The future of the European automotive industry will be green and digital and green means carbon neutral and circular as clearly stated in the European Green Deal Communication. The Green Deal is the political compass of the European Union Industrial policy for the coming decades even though the number of challenges ahead is huge. Here are some of them:
- A synchronized relaunch of industrial activity including the aftermarket with harmonised guidance on preventive health and safety measures for the workplace; coordination is also needed to avoid further disruptions in the sophisticated automotive supply chains
- Keeping viable companies afloat. To avoid stranded assets and job losses, liquidity support has to be maintained for as long as this is needed, while avoiding undue windfall profits: state aid, investment guarantees, tax breaks, soft loans
- Supporting companies in maintaining/developing their human capital while the income and job security of workers must be preserved e.g. through continuation of short-time work arrangements connected to skills upgrading
- Introducing/reinforcing temporary demand stimulus measures, keeping in mind that unemployment, precariousness and pressure on wages are the main obstacles to a rise in demand. These measures should be in line with the EU Green Deal objectives and modulated according to the impact on reduction of CO2 emissions.
- Mapping the impact of the current crisis on the supply chains and assess where challenges will appear to comply with the EU legislation
- Commission's 2021 Work Programme: Updating the new industrial strategy for Europe (there is also a proposal for a revision of the regulation setting CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles
- This sector has been identified as a priority for the EU Recovery strategy: To help create more jobs, there will also be a focus on accelerating the production and deployment of sustainable vehicles and vessels as well as alternative fuels. The Connecting Europe Facility, InvestEU and other funds will support the financing of the installation of one million charging points, clean fleet renewals by cities and companies, sustainable transport infrastructure and enable the shift to clean urban mobility.
Based on the ongoing changes we believe that a CCMI and EESC opinion on this topic will, during its preparation, open the possibility of discussing this issue with all stakeholders in society. This opinion can be used as the background paper for the future discussions.