• European parts and component makers call on EU policy makers to foster technology leadership and restore technology-neutral framework
• CLEPA vision paper on the future of mobility presented to media

Frankfurt, 11th September — Marking the start of the new EU legislative term, CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, presented the sector’s vision on the future of mobility to media at the IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt, today, calling on policy makers to prioritise Europe’s industrial powerhouse.

“Europe stands at crossroads”, said Roberto Vavassori, CLEPA President and member of the board of management of Brembo Spa. “Industrial competitiveness is under pressure, economic activity depressed and, in the EU, we feel the strain from deficiencies in the regulatory framework.” Citing policy choices in the transition to low-carbon mobility, he added: “This decade, there will be a clear focus on battery-electric solutions. The technology choice is driven by regulation, not the market, and this is fundamentally flawed; industry and society should not be locked in one solution.”

“We support Ms Von der Leyen’s choice for a European Green Deal. It’s inspired by the need for integrated policy”, Mr Vavassori continued. “Hence, based on our technology competence we state: longer-term we need a broader set of options. EU policy must find back to technology neutrality to achieve the Paris climate goals. We want Europe to lead, we are committed to deliver, and we call on national governments and the European Union to join in taking the long view.”

The automotive sector is living the biggest transformation in over a hundred years as society looks for innovative solutions to deal with emissions, urbanisation, congestion, traffic safety and seamless mobility. CLEPA members have a key role in the systemic change that is unfolding. Their focus is shifting from vehicles to mobility, from combustion engines to alternative powertrains, and from mechanical components to electronics and software systems. The CLEPA vision paper, mandated by the top of the sector’s leading companies, outlines the technology-driven solutions that suppliers bring to the fore as well as highlights how policy can best support.

Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA Secretary General: “The stakes are high. The world of new mobility poses threats and opportunities, with a profound impact on Europe’s industrial powerhouse. A functioning, reliable and innovation-friendly legal framework is more essential than ever to support the competitiveness of this key pillar of the EU economy.”

As outlined in the CLEPA vision paper, the EU should compete for technology leadership and gear efforts towards critical technology fields, such as sensors, artificial Intelligence and advanced battery manufacturing to avoid other regions taking a dominating role. Public support for R&D, including through the Horizon Europe programme, has an important role to play in the competition with other world regions, such as the USA, China, Japan and Korea, but requires equally strong budgets as well as unbureaucratic, technology-neutral procedures.

In the global arena, the EU should leverage its strong economic position and be ready to mitigate factors that negatively impact European competitiveness. In this context, suppliers support for the WTO to be strengthened, and urge that trade wars be avoided as experience shows the damage being as much on the receiving end as on those imposing the barriers to trade.