The European Automotive Sector – Time to Rethink Mobility!

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2139 ... July 6, 2020

The European Automotive Sector – Time to Rethink Mobility!

Manuela Kropp

Every sector of the economy has felt the impact of the coronavirus crisis, and car manufacturing is no exception. There are 12 million EU workers employed in the automotive industry, either directly in production or in parts manufacturing, and the sector accounts for 7 per cent of the union’s GDP. If we look at direct automotive employment as a share of total manufacturing across a selection of EU member states, we can see just how significant the car industry is.

The necessary restructuring of the sector will therefore impact millions of employees and have to contend with a well-organized car lobby. At the height of the crisis (25 March 2020), the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) called for the temporary suspension of stricter CO2 emission standards for passenger cars. This is in spite of the fact that transport accounts for a quarter of the EU’s total CO2 emissions and is the EU’s only sector to have actually seen CO2 emission growth in recent... years. It is thus obvious that this industry urgently needs radical change. If no action is taken, we will stand no chance of even slowing down global warming, let alone stopping it.

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