CLEPA’s Materials Regulations and Sustainability event unites stakeholders to drive sustainability in the automotive supply industry

CLEPA, the European association representing the automotive supply industry, successfully concluded its 15th edition of the Materials Regulations and Sustainability event. After three online editions, the event, which took place in Stuttgart, brought together a diverse range of stakeholders, including experts in materials, chemicals, and ecodesign, as well as regulators and industry leaders in corporate sustainability and reporting. Over the course of two days, more than 200 participants gained insights into the latest regulatory and legislative developments impacting the automotive supply industry.

in CLEPA, 26-05-2023

The key message coming out of the event was fostering cooperation across the value chain and across regions, but the challenges were also made clear. The industry is facing considerable uncertainty due to regulatory delays, ambiguities in criteria and definitions, and the necessary trade-offs between chemical restrictions, circularity and sustainability.

The conference was also an opportunity to highlight the industry’s initiatives and achievements. In his opening remarks, CLEPA’s Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, stated: “Automotive suppliers are driving sustainable solutions through smart investments, circular product design, technology diversity, and global partnerships.” He went on to say: “While we acknowledge the challenges, we are equally aware of the new business opportunities, which will increase demand for new skills and tools, as well as the best engineers and IT experts – together building the cars of the future.”

Chemicals regulations will come at a cost to the industry, but predictability can help the transition

The European Commission outlined the progress and implementation status of the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), emphasising that its execution, particularly the generic restrictions of REACH, will incur costs for the industry and turnover will be negatively impacted. The Commission agreed that more predictability will be key for success. A representative from the chemicals industry association CEFIC also highlighted the need for clarity, a workable timeline for implementation, simplification of existing bottlenecks and support for SMEs. During the first day, the audience learned that as it stands, the proposed PFAS restriction is a serious threat to the automotive industry and the European Green Deal. The automotive industry is planning a two-step approach to the consultation with a first submission before the summer break and a second before the deadline in September.

Suppliers anticipate the unveiling of the revised End of Life Vehicle Directive (ELVD)

The automotive industry’s commitment to Circularity measures was another prominent theme. The European Commission shared a sneak-peak of what the industry can expect for the revision of the ELVD, slated for June 2023, highlighting the issue of missing vehicles, extended scope to new vehicle classes, and mandatory recycled content quotas as key considerations. The Commission also noted its intention to turn the Directive into a Regulation. The industry emphasised the importance of getting the framework right and scaling up recycling technologies while ensuring feasibility and reduced environmental impact. The challenge of defining Substances of Concern (SoCs) based on their impact on recycling was also discussed, along with concerns about the “no data, no market” principle.
The impact of the transition on circularity was also identified as a priority for R&D. Several engaging presentations showcased the work of relevant EU-funded projects. Notably, a representative from the CIRPASS project shared key takeaways derived from mapping various Digital Product Passport (DPP) initiatives and platforms, shedding light on the path to fostering innovation and driving sustainability through R&D efforts.

Critical Raw Materials access will be a key challenge in the upcoming years

The Commission projects a staggering uptick in demand for lithium in batteries in the EU, set to grow to 12 times the current demand by 2030 and an astounding 21 times by 2050. Recognising the importance of securing a sustainable supply of critical raw materials, the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) seeks to address this pressing issue. However, several challenges must be tackled, including scaling up sustainable extraction, processing and manufacturing of material, as well as providing sufficient quality of secondary materials. CLEPA highlighted the importance of forging strategic partnerships to overcome dependencies, as well as conducting risk assessments and mitigation for conflict affected and high-risk areas, where data emerges as an essential element given the complexity of the automotive supply chain.

