPA team on further strengthening the voice of our industry.”

The automotive industry is undergoing the biggest transformation in over a hundred years — to a large part because of the need to decarbonise transport. The other two major trends are assisted & automated driving, and data-fuelled connectivity which enables new mobility types and services. 

“At CLEPA, we are convinced that no-one can master these challenges on their own and we believe in European solutions to find and work together. The urgency to deliver is extremely high”, said Muschal. “For Europe to secure strategic autonomy in the field of ‘new mobility’ which is safe, sustainable and smart, and to compete effectively with other world regions while sustaining high levels of employment and innovation in Europe, there are high levels of investments needed in renewable energy, energy infrastructure, secure and fast connectivity as well as in critical technologies, innovation and skills.” 

“As consumer priorities and ever-stricter emissions regulations transform the automotive industry, CLEPA is committed to working with policymakers and nurturing the business conditions that ensure European suppliers maintain their leading position on the global market. European automotive suppliers are at the forefront of shaping the mobility of the future, and the innovation ecosystem they cultivate and drive, which integrates engineering expertise and leadership in technology and digital transformation, is the backbone of the move towards carbon neutrality and a more sustainable approach to mobility.”  

Automotive suppliers aspire for the future of mobility to be safe, sustainable, smart and competitive. This is the vision CLEPA has laid out in full during the 4th December event Future as we Move – Shaping Solutions of Mobility. More information can be found here 

 


About Thorsten Muschal 

Thorsten Muschal is Faurecia’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Program Management since 2017. He has held leadership positions at Faurecia in Germany, North America, and France. Thorsten Muschal joined Faurecia in 1992. More information can be found here. 

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 25 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ about five million people across the continent. 

For more information, please contact the Communications department at communications@clepa.be 

About Faurecia 

Faurecia is the 9th largest international automotive parts manufacturer in the world and #1 for vehicle interiors and emission control technology. One in three automobiles is equipped with their solutions. 

 

Green deal needs to balance climate protection, economy and social dimension

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented today the Communication on the European Green Deal, detailing next steps in climate policy, including the announcement of a proposal to enshrine the 2050 climate neutrality objective in legislation. The Commission also sets out to adopt proposals for specific sectors, such as a revision of the CO2 standards for light duty vehicles, deployment of charging infrastructure, support for alternative fuels and more stringent pollutant emission standards.

in CLEPA, 11-12-2019


Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe, comments:

“The automotive suppliers of Europe are a driving force behind the transformation to sustainable, safe and smart mobility. We support the Paris agreement and are ready to contribute to a reliable, technology-open and ambitious regulatory framework to achieve its objectives. We urge the European legislators to build on Europe’s strengths — the single market, the continent’s advanced technology competence, its high value-add industrial base and global competitiveness — and to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to master the monumental tasks unfolding.”

“Ideally, climate policies would be deeply intertwined with a coherent industrial strategy, which ensures that environmental, economic and social policies are balanced. Such balance is precarious and climate protection must condition the strategies towards a sustainable economy as much as the social and economic dimensions should.”

“The recently agreed CO2 limits for cars are the world’s most ambitious and will spark real progress towards defossilisation and cleaner air. An earlier revision of the CO2 standards may provide a good opportunity to take stock of progress and to examine whether industry and society are on the right path. However, such revision cannot realistically include a renewed debate on the level of ambition so shortly after adoption. Focus should now turn to enabling the transformation.”

“We advocate for an even more intense and constructive dialogue with all stakeholders concerned.  In the crucial and highly-complex area of electrification, we now first and urgently need to enable scale. This means forging a high level of collaboration across Europe to secure the necessary charging infrastructure, stepping up renewable energy generation, promoting green public procurement, and enabling development and production of next-generation batteries.”

“There is additional decarbonisation potential in the car fleet which can be realised without changing the current CO2 regulation. This includes making the use of e-fuels a reality by putting binding targets in the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and Renewable Energy Directive, establishing the emission trading system for the road transport sector, promoting the modal shift via Eurovignette and Combined Transport Directives, improving the prospects for hydrogen and increasing investment in R&D.”

“Automotive suppliers are technology solution providers and stand ready to work together towards the common objectives.”

