COVID-19 is having a major impact on the European economy, with retail and manufacturing activity crippled and concerns mounting on consumer sentiment.
The European automotive sector, which has been hit particularly badly has proposed a plan comprised of 25 key actions to ensure a strong restart of the sector and the European economy at large.
Targeting decision makers at EU and national level, the action plan lists tangible recommendations to successfully exit from the COVID 19 crisis. It is issued by the four associations representing the full automotive supply chain: from equipment and tyre suppliers, to vehicle manufacturers, to dealers and workshops (ACEA, CECRA, CLEPA and ETRMA).
Together, they want to contribute to a policy response to COVID-19 that ensures public health, minimises the impact on the economy and maintains focus on the overarching objectives of our time: the digital and carbon-neutral society.
As part of the action plan, the sector calls for coordinated vehicle renewal schemes for all vehicle types and categories across the EU.
This will boost private and business demand, support economic recovery across the board as well as accelerate the rejuvenation of the vehicle fleet on Europe’s roads, according to the action plan.
Purchase and investment incentives should be based on similar criteria across Europe, drawing on both national and EU funding. Such schemes should be enhanced by scrapping premiums, and should take into account society’s climate ambitions and resource-efficiency objectives in concert with the economic impact, the plan states.
Eric-Mark Huitema, Director General of ACEA, the automobile manufacturers’ association stated: “It is now crucial to bring the entire automotive value chain back into motion. We need a coordinated relaunch of industrial and retail activity, with maintained liquidity for businesses. Targeted measures will need to be taken to trigger demand and investment. Demand stimulus will boost the utilisation of our manufacturing capacity, safeguarding jobs and investments.”
Bernard Lycke, Director General of CECRA, the association of automotive dealers and workshops says: “To relaunch mobility and economic activity, it will be essential that vehicle dealerships and motor vehicle workshops reopen as soon as possible in the countries where they are still closed. Targeted purchase incentives and scrappage schemes for all categories of vehicles will, in addition to spurring the recovery, make a positive contribution towards carbon neutrality and road safety.”
Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe says: “Restarting the automotive sector will act as an engine of overall economic recovery because of the significant employment impact and immediate knock-on effect on other sectors. Investment in people and R&D remains key as well. Europe needs a strong automotive ecosystem to stay competitive and push ahead with ambitious environmental, digital and road safety targets.”
Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General of ETRMA, the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association: “The automotive sector is committed to emerging from this crisis stronger than before. A successful restart requires a supportive regulatory framework that protects public health, minimises the impact on the economy and ensures a transition to a circular, carbon-neutral economy. In close collaboration with the European Commission, we want to contribute to a policy response that brings about a successful COVID-19 recovery.”