Harmonisation of sustainability policies and initiatives is needed to streamline industry efforts

The event also focused on automotive sustainability initiatives and tools, in particular, Corporate Social Responsibility, due diligence and their respective legislative files. Guest speakers from CSR Europe, Responsible Business Alliance and Responsible Supply Chain Initiative shared their insights on sustainability reporting and auditing in the automotive industry and concluded that there is a strong need to streamline these different mechanisms and requirements for suppliers.
Another key aspect of automotive sustainability is a Product’s Carbon Footprint (PCF). With the increasing electrification of vehicles there is an urgent need for a harmonised methodology for PCF quantification. Distinguished speakers from A-PACT, Catena-X, and UNECE IWG A-LCA provided valuable insights into the planned initiatives aimed at enabling the collection, compilation, inter-exchange, and reporting of actual carbon footprint data. It was emphasised that globally accepted calculation guidelines and common tools are essential for accurate PCF calculation. This message was further reiterated during the IMDS session of the event, highlighting the integration of PCFs into IMDS and the intention to utilise the Catena-X PCF Rulebook as a foundational resource.



CLEPA | Automotive suppliers cautiously optimistic despite continuing pressure on profit margins

  • CLEPA and McKinsey’s semi-annual survey shows nearly half of suppliers expect profits to remain low, with nearly one-quarter expecting losses in 2023
  • General outlook is more positive compared to 6 months ago; 35 percent of suppliers are optimistic about the future, while 35 percent remain concerned
  • Business activities in China are both a strategic priority and challenge, with 45 percent of European suppliers involved from a moderate to great extent

in CLEPA, 23-05-2023

Europe’s automotive suppliers are regaining some of their optimism about the future, according to the latest Pulse Check survey conducted by CLEPA and McKinsey in February 2023. While almost half of the surveyed suppliers anticipate low profit margins, the general outlook is good, with 35 percent expecting positive market growth.

This indicates a significant shift in sentiment from the last survey conducted in the fall of 2022, when 70 percent of suppliers had a pessimistic outlook. This mood change is mainly due to the prospect of higher revenue, expected by two thirds of suppliers surveyed. At the same time, profits remain a source for concern, as nearly half (43 percent) of suppliers expect a low EBIT margin of just 1 to 5 percent with only one quarter expecting their profits to climb higher.

“Despite the overall improvement in sentiment compared to six months ago, the pressure on supplier profits remains a key concern for the industry,” says Andreas Venus, Senior Partner at McKinsey. “After two difficult years, the mood in the industry is lifting a bit but it’s too early to assume the risks have been completely overcome.”

To address this, many suppliers remain focused on improving profits by exploring three levers: having manufacturers compensate added costs to the suppliers, monitoring direct and indirect costs even better, and adapting their product portfolios. Although many companies have managed to adjust their prices and enhance supply-chain resilience while also shifting towards e-mobility, there are still persistent concerns among industry players regarding the potential for a recession and an uncertain inflationary environment. However, an increasing number of suppliers are actively pursuing long-term challenges and are exploring new investment opportunities to foster future growth.

“The results of the Pulse Check affirm the automotive supply industry’s dedication to investing in innovation,” states Benjamin Krieger, CLEPA Secretary General. “The shift in mobility and the transition towards green technologies present exciting prospects for automotive suppliers. However, the competitiveness of the EU as an investment destination and the accessibility and adequacy of capital to fund these investments remain significant concerns.”

Investment needs and access to skilled workers are a major strategic challenge. Despite profitability pressures, a minority of suppliers is looking to reduce investments (37 percent) or R&D expenses (18 percent). In terms of personnel acquisition, engineers remain the most sought-after group – 76 percent of suppliers say that finding and hiring these employees has become more difficult in the last five years. Demand is also still high for software developers (38 percent) and sourcing experts (35 percent).

The importance of establishing and expanding business relationships with customers in the Chinese market continues to increase, adding an additional layer of complexity and opportunity for automotive suppliers. Doing business in China is a top strategic priority for suppliers, with 45 percent involved from a moderate to great extent, and accounting for around 10 percent of business revenue. If supply chains are considered, two thirds of companies are highly dependent on China. However, just under 40 percent of suppliers have taken concrete steps to manage the potential risks of doing business in the country.




