Commercial Vehicle CEOs draw attention of Commissioners and MEPs to crisis’ impact on the transport sector

Date

04 Nov 2009

Sections

Transport

Brussels, 4 November 2009 – CEOs of the major European commercial vehicle manufacturers met yesterday and today in Brussels with European Commissioners, senior officials and Members of the European Parliament to
highlight first-hand how the freight transport sector and its millions of employees are affected by the economic and financial crisis.

“The reality on the road, in the workshops and in sales and manufacturing is harsh’, said Leif Östling, Chairman of the ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board and CEO of Scania. “It is important that EU policy makers are well informed about this situation and we have encouraged them to alleviate
the enormous pressure on this important part of the economy.” Östling, accompanied by Aad Goudriaan (President DAF), Andreas Renschler (CEO Daimler Trucks) and Mario Astengo (Senior Vice President Iveco) met with
the Commissioners Vladimir Spidla (Employment) and Antonio Tajani(Transport) as well as with Directors General and several key MEPs.

As a direct consequence of the economic downturn and credit crunch, transport demand has dropped sharply over the past year. Vehicle fleet operators often have a quarter of their trucks standing idle. This situation is unlikely to change until the economy starts recovering.

Demand for new commercial vehicles has fallen sharply as well and the European manufacturers do not expect the market to pick up before 2011.

Over the past year, they have already taken numerous measures to adapt output levels, but pressure on permanent employment levels is mounting.

At the same time, vehicle manufacturers go to great lengths to sustain investments in R&D, most notably in the fields of road safety and emissions reduction. Just the Euro VI emission requirements alone require immediate industry level investments of EUR 6-8 billion. Under the current circumstances, this translates in annual R&D investments of around 10% of turnover – an enormous load to carry. The other main priority remains the further improvement of fuel and energy efficiency in
order to contribute to global CO2 emission reduction objectives as well as to provide a clear business case to customers to invest in new vehicles.

“We have seen recent initiatives by governments in other parts of the world to invest heavily in R&D that contributes to environmental and related sustainability goals, helping their commercial vehicle major
manufacturers to keep their heads above the water and continue to play their important roles in the transition to a low carbon economy. We hope to see similar initiatives in Europe soon as well”, added Östling.

For further information, please contact Sigrid de Vries, Director Communications ACEA +32 2 738 73 45 or sv@acea.be
Please also visit www.acea.be

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