Japan
Automobile
Manufacturers
Association, Inc.

Issue No. 1, 2010

JAMA welcomes the new College of EU Commissioners
as it takes office

JAMA wishes to extend its warmest wishes to the new College of Commissioners, appointed by President Barroso last November and who are expected to take office on mid-February. JAMA looks forward to continuing its cooperation with the European Commission as well as with the other EU institutions.

JAMA would like to take this opportunity to outline a series of recommendations to the new Commission.

   First, JAMA believes that in the current economic context, support measures for the industry continue to be necessary, so as to promote innovative growth during and beyond the recovery. These measures could include the national scrapping schemes implemented by several EU Member States throughout 2009, but also EU-wide initiatives such as the Green Cars covered by the Seventh Research and Development Programme. Support measures, however, should not distort competition and the EU should ensure a level playing field. JAMA strongly supports the implementation of such measures which would be beneficial to the entire industry especially through their focus on clean technologies.

   Second, JAMA hopes that the Commission will continue with the CARS 21 process, intended to create a competitive automotive regulatory framework for the 21st century. Furthermore, JAMA believes that the Commission needs to take further note of the CARS 21 recommendations and ensure that new policy initiatives are in accord with the principles of Better Regulation and Integrated Approach. On this last point more specifically, JAMA recommends that, as regards CO2 emission reduction, the European Commission should look at appropriate measures for greater fuel efficiency, diversified automotive fuel supply, improved traffic flow and more efficient use of vehicles.

   Third, in the framework of the global discussions on the harmonisation of vehicle regulations, JAMA is strongly in favour of the simplification and harmonisation of international automotive standards. To this end, the following steps are critical: preliminary stakeholder consultation, the introduction of impact assessments, the promotion of international standards harmonisation and ensuring the necessary lead times and regulatory predictability. The EU and Japan should further enhance their cooperation on these matters, and should assume leadership in the early formulation of Global Technical Regulations (gtrs) at WP 29.

   Last, the EU and Japan should strengthen their broader economic cooperation. While the achievement of a consensus on the Doha Development Agenda is essential, JAMA believes that bilateral free trade agreements complement the WTO initiatives as they promote trade liberalisation and enhance investment.

At the same time, our members support the conclusions of the most recent EU-Japan summit with regard to strengthening EU-Japan economic cooperation by further promoting the strategic partnership between the two blocs. JAMA thus expresses its commitment to be fully involved in the renewed talks expected to be initiated in 2010 for a future cooperation framework agreement that would replace the 2001 Action Plan.

JAMA members are wholeheartedly committed to continuing their cooperation with EU policy makers so as to ensure that the automotive industry remains an engine for employment and a pillar of a low-carbon economy. Their efforts need to be matched by government support, as part of an integrated approach which will allow the Japanese car manufacturers to continue to make a substantial contribution to the European economy.