  • CLEPA represents over 3,000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over €30 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers directly employ about 1.7 million people in Europe.

About McKinsey

  • McKinsey is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organizations accelerate sustainable and inclusive growth. We work with clients across the private, public, and social sectors to solve complex problems and create positive change for all their stakeholders. We combine bold strategies and transformative technologies to help organizations innovate more sustainably, achieve lasting gains in performance, and build workforces that will thrive for this generation and the next.



CLEPA | Coalition of steel users calls for termination of EU Steel Safeguard Measures

A cross-sectoral industry coalition of European steel users calls on the European Commission to terminate the EU steel safeguard measures as part of the ongoing review to be concluded by 30 June 2023.

in CLEPA, 10-05-2023

The safeguard measures constitute an unnecessary and burdensome restriction on our industries’ access to steel, which ultimately hampers Europe’s net-zero transition and our international and domestic competitiveness. Additionally, as shown by the recent WTO dispute brought by Türkiye against the EU steel safeguard measures, there are in fact legitimate doubts as to whether steel imports have ever represented a serious threat for the EU steel industry.

The growth prospects of our industries are currently threatened by an increasingly volatile international environment, which has resulted throughout several years in large fluctuations in steel prices and significant disruptions to our steel supply chains. Additionally, the upcoming Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will result in higher steel input costs for our industries, which will continue to face competition from third-country downstream goods that are not subject to CBAM. Our industries must have the necessary flexibility to source steel both on the domestic EU market and from third countries, given its importance as an essential manufacturing input. Such flexibility is necessary to (1) manage increasingly frequent supply chain disruptions (2) source at reasonable prices to maintain our industries’ international and domestic competitiveness and (3) source steel with low embedded carbon emissions to meet our customers’ growing sustainability requirements.

In the light of the above, the system of quotas created by the safeguard measures constitutes an unjustified burden for European steel users, hampering their ability to manage the challenges of the current volatile international environment. In particular, our industries have reported the following:

  • Multiple individual quota allocations for specific countries and product categories are insufficient and are therefore quickly exhausted, forcing companies to pay the 25% out-of-quota duty.
  • Many key steel products are not produced in sufficient quantities in the EU and announced investments will not be enough to meet future demand. This is particularly problematic for steel products required to enable the EU’s green transition.
  • Importing steel under the quota system represents a considerable administrative burden and a complex task, which is especially unfair to SMEs.

Our industries are aware of the many challenges that the steel industry is currently facing globally (e.g. overcapacity issues, high energy prices, etc.). We also remain supportive of targeted interventions aimed at helping the steel industry to decarbonise. However, we do not believe that the steel safeguard measures are the appropriate instrument to address any of the challenges faced by the steel industry.

Therefore, to foster the expected growth of our industries and to avoid hampering the EU’s twin transition to a green and digital economy, it is imperative that the European Commission terminates the steel safeguard measures by 30 June 2023.



CLEPA calls for new approach to EU’s net-zero industry

CLEPA calls for holistic industrial approach for the manufacturing of green and smart technologies

  • The measures of the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) are a step forward but fall short of enabling a competitive net zero industry
  • CLEPA calls for a holistic industrial strategy supported by public funding to scale innovations that serve green & smart objectives

in CLEPA, 10-05-2023

The European Commission’s proposed Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) aims to scale up the manufacturing of net zero technologies in the EU, in support of the green energy transition. While the NZIA is a positive step forward, a successful green transition will require full use of all digital capabilities, including smart manufacturing and mobility, to safeguard Europe’s industrial competitiveness and prosperity.

In its new paper, CLEPA proposes the integration of the NZIA into a broader holistic industrial strategy, including encompassing state aid reform, reduced regulatory burden, and the provision of enabling conditions for the green and digital transition. The centrepiece of the industrial strategy should be a five-to-ten year funding instrument aligned with the objectives of the 14 industrial ecosystems and six critical value chains identified in 2021.

