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CARS 21 final report - summary of contributions

Stakeholder consultation on the CARS 21 final report - summary of the results


In 2005, the CARS 21 High Level Group brought together the main stakeholders in the automotive sector to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the competitiveness of the European automotive industry. On 12th December 2005 the Group adopted its final report pdf - 582 KB [582 KB] , which included a series of recommendations to help improve the competitiveness of the European automotive industry. In 2006, the Commission will come forward with a Communication to the European Parliament and Council in which the Commission's conclusions from the CARS 21 High Level Group will be presented together with an outline of perspectives for future automotive policy. As part of this process an internet consultation was carried out in order to invite all interested parties to comment on the CARS 21 final report.


A total of 34 responses were received during the consultation process. Contributors included representatives of government, industry, NGOs, academia, consultancies and private individuals. The summary below only covers some of the main elements identified by the stakeholders. All the contributions received can be found here.

Issues Identified

International regulatory harmonisation

Many stakeholders welcomed the Commission's simplification initiative and the move towards increased international regulatory requirements. Some stakeholders indicated that international harmonisation should not lead to lower requirements in the EU in areas such as road safety and the environment. Some stakeholders also asked for clarification on how the UNECE process operates.

Internal market

Strengthening the internal market was welcomed by stakeholders. Some stakeholders expressed surprise that the report made no reference to a number of issues in Directive 70/156/EEC such as limiting the exemption for heavier passenger cars from crash tests and pedestrian safety and the regulations for the admission of individual vehicles and for small series. It was also suggested that registering a car previously registered in another Member State should be possible without having to have the car inspected again.

Better Regulation

Stakeholders supported the adoption of better regulation principles. Some stakeholders pointed to a potential contradiction between indicating the N+2 step and thorough impact assessments. Some stakeholders also suggested that better regulation should not imply less regulation and stressed the role of regulation in protecting weaker parties.

Regulatory instruments

Several stakeholders expressed the view that legislative measures are more effective than voluntary agreements and should replace the latter in the future.

Monitoring of CARS 21 recommendations

A number of stakeholders stressed the importance of implementation for the CARS 21 process. It was also suggested that progress should be monitored by a wide group of stakeholders.

Road Safety

Stakeholders welcomed the detailed attention given to road safety issues in the CARS 21 final report. Stakeholders were in agreement with the report's analysis of accident causes and the focusing of future activity on the three priority areas of speeding, drink driving, and failure to wear seat belts.

The measures proposed by the report were welcomed (particularly the Electronic Stability Control). Several stakeholders suggested the inclusion of additional measures, among which intelligent speed adaptation systems, intelligent seat-belt reminders and alcolocks were mentioned.

Some stakeholders also suggested increased action in the implementation of initiatives such as e-Call and other eSafety technologies.

Some stakeholders suggested the harmonisation of the highway-code across Europe citing strong public demand. The adoption of a cross-European traffic law enforcement directive, increased attention to road infrastructure and the protection of vulnerable road users were also referred to.

A modification of phase II of the Pedestrian Protection Directive was welcomed by several stakeholders. It was suggested that relevant implementing measures should be adopted quickly.

Environmental policy

Generally stakeholders welcomed the integrated approach as a good basis for environmental policy. Some stakeholders indicated that the integrated approach should not lead to the reduction of ambition levels in individual areas of environmental protection while others pointed to the importance of cost-efficiency. The role of fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, consumer information, labelling, gear shift indicators and eco-driving were among those mentioned as promising elements for the integrated approach to CO2 emissions. Some stakeholders referred to the importance of the 120 g/ km target and proposed extending the policy measures to heavy-duty vehicles and light commercial vehicles.

Some stakeholders proposed more stringent requirements for carbon and NOx emissions than have been put forward by the Euro 5 proposal while others suggested that the ambition levels of the Euro 6 should also be indicated now. Some stakeholders suggested that emissions legislation needs to clearly relate to the actual operational use of the fleet (i.e. real-life emissions).

Some stakeholders referred to the importance of noise control.

There were calls from some stakeholders to increase the volume of renewable fuels on the EU market and to ensure that the production of advanced biofuels can develop on an industrial scale.

Although the mention of hydrogen as part of CARS 21 was welcomed, some stakeholders believe that CARS 21 could have provided more explicit support for hydrogen and a common European energy policy.

Transport policy

Several stakeholders indicated that they would have liked the CARS 21 final report to have paid more attention to the role of the automotive industry in the EU's transport policy.


Attention was drawn to the fact that customs duties remain significant in Malaysia, India, Thailand and Indonesia, and European institutions were urged to act on this matter (particularly in the light of competitors' efforts to open up these markets for their products).

Access to repair information and design protection

The consultation drew a significant response to issues related to the aftermarket. Some stakeholders felt that CARS 21 could have focused more on the entire automotive value chain. The importance of effective vehicle maintenance and repair was highlighted and several stakeholders suggested that the principle of free and open competition in the repair sector should be included in the follow-up to CARS 21.

The OASIS standard was seen by several stakeholders as providing a solid basis for ensuring standardised open access to technical repair information.

Several stakeholders indicated that the market for visible spare parts should be open and liberalised while others perceived a conflict between the desire to enforce intellectual property rights and the lack of agreement in CARS 21 on the Commission proposal to remove design protection from visible spare parts (COM (2004) 582 pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) [238 KB] ). Some stakeholders expressed the view that increased competition would also result in increased competitiveness.

Fleet renewal

Some stakeholders saw fleet renewal as an important factor in enhancing the industry's competitiveness and contributing to improving the environmental and safety performance of vehicles.

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