Saving jobs while reducing emissions
For many decades, the European automotive sector has been one of the key pillars of the economic and social welfare of Europe. Indirectly, the sector provides employment to 13,8million workers. The European assembly plants still produce 1 in every 4cars worldwide. The sector is highly innovative and accounts for 20% of industrial research funding in Europe. Europe’s automotive sector has become a global leader with a strong export orientation. It is a stronghold of European industry and a driver for jobs and economic growth across Europe. As a result of the substantial economic interlinkages with other sectors along the value chain, its importance for employment and growth for the whole economy is clear.
COVID-19provoked an unprecedented crisis in the sector with an effective standstill of car production and distribution in Europe for several weeks. Sales came to a halt, investments have plummeted and the market introduction of new clean models has been postponed. At the same time, post-pandemic work organisation is increasing production costs.
The economic and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the automotive sector is particularly severe. Workers, although supported by short-time work arrangements, have seen their incomes reduced, and companies are facing cash drains as their revenues have disappeared. Currently, there is little visibility on what the future holds. If this situation persists, the sector risks a meltdown with large-scale bankruptcies and restructuring.
During the financial crisis(2008-13),the automotive sector lost 440.000 jobs (in car production and the aftermarket). If no measures are taken, this number risks being dwarfed by the current recession which may be much deeper.
Therefore, industriAll Europe, Ceemet, ACEA, CLEPA, CECRA and ETRMA, the European business organisations and the trade unions for the sector call on the European Commission for a bold industrial recovery plan. Such a plan should be based on two objectives. First of all, bringing the industry back on track by stimulating sales and reviving production, and secondly, supporting the industry in its journey towards a carbon-neutral future, based on the Green Deal and Europe’s climate objectives.
To date, the sector has been substantially investing in its transition towards the new paradigm of a carbon-neutral and digitalised economy: including, alternative powertrains, batteries, connected cars, mobility services, and automated driving. The industry can make a real contribution to the Green Deal and mitigating the climate emergency. But due to COVID-19, strong support from the national governments and the Commission is needed in order to help the sector to make the necessary investments in transitioning to decarbonisation while supporting European jobs and keeping its contribution to EU exports and the social welfare of European citizens.
To bring the sector back on track and enable it to emerge from this recession, the European automotive sector urgently needs:
To support the sector in delivering on the digital and low-carbon transitions, we request that the European Commission takes the following actions:
As the COVID-19 crisis has serious ramifications for jobs, industriAll Europe, Ceemet, ACEA, CLEPA, CECRA and ETRMA, call for the organisation of a just transition for every worker affected by restructuring. 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.
industriAll Europe, Ceemet, ACEA, CLEPA, CECRA and ETRMA insist that the upcoming European recovery plan pays due attention to a sector that has already invested heavily in its transition and that has the ambition to continue these investments once it has overcome the COVID-19 crisis. To save jobs and companies, it is important to act decisively to ensure the continuity of economic activity, to stave off bankruptcies and to prevent mass layoffs. The EU must maintain the ambition to keep the full automotive value chain inside the EU. This would allow the EU to keep a strong European automotive sector and to maintain our global leadership in clean vehicles, to deliver on its climate objectives and to maintain/create high quality jobs. Finally, a recovery of the automotive sector will generate positive knock-on effects for the overall economy.
Note to editors: EU’s automotive factsheet
Note to editors: About the organisations
IndustriAll European Trade Union is the federation of independent and democratic trade unions representing workers in the metal, chemical, energy, mining, textile, clothing and footwear sectors and related industries and activities. IndustriAll Europe represents7 million working men and women united within 180 national trade union affiliates in 38 European countries. Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley, press &communication, [email protected], +32 473 73 43 63, www.industriall-europe.eu
ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group. Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, +32 485 886 647, [email protected] www.acea.eu
CECRA is the European federation bringing together national professional associations which represent the interest of motor trade and repair businesses and European Dealer Councils. CECRA represents on a European scale 336.720 motor trade and repair businesses. Together they employ 2.9 million people. Contact: Bernard Lycke, Director General,+32 475 932 693, [email protected] , www.cecra.eu
CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3.000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 25 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe directly and indirectly employ nearly five million people across the continent. Contact: Pilar Pérez, CommunicationsDirector,+32 478949159, [email protected] , www.clepa.eu
ETRMA, the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association represent nearly 4.400 companies in the EU, directly employing about 370.000 people. The global sales of ETRMA’s corporate members represent 70% of total global sales, have a strong manufacturing and research presence within the EU and candidate countries, with 93 tyre-producing plants and 17 R&D centres. Contact: Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General, +32 475 34 83 71, [email protected], www.etrma.org
Ceemet represents the metal, engineering and technology-based industry employers in Europe. Member organisations represent 200,000 companies in Europe, providing over 17 million direct and 35 million indirect jobs.
Ceemet is a recognised European social partner at the industrial sector level, promoting global competitiveness for European industry through consultation and social dialogue. Contact: Chetan Corten, Head of Communications, +32 472 25 02 28, [email protected], www.cemet.org
Source: European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA)