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Europe’s automotive associations issue call for car scrappage scheme

Four industry associations representing Europe’s automotive sector have joined forces to call for car scrappage schemes as part of a 25-point COVID-19 coronavirus recovery plan.

Following today’s (May 5) publication of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data that the UK experienced a 97.3% decline in new car registrations during last month’s retail lockdown, ACEA, CECRA, CLEPA and ETRMA have revealed their plan to ensure a strong restart.

They laid out their plan in a joint letter sent to the European Commission and the European Parliament.

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The four associations – which represent the full automotive supply chain: from equipment and tyre suppliers, to vehicle manufacturers, to dealers and workshops – said that they wanted to contribute to a policy response to C-19 that ensures public health, minimises the impact on the economy and maintains focus on the overarching objectives of our time: the digital and carbon-neutral society.

Eric-Mark Huitema, Director General of ACEA, the automobile manufacturers’ association stated: “It is now crucial to bring the entire automotive value chain back into motion.

“We need a coordinated relaunch of industrial and retail activity, with maintained liquidity for businesses.

“Targeted measures will need to be taken to trigger demand and investment. Demand stimulus will boost the utilisation of our manufacturing capacity, safeguarding jobs and investments.”

As part of the action plan, the sector calls for coordinated vehicle renewal schemes for all vehicle types and categories across the EU.

This will boost private and business demand, support economic recovery across the board as well as accelerate the rejuvenation of the vehicle fleet on Europe’s roads, it said.

According to the plan, purchase and investment incentives should be based on similar criteria across Europe, drawing on both national and EU funding.

It added: “Such schemes should be enhanced by scrapping premiums, and should take into account society’s climate ambitions and resource-efficiency objectives in concert with the economic impact.”

The creation of the 25-point action plan follows the National Franchised Dealers Association’s (NFDA) assertion that it is now vital that Government and car manufacturers “evaluate a support package that stimulates the market” and the ICDP’s calls for a CO2-based scrappage incentive to avoid a perfect storm of stalled sales and soaring fines from stringent new EU regulations driving carmakers ‘to the edge’.

Bernard Lycke, the director general of CECRA, the association of automotive dealers and workshops said: “To relaunch mobility and economic activity, it will be essential that vehicle dealerships and motor vehicle workshops reopen as soon as possible in the countries where they are still closed.

“Targeted purchase incentives and scrappage schemes for all categories of vehicles will, in addition to spurring the recovery, make a positive contribution towards carbon neutrality and road safety.”

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