Brussels, Belgium – European automakers are calling on the European Commission and EU member states to urgently deploy measures to help them through the current economic crisis. The request was made by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), which said the most pressing issues are limited access to credit, fleet renewal incentives, and the postponement of further costly regulation.

“The EU has started filling a toolbox with potential instruments, but too little of them have been actually put into use due to time-consuming procedures and a lack of guidance at EU level,” said Ivan Hodac, secretary-general of ACEA. “The EU must show its ability to act in times of crisis. EU leaders, at their summit this weekend, should give the political message to lift bureaucratic barriers and speed up implementation. A coordinated European policy would not only ensure more fairness and respect for EU competition rules but, more importantly, greater efficiency in a single European market.”

Some of the measures the auto industry is asking the EU are:

– Ensure a level playing field by coordinating support measures

– Improve access to liquidity, by allowing state guarantees for low-interest loans and provide low-cost funding

– Increase European Investment Bank funding to €40 billion, along with a more rapid validation of projects, to two to three weeks instead of two to three months

– Stimulate demand through measures such as market incentives, fleet renewal schemes including vehicle scrappage, and public spending on infrastructure

– Postpone costly new regulation and ensure that newly negotiated free trade agreements are balanced

New data from the ACEA shows that vehicle production declined by 28 per cent in the last quarter of 2008, almost ten percentage points more than estimated. ACEA expects European vehicle production to decline by at least 15 per cent in 2009.

ACEA members include BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT Group, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

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