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Immediate action needed to unleash Europe’s Connected Car potential

Date

04 Apr 2023

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise
Science & Policymaking
Consumer and industry groups urge Commissioner Breton to bring forward market-enabling legislation on access to in-vehicle data, functions & resources

Brussels, 31 March 2023

A unique and broad alliance of consumer groups, automotive suppliers, leasing and rental industries, aftermarket operators, vehicle dealers, authorised and independent workshops, data publishers, and insurers have joined forces to call on Commissioner Thierry Breton to urgently bring forward long-planned legislation on access to in-vehicle data, functions & resources.

Pro-consumer and pro-competitive legislation is essential to kick-start the development of a vibrant, innovative and competitive European market for Connected Car services, said the alliance. The Commission itself estimates this market could be worth €400bn globally by 2030.

Representing some 80% of the jobs and economic value of the European automotive and mobility eco- system, consumer and business leaders are calling on Commissioner Breton to act on the conclusive evidence gathered over the last seven years by his own officials.

This comprehensive analysis has revealed a significant hurdle to achieving fair and equal access to vehicle- generated data, which gives vehicle manufacturers an almost insurmountable advantage due to the design of the vehicle. In addition to this systemic barrier, the body of work has identified the presence of additional structural and behavioural obstacles, which only serve to compound the issue. It also warns that this problem is likely to be further intensified by the increasing involvement of Hyperscalers, who are partnering with manufacturers to embed themselves more deeply in the vehicle.

The Commission originally scheduled this legislation for adoption in 2021 and the Commission’s proposal for the Data Act itself re-stated the need for sector-specific legislation to address these issues.12 The

1 Actions 52 and 53 in Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future, COM (2020) 789 final, Annex, page 3.

2 “…new rules are needed to ensure that existing vehicle type-approval legislation is fit for the digital age and promotes the development of clean, connected and automated vehicles. Building on the Data Act as a framework for the access and use of data, these rules will address sector-specific challenges, including access to vehicle functions and resources.” Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act), COM (2022) 68 final, page 6.

alliance urges Commissioner Breton to come forward with legally-binding sector-specific legislation by the Autumn of this year, at the very latest.

***

Tim Albertsen, Group CEO of the global leasing company, ALD Automotive, stated:

“As we move to a world where the on-board computing power of the vehicle will grow exponentially, our duty, as a leading global mobility provider, is to deliver greener and more efficient mobility solutions by investing in new connected car services. This requires having equitable access to the data generated by the vehicles we own.

We can only do this with clear rules to ensure fair competition amongst all market players. Failure to establish sector-specific legislation for access to in-vehicle data act would be a huge, missed opportunity and highly detrimental for European investment, innovation, jobs and competitiveness.”

Representing the voice of European consumers, BEUC, Agustin Reyna added:

“With data being the new gold mine for car makers, making them the gatekeepers of drivers’ and their cars’ data is highly problematic. It is not for car manufacturers to decide who has access to this data but for consumers. The car industry has long opposed any measures that would undermine their monopoly over car data, and this must stop in the interest of competition in after-sales and related mobility services and, ultimately, consumers.”

Lorraine Frega, Executive Vice President Michelin, underscored that:

“A sectoral and legally-binding regulation on access to in-vehicle data is urgent to guarantee users’ freedom of choice, fair competition but also to enable both the deployment of zero-emission mobility and the development of a genuine European business ecosystem that is independent, efficient and competitive. As a major player in connected mobility, Michelin is asking for a level playing field to be able to continue investing and offering European consumers innovative and sustainable digital mobility services.”

Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of CLEPA, and representing Europe’s automotive suppliers, concluded:

“The access to in-vehicle data and resources is not only crucial but absolutely imperative for automotive suppliers in Europe to survive and thrive in an ever-evolving industry. Without fair access, the entire automotive ecosystem, including suppliers and the aftermarket sector, cannot remain competitive versus tech giants that are already dominating the infotainment systems of vehicles, nor can we continue to innovate the components and services that meet new digital demands.”

***

The sponsor associations

 

ADPA – the European Independent Data Publishers Association aims to ensure fair access to automotive data and information and to provide competitive framework conditions for independent data publishers. This will allow the publishers to be able to design and provide competitive, innovative and multi- brand products and services to operators of the automotive aftermarket. Press contact: Pierre Thibaudat – Director General – pierre.thibaudat@adpa.eu – tel: +32 2 761 95 18.