 

European automotive suppliers call for Digital Single Market for Mobility and masterplan for the mobility industry

  • Call for action to unleash potential of connected and automated driving
  • Transition to safe, sustainable and smart mobility needs urgent, concerted action
  • Strategic autonomy in new mobility will underpin global competitiveness of the sector
  • Suppliers’ vision presented at landmark CLEPA 60th anniversary event

in CLEPA, 04-12-2019


The European automotive supply industry calls on the new European Commission to establish a Digital Single Market for Mobility to unleash the potential of connected mobility and automated driving as well as support reaching environmental targets included in the European Green Deal. This should go hand in hand with a European masterplan for the mobility industry to harness the potential of technology, strengthen European competitiveness, address key infrastructure needs (both in the fields of energy & digital communication) and ensure safe, sustainable and smart mobility as a cornerstone of society.

 

“The urgency to deliver is extremely high”, said Roberto Vavassori, CLEPA President and member of the management board of Brembo, the Italian braking systems specialist. “As citizens, we expect innovative solutions to transition towards a sustainable economy, to embed digital opportunities in our daily lives in a safe and secure manner, as well as for Europe to remain competitive worldwide. As businesses, we contribute our world-leading industrial competence and our ability to provide solutions.’

 

The automotive industry is undergoing its biggest transformation in over a hundred years, with mobility becoming increasingly electric, connected, automated and shared. European automotive suppliers hold an impressive 40% of global revenue in the sector and are a major pillar under the European economy.

 

 “We urge the European legislators to build on Europe’s strengths — the single market, the continent’s advanced technology competence and its high value-add industrial base — and to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to master the monumental tasks unfolding”, said the CLEPA President. “We have to be world leader in environmental and digital technology, we want to offer the best range of options for people and businesses to move around, and we need the conditions to let companies manufacture and employ in Europe.”

 

The supplier industry, represented by CLEPA and comprised of multinational companies such as Bosch, Faurecia, Valeo and ZF as well as thousands of mid-sized and small enterprises across the EU, presented their vision on the future of mobility and industry today in Brussels, with a landmark event titled “Future As We Move – Shaping Solutions For Mobility”, entering into active dialogue with leading European politicians including Peter Altmaier, minister of Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany, Bruno Le Maire, minister of Economy and Finance of France and Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights.

 

For Europe to secure strategic autonomy in the field of ‘new mobility’, which is safe, sustainable and smart, and to compete effectively with other world regions, there are high levels of investments needed in renewable energy, energy infrastructure, secure and fast connectivity as well as in critical technologies, innovation and skills.

 

Connected mobility and automated driving can greatly benefit society by increasing safety, reducing congestion and pollution, facilitating electrification and wider resource efficiency, and by enabling data-fuelled mobility and transport services that support modern society. European automotive suppliers are strongly present in this fast-developing field and lead globally in patent applications.

 

Digitalisation of mobility also requires the appropriate regulatory framework to bring safe vehicles on the market and define solutions for liability, ethical standards, cybersecurity and fair competition for data-based services in and around the vehicle and other mobility devices. Remaining barriers in the Single Market should be removed.

 

“We do have an internal market for automotive products but not for automated driving or for electromobility”, said VavassoriYet, success or failure depends on market acceptance, which in turn relies on a supportive and harmonised European playing field. Specifically, with regard to electrification, this boils down to the availability of renewable energy, of charging points and smart charging, of financial and practical incentives and easiness of use. Ambitious vehicle targets have been set; industry is delivering the technologies. Now, charging infrastructure on the required scale as well as the distribution and generation of renewable energy and measures to encourage consumer acceptance are indispensable.”

 

Automotive suppliers also strongly stress the value of a technology neutral regulatory environment to maintain Europe’s competitiveness worldwide. To reach the goal of a climate-neutral Europe, CLEPA therefore advocates a policy approach based on life-cycle assessment beyond 2030, to ensure technology solutions can compete on an equal basis by taking into account their sustainability over the life cycle, as well as their contribution to security of supply, system stability and flexibility.  Suppliers also see a strong role for hydrogen and derived fuels and gases.

 

A functioning, reliable and innovation-friendly legal framework across European borders will be essential too in light of global competition and tendencies to depart from open and rules-based access to global markets.

 

 

CLEPA 60th anniversary celebration peaks with a landmark event in Brussels

Over 300 participants attended the  “Future As We Move – Shaping Solutions For Mobility” event yesterday in Brussels, organised by CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, featuring a conference opened by France’s Minister for Finance and Economy, Bruno Le Maire, and Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier. Their speeches were followed by the presentations from the industry leaders Volkmar Denner, CEO of Robert Bosch; Jordi Lombarte, CTO of Autoliv; Jörg Stratmann, CEO of MAHLE and Ingo Stürmer, Global Engineering Director for ADAS and Autonomous Driving of Aptiv. 

in CLEPA, 05-12-2019


The subsequent panel debate focused on European technology leadership and the mechanisms needed to harness the power of innovation. The panel was made up of representatives of regional authorities (Claudia Suppan, Coordinator CoRAI – Committee of the Regions – Automotive Intergroup), the EU institutions (Member of the Parliament, Vlad-Marius Botos), and industry represented by Patrick Koller, CEO of Faurecia, Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of ZF, and the start-up founder Jon Lindén, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Ekkono. The conference closed with remarks from the new European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.

