Association, Inc.

Issue No. 3, 2012

JAMA welcomes the report produced by the CARS 21 initiative

In June the European Commission-sponsored CARS 21 High Level Group presented its policy recommendations to support the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the automotive industry in the European Union.  According to High Level Group Chairman and Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, “We need to act now and decisively in order to counter current economic difficulties by mobilising financing for research, carefully evaluating any new regulation and supporting the expansion to third markets”.

Originally set up in 2005, the CARS 21 group received a renewed mandate at the end of 2010 to analyse ongoing challenges in the automotive sector and come up with a strategy jointly supported by industry and regulators to help the automotive sector overcome those challenges.

Setting out a strategic vision for the automobile industry until 2020, the objective of the CARS 21 final report is to assess the scope and direction of the measures needed to ensure the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the automotive industry in the EU and provide policy recommendations accordingly, based on the principles of smart regulation and the integrated approach.

Principal actions agreed on by participants in the CARS 21 exercise refer to the need to promote economic growth, manage the costs and structure of doing business, and support the internationalisation of the EU automotive industry.  Some specific recommendations include:

This autumn the Commission intends to present a Communication proposing how to implement the CARS 21 policy recommendations.  Further, a CARS 2020 group is to be set up and meet once a year in order to monitor the progress achieved in that implementation process.

JAMA welcomes the Commission’s commitment to support the automotive industry, as well as the consistent focus of CARS 21 on smart and selective regulation and the integrated approach for the resolution of motor vehicle-related issues.

As regards the revision of the 1958 UNECE Agreement, the Japanese automobile industry has developed strong cooperative ties with EU institutions in pursuing its promotion among emerging markets and, in the case of IWVTA, the promotion of its global adoption.  With respect to the need for a more realistic driving test cycle and test procedure, the EU and Japan have worked together on the Worldwide Harmonised Light-vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) in WP29.

JAMA also welcomes the CARS 21 recommendations on trade and believes that partnerships between the EU and Japan will not only contribute to economic growth but also help strengthen the competitiveness of the automobile industry.  Japanese automakers have entered into many business alliances with European counterparts and are participating in public-private and/or private-level partnership projects within the EU for the production and dissemination of next-generation environmentally-friendly vehicles.  An EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement is expected to promote the forging of more such partnerships in future.
JAMA hopes to continue contributing to consultation and other procedures that may take place in the process of implementing the policies promoted by the CARS 21 initiative.