Read CLEPA’s Paper on Net Zero Industry Act and State Aid Reform


CLEPA applauds European Commission’s proposal to regulate standard essential patents on new technologies

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a balanced and fair system of licensing for the use of standard essential patents (SEPs).

in CLEPA, 28-04-2023

The automotive industry invests €30 billion annually in research, innovation and marketing of solutions that support the green and digital transition of mobility. For these investments, companies require certainty and predictability to continue to advance towards a more sustainable and digital future. In this regard, the licensing of standard essential patents for electronic and digital innovation plays an important role. Unfortunately, current licensing practices lack transparency and reliability, resulting in lengthy and costly litigation that can potentially hinder innovation.

“The proposed regulation promises to enhance transparency and level the playing field for patent holders and users. This will result in significant improvements to the current situation,” says Benjamin Krieger, CLEPA Secretary General.

It is specifically important that the proposal prioritises transparency, negotiations, and third-party determination before injunctions for SEPs. Making FRAND determination a legal obligation prior to any patent infringement or assertion procedure, will significantly reduce lengthy and expensive litigation. Any willing licensee, regardless of their position in the value chain, must be able to obtain a FRAND license. Only by making both provisions legally binding do we expect a significantly positive impact.

CLEPA’s Senior Manager for Legal Affairs, Mariola Hauke, states “In order to boost innovation and succeed in the mobility transition, automotive suppliers need a solid legal framework that ensures fair competition and allows a design-around approach where it enriches technology for the benefit of all.”

With the aim to provide insight into the specificities of the automotive supply patent ecosystem, CLEPA published comprehensive policy guidelines earlier this year:


See Policy guidelines



CLEPA | Group of trade associations urges Commission to maintain the objectives of the proposal on Standard Essential Patents

A group of trade associations have sent a joint letter to the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen, warning about the concerns in the shelve of the proposal on Standard Essential Patents (SEP), with which patent-holders commit to licence their SEPs to users of the standard on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions.

in CLEPA, 18-04-2023

The group supports and appreciates the objectives represented in the reported European Commission proposal for a regulation on standard essential patents. The associations welcome the efforts of the Commission in developing this proposal, which addresses many of the concerns raised in recent years.

The proposed regulation includes strong measures that could improve transparency and predictability in the standard essential patents licensing ecosystem for all stakeholders. It recognises that royalty stacking is a concern and creates a pathway for parties to have a fair chance to negotiate a FRAND license before litigation can be brought. It also recognizes the principle that anyone should be able to get a FRAND license if they are willing to take one.

The group urges the Commission to maintain the objectives of the legislative proposal and further build upon them, raising that there has been a strong push from a small group of stakeholders to shelve this proposal.

Read the letter

Why does SEP regulation matter to automotive suppliers’ contribution to the future of mobility?

Automotive is one of the industries outside of traditional telecommunications facing Standard Essential Patents (SEP) licensing abuse. Automotive suppliers invest, innovate, build and market next-generation products advancing the future of mobility. In fact, automotive suppliers register over 39,000 patents each year.

Companies in the automotive supply industry need certainty and predictability to reliably invest in the development of new technologies using new standards. That is why creating a balanced system of licensing for the use of standards will motivate SEP holders and implementers to engage in good faith negotiations.


CLEPA Policy Guidelines on SEP



CLEPA | Access to in-vehicle data and resources will be key as the aftermarket prepares for new vehicle technologies

  • The aftermarket community discussed vehicle technology challenges at the CLEPA Aftermarket Conference 2023, including the need for cybersecurity and authorisation for replacement parts.
  • CLEPA appreciates the horizontal Data Act but still sees the need for a sector-specific legislation to ensure a vibrant service market based on fair, equal and competitive access for all service providers, benefiting consumers.
  • CLEPA and Boston Consulting Group predict that by 2030, 15% of passenger cars will be owned by fleets, driving the electrification of the vehicle parc.

in CLEPA, 05-04-2023

With the shift to battery electric vehicles and the rise of connected vehicles equipped with new Electric & Electronic (E/E) architectures, the European automotive industry is undergoing an unparalleled transformation. As these new technologies gain momentum, the entire value chain must prepare for the challenges of servicing such vehicles over the next few decades.

