The EU Automotive Sector in a Globalised Market

04-12-2012

Over the past decade, the global car industry has undergone a gradual but significant shift in sales and production numbers from developed into developing markets. This shift has plunged many European car manufacturers into a particularly difficult structural crisis as they have had to grapple with falling domestic sales and growing overcapacity issues. The economic importance of Europe’s car sector underscores the potential damage that this crisis may inflict on many EU member states. Increasing the volume of exports has been suggested as a solution to the current predicament of Europe’s car industry. This policy briefing provides an in-depth analysis of recent trends and possible future developments in nine mature and growing car markets, concluding that Europe’s car sector could expand its share in a number of these markets. Tariff and non-tariff barriers, however, pose a significant obstacle to this scenario and their timely removal is of utmost importance for the European car industry. The European Commission included improved market access in its CARS 2020 Action Plan yet the relative ease with which countries can introduce non-tariff barriers remains a cause for concern.

Over the past decade, the global car industry has undergone a gradual but significant shift in sales and production numbers from developed into developing markets. This shift has plunged many European car manufacturers into a particularly difficult structural crisis as they have had to grapple with falling domestic sales and growing overcapacity issues. The economic importance of Europe’s car sector underscores the potential damage that this crisis may inflict on many EU member states. Increasing the volume of exports has been suggested as a solution to the current predicament of Europe’s car industry. This policy briefing provides an in-depth analysis of recent trends and possible future developments in nine mature and growing car markets, concluding that Europe’s car sector could expand its share in a number of these markets. Tariff and non-tariff barriers, however, pose a significant obstacle to this scenario and their timely removal is of utmost importance for the European car industry. The European Commission included improved market access in its CARS 2020 Action Plan yet the relative ease with which countries can introduce non-tariff barriers remains a cause for concern.