A year of growth for CLEPA

2012 saw major changes in CLEPA’s performance in Brussels. In spite of the economic crisis, we were proud to welcome as new CLEPA members the following organisations:  Arcelor Mittal Taylor Blank, Eaton, Gestamp, Getrag, Hidria, IEE, MCE-5, Mondragon, Rameder, Schrader Electronics, UBD Cleantech, Wepredict, Yazaki, Ajusa, EUROBAT, MEMA.  New companies have also joined the R&I working group:  Brembo, Denso, Dunlop, Hidria, JCI, Mondragon, Yazaki. Joining forces makes sense for automotive suppliers as they have been struggling during the first half of 2012 with major challenges; increasing market volatility, competition from emerging markets and environmental concerns, to name a few. Restructuring is already underway in several area of the industry. Nevertheless, despite the global economic crisis the automotive supply industry remains one of the largest employer and leaders in innovation. Employing five million people in Europe it continues to be a leading creator of wealth on our continent. The automotive suppliers invest €15 Billion per year in RDI and produce by far most of the equipment that save lives and contribute to fight climate change. Moreover, we have managed to include all our priorities in the CARS2020 Action Plan. We have contributed with success to the EC proposal on CO2 emission targets for 2020. The CO2 limits for 2020 for cars and vans have been confirmed, super credits have been reintroduced, eco-innovations are to be continued. CLEPA will pursue its efforts in making sure that these pieces of legislation will reach a balanced outcome respecting the interests of the automotive suppliers. As for the Energy Taxation Directive, the European Parliament, as advocated by CLEPA, voted against the proportionality principle between the minimum taxation rates of petrol and diesel. Further work is needed during the Irish Presidency on levels of minimum tax rates of energy products, taxation of biofuels, transition periods and tax treatment of commercial gasoil. Our industry faces increasing competition from other regions of the world in technologies that have traditionally been dominated by the Europeans. Funding of RDI activities should therefore be focused on maintaining and strengthening this competitive advantage. That is why we have identified five priority areas for automotive research: decarbonisation of road transport, including advanced ICE power-trains; advanced lightweight materials; Safety; Intelligent transport systems; Advanced Manufacturing-engineering technologies. The solution for current problems is not to give money for the closure of factories but innovation. The CLEPA ITS task force has been launched in December to follow this line. On Trade issues the mandate for negotiations with Japan has been adopted in November. CLEPA/MEMA letter concerning US and EU joint solication has been sent to the respective authorities. EU- FTA with Singapore has been agreed. CLEPA is continuing its lobbing actions for FTAs with India, Malesia, Vietnam also tackling Non-Tariff barriers in South Korea, Russia, Brasil, Argentina and China. To convey clear messages on key issues CLEPA published Position Papers on Horizon 2020, Skills & Innovation, US Trade, South Korea, Mercosur, India, Japan, China, Asia, Road safety, e-call, Common European Sales Law, CO2 targets for 2020, Test Cycle, HDV. Amongst CLEPA events the Annual Reception attracted 400 stakeholders to Concert Noble in Brussels. In addition, we are proud to mention some new initiatives which took place this year. These include a CLEPA/EP Debate on Competitiveness in June and the CLEPA/EP debate on Horizon 2020 in October, both particularly appreciated by our members. In addition, the CLEPA/ China investment opportunities seminar, organised in July and the Trilateral Meeting in September strengthen our link with third countries. In the main time the Extraordinary General Assembly of 26 October endorsed the new Statute which broadens CLEPA functionalities vis-à vis of our members.   On 8 November CLEPA co-organised with the European Investment Bank an event which gave opportunities to our members to learn about new financial instruments available for innovative projects. At the end of November over 240 attendants contributed to make the CLEPA Aftermarket conference a great success. It’s now the most respected event of its kind in Europe. CLEPA continued to carry out a number of EU co-financed projects. For instance the Auto-gration and e-safety challenge projects have been successfully completed. The i-Mobility and EUNICE were launched in the autumn whereas a proposal for the Go4SEM project was submitted in December. CLEPA Communication was further developed: a monthly Newsletter was launched, a membership package/brochure prepared and the re-designing of the website started. Looking at the future, early 2013 the European Commission is expected to publish scenarios for the next decades with a view to set new CO2 emission limits beyond 2020. We can certainly state that our members are ready to take the challenge in delivering sustainable mobility and that technology neutrality is one of the binding forces within CLEPA. Let me take this occasion to wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy 2013! Jean Marc Gales, CEO, CLEPA


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