ACEA chairman calls for industrial re-focus and stability in Europe
This is a summary of the key messages delivered by ACEA President Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat S.p.A., to decision makers in Brussels, today, during a series of meetings ahead of the trade association’s annual reception.
'Europe is at a critical juncture', said Marchionne. 'Markets around the world are justifiably nervous about the region’s ability to resolve mounting sovereign debt and spending deficits. This second crisis follows close on the heels of a global recession, whose effects have not yet been completely overcome. Europe must counter the economic headwind with a strong industrial policy to underpin Europe’s manufacturing base,' argued Marchionne. 'The pillars of economic growth and of future prosperity must be strengthened to secure the future of Europe and its citizens.'
The ACEA President predicted a challenging year for Europe and the automobile industry. In terms of auto sales in Europe, the "most optimistic forecast” is that new vehicle registrations in Europe will be flat through 2014. 'The fact is that, today, very few manufacturers make money in Europe', said Marchionne. 'This is not sustainable, and it has to change.” He called for an open an honest debate about the underlying factors, including the issue of excess capacity. 'The future will be different. And I challenge us all to say: the future will be better.'
Marchionne assured his counterparts in Brussels that the European auto industry wants to be part of shaping the future for the region. 'The European automobile industry is a world leader, operating globally. At the same time, we are fully part of European society and its local communities', he said. 'We’re in the DNA of Europe, and Europe is in our DNA.'