Automotive industry. Luca de Meo calls for an ambitious European policy

The new president of ACEA, Luca de Meo, has sent an open letter to European leaders ahead of the presentation of the Green Deal industrial plan. The general manager of the Renault group calls for the implementation of an ambitious industrial policy in the Old Continent.


Robin Schmidt


Renault managing director Luca de Meo is also president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) from January 1, 2023.


The European Union, lagging behind the United States and China in electric car production, introduced 1 this Wednesdayer february voice Green Pact for Europe (Green Deal). A green and carbon-free industrial plan, specifically aimed at promoting the production of zero-emission vehicles. A day ago, the president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Luca de Meo, called on the leaders of European institutions on the need for an ambitious industrial policy.

The automotive industry is urgently calling ambitious and structured automotive industry policy to compete with other regions of the world while maintaining free trade worldwide “, he wrote in an open letter published on January 31.

Against US and Chinese subsidies

In the context of the transition of the car fleet to zero-emission mobility, Luca de Meo is convinced: the global competitiveness of the European automotive industry is at stake. Indeed, according to the general manager of the Renault group, current trends show that it is gradually losing ground to its main global competitors. And this our industry has long had a competitive advantage in the entire internal combustion engine value chain “, says the president of ACEA. And to continue: This will no longer be the case with electric cars, at least in the short term. Our competitors hold a lot of cards that we don’t yet have, especially at the top of the battery electric vehicle supply chain. In addition, support from national and local authorities in China and the United States has been substantial and continues to grow.. »

A European political leaders’ response to subsidies The Americans (the Anti-Inflation Act) and the Chinese therefore seem important, according to Luca de Meo. The Green Deal industrial plan announced by the European Commission could be the first step to help keep investment in the EU. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, believes that this plan is a “A unique opportunity to set an example with speed, ambition and determination, to secure EU industrial leadership in the emerging sector of net-zero technologies. Europe is determined to play a leading role in the cleantech revolution. A simplified framework will make it easier for our companies to turn skills into quality jobs and technological innovation into large-scale production. “Better access to finance will enable rapid growth of our core cleantech industry.”

The much-criticized Euro 7 standard for polluting emissions

The upcoming Euro 7 standard, which will apply from July 2025, is intended to limit nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions for diesels to 60 milligrams per kilometer. A measure contested by ACEA will apply to the automotive industry unattainable limits and even slows down its path to decarbonization. ” Compliance with Euro 7 will lead to increased costs that may discourage customers from purchasing these new cars “Luca de Meo warned. The latter also warns of the risks associated with the application of this standard, which ” could extend the life of the fleet. This means that older cars with higher emissions will stay on the road longer. “.

The CEO of the Renault group also believes that the investments needed to implement the Euro 7 standard would be more beneficial if they were focused on electrification, making zero-emission cars more affordable and new technologies to improve the fleet. “ What we require today is a strategic approach, an open vision, time and, above all, the opportunity to join forces and make the voice of the automotive industry heard in the debate. What we offer is our determination to achieve our goals, transparency and a fact-based approach, in addition to the daily work of millions of people. », ACEA president concludes in his letter.

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