Berlin – Huebner Group’s general manager for mobility Helge Förster has called on European policy makers to provide more support for EU-based rail industry suppliers.
Addressing a panel discussion at the German Transport Forum (DVF) 17 March, Förster said "made in Europe" rules and EU local content requirements were needed for the industry.
"To retain industrial value creation in Germany and Europe and to continue to be able to provide competitive public transport, appropriate infrastructure and production facilities need to be maintained in European locations,” said Förster addressing the forum in Berlin.
To that end, he said the EU ‘urgently needs’ to formulate stronger local content requirements for European project tenders “in the same manner that other countries already do.”
The company official said that protectionism was increasing in countries outside the EU, which have introduced "strict localisation requirements" for suppliers.
As a consequence of these requirements, Förster said, only two thirds of the worldwide railway market is accessible to European railway market suppliers.
In the meantime, he said, the European market is “entirely open” to state-subsidised companies from non-European countries.
“Non-EU companies can win tenders for projects in Europe while offering products that are produced nearly completely outside of the EU," he added.
örster warned that under the current circumstances a further weakening of Europe as a production location and job losses are “unavoidable”.
"To prevent company closings, site relocations and job losses, we need a clear political commitment from Brussels for multilateral free-trade agreements and a European trade policy that is based on openness, assertiveness and sustainability," said the Huebner general manager.
Based in Kassel, Germany, Huebner is an industrial and mobility parts maker.
The group's rail-related activities include the production of gangway systems for railway vehicles, chassis components for railway cars, entry systems for trams, and cockpit displays for railway vehicles.