These challenges for the service industry were the focus of the 14th edition of the CLEPA Aftermarket Conference 2023, with the theme ‘Driving Service Innovation’. The event, which took place in Brussels on 29 & 30 March, brought together over 180 participants, including top-level speakers from the Commission, Parliament and industry.

In his welcome speech, CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, stated: “Consumer confidence is crucial for the acceptance and the deployment of new technologies. This is best achieved by a wide choice of equipped and skilled repairers in the aftermarket ensuring seamless service over the lifespan of vehicles.” The consumer in the centre was also seen as most relevant by Hasmeet Kaur, Roland Berger, who shared her thoughts on the ‘Mobility vision 2040’, in a keynote address.

Mark Nicklas, Head of Unit Mobility at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, kicked-off the second day of the conference with an overview on planned aftermarket-relevant regulations, stating that cybersecurity is essential but will require further regulatory intervention to ensure a level playing field. The audience also took note that the Commission is still planning to develop a proposal for a sector-specific regulation to complement the EU Data Act with regards to the use of in-vehicle data.

Angelica Petrov, Policy Advisor in the office of MEP Alin Mituta, presented the European Parliament’s view on the Data Act. She highlighted the challenges of achieving a balance between protecting intellectual property rights and trade secrets while allowing for general data sharing in the horizontal regulation, particularly in terms of defining scope of the “data”.

Alexander Brenner from Boston Consulting Group presented the first findings of a joint study with CLEPA on the impact of fleets on the aftermarket business. The study revealed that by 2030, around 15% of the passenger cars will be owned and operated by fleets, with 62% of them as battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the base scenario. The future market volume for repair and maintenance, tires, crash repairs, and accessories, will be determined by the overall percentage of vehicles owned by fleets, as well as the proportion of BEVs within those fleets. The study also analysed various scenarios for passenger cars and included insights on light commercial vehicles, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as well as trailers.

In the second half of the event, Damian Dyrbusch, head of the newly founded Bosch Centre of Competence for Mobility System Architectures, provided insights into the E/E architecture of connected vehicles as part of a broader ecosystem. This led to a panel discussion on the challenges that new technologies pose for the aftermarket. Eric-Mark Huitema (AVERE), Christian Knobloch (Knobloch & Gröhn), Stefan von Dalen (Hella), Dominik Lutter (ZDK) and Hari Ramakrishnan (FIGIEFA) discussed the future role of OEMs and tech players, and the impact of cybersecurity measure requires from OEMs. The panel also addressed the role of OBD and the relevance of software updates. While the technical capability of software updates was seen as relevant, cybersecurity measures and in-vehicle data access were seen as major competition issues in the aftermarket.

The final part of the event showcased four best practice examples presented by start-ups in cybersecurity, greenhouse gas emission trading, digital car service documentation and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

This was followed by Hans Bosch, ANBW, who shared surprising statistics on breakdowns of BEVs, which were found to be higher than those of combustion engine vehicles. Per Oscarson and Petra Bendelin, both from MEKO, explained how the largest wholesaler in the Nordic region prepares workshops, mechanics and distribution for the electric vehicle age. This session ended with Stefan van Dalen, Hella-Gutmann, introducing solutions for an increasing complexity of service and maintenance.

Frank Schlehuber, CLEPA’s Senior Consultant Market Affairs, closed the 14th edition of this conference, commenting, “The aftermarket must prepare for new technologies, new players in the sector and increased fleet business. There are high expectations towards policymakers for a robust regulatory framework to ensure a level playing field, but it is good to see that the sector is already preparing for future challenges. We have seen impressive best practice examples making me confident that the aftermarket will have the strength and creativity to adapt to new technologies.”

The next edition of the CLEPA Aftermarket Conference is planned for March 2024.

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.”


Download the Press Release



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.