AIRC - stands for Association Internationale des Réparateurs en Carrosserie. Formed in 1970, the AIRC is the global federation of leading national organisations in the area of vehicle repairs. These member organisations together represent more than 50,000 vehicle repair and vehicle builder companies in many countries. Press contact: Thomas Aukamm – Managing Director - aukamm@zkf.de – tel: +49 6031 79479-0.

BEUC - is the umbrella group for 46 independent consumer organisations from 32 countries. Our main role is to represent them to the EU institutions and defend the interests of European consumers. Our acronym originates from our French name, ‘Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs’. Press contact: Laurens Rutten - laurens.rutten@beuc.eu

CECRA - the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs- is the European Federation representing the interests of the motor trade and repair businesses and European Dealer Councils on behalf of vehicle dealers for specific makes. Its aim is to maintain a favourable European regulatory framework for the enterprises of motor trade and repair businesses it represents. Press contact: Bernard Lycke – Director General – Bernard.lycke@cecra.eu – tel: +32 2 771 96 56.

CLEPA - the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3,000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technologies for safe, smart, and sustainable mobility. CLEPA brings together over 120 global suppliers of car parts, systems, and modules and more than 20 national trade associations and European sector associations. CLEPA is the voice of the EU automotive supplier industry linking the sector to policy makers. The automotive sector accounts for 30% of R&D in the EU, making it the number one investor. European automotive suppliers invest over 30 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers register over 9,000 new patents each year. Automotive suppliers in Europe generate 1.7 million direct jobs. Press contact: Clara Guillén - c.guillen@clepa.be – tel: +32 2 743 91 39.

EGEA - the European Garage and test Equipment Association represents both manufacturers and importers of tools and equipment for the repair, servicing and technical inspection of vehicles, as an integral part of supporting the automotive industrial value chain. Its role is to ensure that its associations’ members can provide the best equipment and service to the automotive aftermarket by striving to keep members up-to-date concerning new vehicle technologies and legislative and standardisation requirements and thus be competitive in the garage and test equipment supply, service and calibration industry. Press contact: Jordi Brunet – Secretary General sg@egea- association.eu – tel: +32  499 39 04 59.

ETRMA is the voice of tyre and rubber goods producers to various European institutions. ETRMA activities focus on the following key interdependent areas: representation, co-ordination, communication, promotion and technical liaison. The primary objective of ETRMA is to represent the regulatory and related interests of the European tyre and rubber manufacturers at both European and international levels. ETRMA is the sole interlocutor, specifically designated by the European tyre and rubber producers to carry out this critical task. Press contact: Dr Zoi Sagia - Mobility and Transport Manager z.sagia@etrma.org – tel: + 32 2 218 49 40.

FIA Region I Founded in 1904, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) brings together leading national motoring organisations from 146 countries worldwide and is the governing body for world motor sport. The FIA Region I office, based in Brussels, is a consumer body comprising 100 Mobility Clubs that represent over 36 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Press contact Diogo Pinto - dpinto@fia.com – tel: +32 2 282 08 12.

FIGIEFA is the international federation of independent automotive aftermarket distributors. Its members represent independent distributors and wholesalers of automotive replacement parts and components and their associated repair chains. The 44,000 companies represented employ over 350,000 people in Europe in their 64,000 outlets, spread across Europe. Many of these companies are SMEs. FIGIEFA’s aim is to maintain free and effective competition in the market for vehicle replacement parts, servicing and repair. Press contact: Álvaro de la Cruz alvaro.delacruz@figiefa.eu – tel: +32 276 19 516.

Insurance Europe is the European insurance and reinsurance federation. Through its 36 member bodies — the national insurance associations — it represents all types and sizes of insurance and reinsurance undertakings. Insurance Europe, which is based in Brussels, represents undertakings that account for around 95% of total European premium income. Insurance makes a major contribution to Europe’s economic growth and development. European insurers pay out over €1 000bn annually — or €2.8bn a day — in claims, directly employ more than 920 000 people and invest over €10.6trn in the economy. Press contact: Richard MacKillican Spokesperson - MacKillican@insuranceeurope.eu - tel: +32 2 896 48 22.

Leaseurope - the European Federation of Leasing Company Associations- represents both the leasing and automotive rental industries in Europe. The scope of products covered by Leaseurope members’ ranges from hire purchase and finance leases to operating leases of all asset categories (automotive, equipment and real estate). It also includes the short-term rental of cars, vans and trucks. Press contact: Richard Knubben - Director-General – r.knubben@leaseurope.com – tel: +32 2 778 05 68.

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