Sunday, 24 March 2024 05:21

"It's time for Europe to respond to the threats posed by Chinese car brands"

"It's time for Europe to respond to the threats posed by Chinese car brands," said Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo, urging European Union countries to collaborate in addressing the imbalance in competition with China and the USA.

De Meo suggests that this approach would ensure the future of the automotive industry in Europe, similar to what was done in the case of the Airbus airline.

"We see increasing signs of weakness that could be cause for real concern if nothing is done," he stated in a public letter ahead of the European Parliament elections, as reported by Automotive News Europe.

De Meo, also the president of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), published the letter in several languages as the leader of the Renault Group.

Among the proposals is for Europe to accelerate the pace of replacing older cars through a special fund over the next decade.

"The European automotive sector is under pressure from multiple fronts," he said, citing the transition to software-defined vehicles, increasing regulations, the need to invest in new technologies, price volatility of raw materials like lithium, and the need for workforce retraining to avoid mass unemployment.

"China rules, the USA stimulates, and Europe regulates," he wrote, emphasizing the longstanding issue of EU norms and regulations.

Among De Meo's proposals is support for the production of small, affordable cars, which he said could create 10,000 jobs.

"We see increasing signs of weakness that could be cause for real concern if nothing is done," De Meo wrote in the public letter, adding that "the center of gravity in the automotive industry has shifted to Asia, where about 52% of all cars sold in that region are produced, compared to 20% in Europe and 24% in North and South America."

As a consequence of Beijing's support for the electric car industry and the size of the Chinese domestic market, exports to Europe have increased fivefold since 2017, with the total trade deficit between Europe and China now standing at 400 billion euros.

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