EU Automakers Call for Urgent Action As Vehicle Sales Slump in 2022


The European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) this week called for urgent action by European Union legislators to help assist the industry as it struggles to recover from a series of setbacks in the wake of the pandemic.

The fallout from Brexit, semiconductor shortages, and the energy crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine ensured that most recent forecasts for this year predict European auto sales to be down 1 percent from 2021, to 9.6 million units. Although on the surface a seemingly minor reduction, that figure actually represents a drop of 26 percent from pre-pandemic sales levels and is causing serious concern for automakers, reports Autonews Europe.

The ACEA initially expected sales to recover in 2022 after supply-side issues were controlled, but now amid accelerating inflation and fears of a recession, they are preparing for sales to shrink further.

Read: France Considering Biden-Like Incentives For EU-Built EVs

ACEA President and BMW CEO Oliver Zipse was quoted in a press release by ACEA stating: “To ensure a return to growth — with an even greater share of electric vehicle sales so climate targets can be met — we urgently need the right framework conditions to be put in place.”

Zipse went on to emphasize how some of the requirements needed included greater resilience in Europe’s supply chains and an EU Critical Raw Materials Act that ensures strategic access to the raw materials needed for e-mobility. Hastening the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure across Europe was also highlighted.

Secure access to strategic raw materials (including lithium and rare earths) that are essential for EV production remains an ongoing issue for Europe, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, recently noted that this poses a serious risk to the EU’s ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent.

The legislation that the ACEA is pushing for will ideally go some way towards mitigating this by streamlining procedures and improving access to financing for strategic mining, refining, processing, and recycling projects.


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