To emerge in the vision that CLEPA and its members share, attendees had the opportunity to discover the latest technologies from leading automotive supplier companies in the Techxpedition, an interactive exhibition that immersed the participants in the future of mobility. Over 20 companies showcased their innovative solutions that embodied the four pillars of CLEPA’s vision of mobility for the future: safe, sustainable, smart and competitive.

Looking towards a future that is sustainable, a wide variety of solutions were presented such as fuel cell technology, water injection systems, automotive parts made from smart bioplastics, electro chargers, plug-in hybrid transmissions, dust and air filter systems and sustainable mobility ecosystems. 

Envisioning a future with zero casualties, our technology leaders displayed airbags for pedestrian protection, warning systems for endangered drivers, vehicle alerting systems for pedestrians, unattended child detection signals and driver monitoring systems. 

Preparing a future that is smart and connected, our participants were immersed in virtual reality experiences, such as voice-activated navigation control, incremental machine learning, intelligent charging systems and EV intelligent range predictions. 

And, with connectivity transforming mobility as we know it, our automotive suppliers showcased a marketplace platform for new businesses to build customer bases, software-based solutions and the latest developments in automotive technology, communication systems between vehicles and road users, and technology present in vehicles’ structures. 

Thank you to Autoliv, Bosch, Brigade, Caruso-dataplace, CLEPA Light.Sight.Safety Group, Continental, Denso, Ekkono, Faurecia, Gestamp, IEE, MahleMann+Hummel, Plastic Omnium, Röchling Automotive, Schaeffler, Spark EV Technology, Valeo, Yazaki and ZF for showcasing the future of mobility.  

The anniversary event ended with a celebratory dinner, with a reflective speech by the departing CLEPA president, Roberto Vavassori, and an exchange about Europe and the future of industry between Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA Secretary General, and Günther Oettinger, the former European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, to recognise his work and the legacy he leaves behind.  

 

Musing about strategic value chains or being fit for new paradigms

With last week’s green light for the envisaged commissioners Thierry Breton (internal market) and Adina-Ioana Valean (transport), two key figures have entered stage. Both will be heavily involved in the transition of mobility and industry triggered by environmental needs, technological progress and anticipated new consumer demand and habits.

in CLEPA, by Sigrid de Vries, 19-11-2019


The hearings – or ‘grillings’ as some rather call it — in the European Parliament revealed a deep awareness of the complexity of the task ahead. Both commissioners-designate pledged to work with the two executive vice-presidents, Frans Timmermans (green deal) and Margrethe Vestager (digital age), as well as with the other commissioners destined to be closely involved with parts of the work: environment, taxation, employment, innovation, trade. There is a strong realisation that no one actor can deliver on their own.

Both Breton and Valean also emphasised the need for a strong industrial pillar to achieve the monumental challenges facing society such as decarbonising Europe’s economy by 2050, requiring the transport sector to reduce CO2 emissions by 90%. That same competitive industrial pillar is needed to maintain and claim leadership in high-tech, data-driven businesses and services that will power, amongst others, connected and automated mobility.

More on this you can find in the CLEPA vision paper on the future of mobility and industry, on which the association will hold a landmark event in Brussels on 4th December with industry CEOs and high-level politicians.

Ursula von der Leyen’s team is bound by the ambition to deliver fast: a law on climate and artificial intelligence in the first 100 days in office. The stakes are set on a renewed willingness for Europe to join forces and work together, because relying on national capacities is not enough to pull weight at the huge levels required. Europe, too, must reassert itself in the global arena where other powers seem intent to adjust the rules of the game.

Against this backdrop, it was interesting to see the report ‘Strengthening Strategic Value Chains for a Future-ready EU Industry’, published by the Strategic Forum for Important Projects of Common European Interest, an expert group set up by the European Commission in 2018 composed of member states, industry and the research community.

Like in the title of the report and name of the forum, many of today’s trigger words can be found in the paper itself: technological sovereignty, strategic autonomy, security, systemic presence.

