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back to index backEUROtalk April,  2007


Suppliers upbeat about EU CO2 proposal

Opportunities bigger than threats, survey shows.

The supplier industry is broadly receptive to proposed European legislation to impose binding limits on CO2 emissions from passenger cars. They view it is an opportunity rather than a threat to the European automotive industry as a whole and to the supplier sector in particular.

A survey of 37 suppliers, including European Tier Ones, conducted by SupplierBusiness in March 2007, found that almost all respondents thought the measures (although they are not yet fully defined) would accelerate the introduction of new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Seventy three percent thought that the measures would have a positive impact on the car assembly industry in the long term. On the whole, suppliers did not think the proposals would damage the overall volume of car sales. They thought that by leading the charge for low CO2 vehicles, Europe would develop a competitive edge. "Working pro-actively on this issue helps to keep the European automotive industry in its leading position," said one supplier. "Leading technology will give the European automakers a head start on pending requirements in other countries," said another.

Tightening emissions standards would have a positive effect on their businesses, said 57% of respondents. Only 8% thought the impact would be negative, with the remaining 35% reporting that the impact would be neutral. A majority – 86% - believe accelerated technological development and the spread of new technologies as a result of the legislation would have a positive impact on the European supplier industry.

Some suppliers were unsure whether the industry has the technical ability to meet the legislation, but the majority appears to believe the target of an average of 130g/km CO2 emissions per vehicle by 2012 is achievable.

Sixty percent of suppliers said the 130g/km target would require an appropriate level of technical innovation or little innovation. The remaining 40% thought the technology demands were excessive. Five percent of them said the proposed target requires very excessive technical innovations.

This view contrasts with the sentiments of Sergio Marchionne, head of the vehicle manufacturers' trade association, ACEA, and chief executive of Fiat. He said, "It is prohibitively expensive to achieve a target of 130g/km through vehicle technology only. It is unrealistic that this can be done by 2012."

Source:  SupplierBusiness - GAI


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