Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs met representatives from the automotive sector in Brussels on 26 January 2016 to discuss the launch of GEAR 2030.
Competitiveness of the EU automotive industry is very important for the future growth of the EU economy. To remain competitive, the European automotive industry will quickly have to adapt to challenges from globalisation, changing mobility patterns, digitalisation and consumer expectations. Europe is no longer an absolute leader in terms of regulatory standards and the market access benefits stemming from the free trade agreements and multilateral frameworks are becoming increasingly challenged.
The GEAR 2030 High Level Group will focus on three areas of work:
- the adaptation of the value chain to new global challenges
- the automated and connected vehicles
- trade, international harmonisation and global competitiveness.
The Commission estimates that the impact on the ground could be substantial, through e.g. new transport services, lower accident rates and increased shares on third markets.
For example, as 90% of road accidents come from human error, the automated and connected vehicles roadmap could help to drastically reduce road fatalities.
By addressing the new global challenges in the supply chain the European suppliers could remain ahead of the curve and reinforce the technological leadership that has been challenged by rapidly evolving geographical and product markets.
An ambitious, forward-looking regulatory agenda could warrant continued private and public investment in research, development and innovation, helping EU automotive industry, in particular small and medium-sized players, adapt to rapid production cycles. It could also increase the share of high-quality and high-technology vehicles on third markets with high growth potential.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said:
"This is an important project for the Commission. The automotive industry is important for growth and jobs. We need to analyse the challenges affecting competitiveness. I expect this group to develop a forward-looking agenda to fuel innovation, adapt to new trends and reinforce access to growth-driven markets. With this process I am also turning a new page in cooperation with the industry. I trust we can build a positive agenda."