The six ‘strategic value chains’ identified are connected, clean and autonomous vehicles; smart health, low-CO2 emission industry; hydrogen technologies and systems; industrial internet of things; and cybersecurity. These come on top of three, on which joint initiatives are already running: the European battery alliance, a joint undertaking on high-performance computing and a project of common interest on microelectronics.

Many of the report’s conclusions mirror policy objectives laid out in Von der Leyen’s policy priorities: investment in deployment and adoption of technologies, pooling of public and private funding and other resources, prioritisation of research, education and skills, removing the remaining barriers to the Single Market and – perhaps ‘newest’ and most important of all: strategic cooperation at all levels due to the complexities and the importance of scale.

The recommendations in the report are carefully wrought and the underlying analysis is clearly invested in the daily realities of industries like the automotive supply sector. It is no coincidence that five of the six selected areas heavily involve the mobility industry, as do the already existing three. The automotive industry is system critical to the European economy and in the midst of the transition to climate neutrality and a data-driven economy.

As a consequence, automotive suppliers too are rethinking the architecture of the traditional value chain. Suppliers used to be organisers of a fairly vertical process of materials, parts, components and systems. Today, this traditional ‘chain’ no longer exists. Suppliers operate in an eco-system – a network of interdependent and interlinked actors — with increasingly diverse and numerous players, and with increasingly direct links to the ‘end-user’ as well, the individual or business using mobility to move from A to B.

Challenges around available and secure infrastructures, protection of critical technologies, access to raw materials and availability of skilled people add to the mix. And so do the global trade tensions and economic slowdown

The most recent CLEPA Pulse Check amongst its member companies showed an almost unanimous expectation of a economic downturn, and 90% of respondents said to be undertaking specific measures to prepare for a more difficult business environment. To put this into perspective: European automotive suppliers hold an impressive 40% of global revenue in the sector. They are leading in many technologies and are well-placed to compete. Yet they are reassessing and repositioning, evaluating scale and market relevance, scouting for partnerships and burden sharing, fostering start-ups on the go.

“Seizing the opportunities of the ongoing transformation requires new approaches and new solutions”, says the foreword by outgoing Commissioner for internal market and industry, Elzbieta Bienkowska, writing with industrial policy in mind. It is the search for new solutions that preoccupies the minds of many these days. All with the aim to be fit for a world with new paradigms.

 

Comprehensive and carefully managed transformation key to sustain industry competitiveness

CLEPA, together with the European Forum for Manufacturing, held a dinner debate at the European Parliament yesterday, focusing on the policy measures required to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector in the transformation to safe, smart and sustainable mobility.

in CLEPA, 07-11-2019


The dinner-debate “Future of mobility: Striving for sustainable growth” hosted by Member of the European Parliament Nicolás González Casares, from the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee, was attended by several MEPs, the European Commission and industry representatives, among others.

The need to prioritise industrial strength and deliver a carefully managed transformation to successfully decarbonise and digitise the economy was stressed by various speakers. Industry highlighted the role of new technologies to provide a safer, cleaner, smarter and more diverse mobility. Automotive suppliers are providing innovative technology solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport by improving the internal combustion engine (ICE) and electrification of the powertrain in its various forms (mild, full, plug-in hybrid, full battery-electric and fuel cells) as well as through the use of low and zero carbon fuels. Moreover, improvements in manufacturing technologies and the re-use of materials add to a coherent framework for sustainability as well.

Roberto Vavassori, CLEPA President, argued for the EU to develop a competitive regulatory framework to ensure that Europe leads the world with new technologies, accompanied by a skilled workforce and supported by innovation. “It is important Europe takes the lead in a match, rather than sailing around the world in a solo race.”

Vavassori emphasised the magnitude of investment in clean, safe and smart technology delivered by industry and stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to effectively reduce emissions generated by transport in order to factor in the complexity of mobility needs as well as allow for a level playing field between the various technology options. “The industry therefore supports the work that is currently undertaken on behalf of the Commission to develop a methodology for life-cycle analysis (LCA), and agrees that strengthening the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) is an important tool towards achieving the common goal of a carbon neutral economy.”

The second part of the evening focused on how the transition to the world of new mobility must be accompanied with a strategy to secure a skilled and competent workforce for the future, as well as with measures giving special attention to SMEs. CLEPA is involved in the European Project DRIVES, presented during the event, which evaluates the skills that will be needed for the sector, detecting, analysing and evaluating best practices for automotive skills training and education in different EU member states, developing and implementing strategies to address skills gaps. SMEs are crucial building blocks of the value chain and hence key in the transition to new mobility as well. Access to training, research and innovation programmes must be supported with targeted framework conditions.