Proposals to make EU auto sector more competitive by investing in innovation, cutting red tape, boosting skills and increasing access to overseas markets.
Keeping the automotive industry fit is vital for Europe's prosperity. Some 12 million people depend, directly or indirectly, on the sector for their livelihoods.
But carmakers are under pressure from the global downturn. Demand is falling at a time when competition is growing, challenging EU companies at home and abroad. Manufacturers must also respond to the increasing demand for better energy efficiency and safer cars.
Meeting these challenges means companies need to focus more on quality and innovation. To help them make this transformation, the Commission is proposing a package of measures. These include:
The plan is based on the Commission's industrial strategy, which sets EU priorities for boosting strategic sectors – which also include aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
The strategy aims to reverse the decline in manufacturing, increasing its share of gross domestic product from the current 16% to around 20% by 2020. Manufacturing currently accounts for 80% of the EU’s exports.