Brussels – A grouping of European business organisations and trade bodies, including the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA), has called for a “bold industrial recovery plan” to revive the region’s automotive sector following Covid-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement 26 May, the associations stressed that the recovery blueprint should stimulate sales and revive production while supporting the industry towards a carbon-neutral future.
“Solutions have to be found through timely anticipation of change, an effective social dialogue at all levels, active labour market policies, up-and re-skilling, and support to redevelopment plans for automotive regions,” said the communique.
The plan, said the statement, should envisage 'urgently needed' coordinated measures for relaunching the industry and for avoiding further disruptions in supply chains.
In addition, the signatories called for financial support such as tax breaks and state aid to companies to help maintain their resilience.
The trade bodies also called for introducing and reinforcing temporary demand stimuli, such as vehicle renewal schemes. Such measures, they added, should be eligible for latest technologies and be differentiated according to safety and environment performance.
“Demand stimulus is needed to re-start the assembly lines and to preserve jobs,” the statement added.
To support the sector in delivering on the digital and low-carbon transitions, the trade bodies also urged the European Commission to provide, among others, effective technology programmes and investment support.
The European automotive sector employs 13.8 million people, accounting for 6.1% of all EU jobs. In addition, the industry generates a trade surplus of €84.4 billion for the EU, while bringing revenue of €440.4 billion for governments in major European markets.
Other signatories to the statement were industriAll Europe; engineering technology association Ceemet; the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA); the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) and the European federation of motor trade associations (CECRA).