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CARS 21 High Level Group: Meeting consumer expectations is key, says FIA

Press Release

Brussels, 02 December 2011

Consumers should be at the core of discussions on the future competitiveness and sustainable growth of the European automotive industry. But the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) – a consumer body representing 104 Touring and Motoring Clubs as well as 36 million members from its Brussels office -  believes the current CARS 21 process must do more to meet consumer expectations. The High Level Group was meeting today to adopt an interim report.

“Consumers should be at the heart of discussions on the future of the automotive industry if we want to strengthen the demand side for the future,” said Jacob Bansgaard, Director General of the FIA Brussels office. He added, “This will only happen if consumers are well informed, in particular on the environmental impact of their vehicles. But we must also do more to match their mobility needs, as Commissioner Hedegaard and Commissioner Oettinger rightly mentioned in their statements today.”

On the work of the High Level Group so far, the FIA believes it is disappointing that the CARS 21 group has not delivered ambitious targets. The consumer body says it is important that we work together to make real progress on issues like strengthening the development of vehicle safety, including active safety applications.

Referring to the emergency call system eCall, Mr Bangsgaard said “The final CARS 21 report should push for an open market for in vehicle telematics services. We need to assure that we develop a competitive market with free choice of service providers and technologies”.

Notes to the Editor:

The FIA Brussels Office

The FIA Brussels Office represents 104 Touring and Motoring Clubs in the European Union, as well as Africa and the Middle East, which total more than 36 million members. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.

The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind the work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.

Background

At today’s CARS 21 High Level Group meeting several Ministers, CEOs, Commissioners and other prominent stakeholders endorsed an interim report which will be further developed at the end of the process in spring 2012 representing a full-fledged EU strategy for the European automotive industrial sector in 2020 and beyond. Today’s Interim Report focuses on the actions needed to maintain a competitive manufacturing base in Europe and to ensure the development of sustainable technologies.

The CARS 21 High Level Group on the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the automotive industry in the EU was re-launched on 10 November 2010 (IP/10/1491), based on Commission Decision of 14 October 2010. It gathers prominent representatives of the EU Member States, other institutions, automotive industry, Trade Unions, NGO, users and the Commission.

The CARS21 process is built on a three-level structure:

  • the High Level Group (Ministers, CEOs and Presidents of associations, etc.)
  • the “Sherpa” group responsible for preparing the input to the HLG
  • the Working groups, responsible for specific topics to be tackled at technical experts level.

In addition, a public hearing has been organised on 13 May 2011 in order to gather input from additional interested stakeholders.

The European automotive industry is a key sector for the European economy, providing over 12 million jobs and a positive contribution to the trade balance of around € 70 billion, which is essential for continued European prosperity.

More Information:

For more information please contact Niall Carty, Communications Manager, FIA Region I: ncarty@fia.com (Tel: 0032 2 282 0812 or 0032 486 650 216).

 

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