European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), Brussels
This study considers how best to maintain a globally thriving EU car sector in the face of several interrelated challenges. The climate emergency necessitates a dramatic reduction in emissions to net-zero impacting across the economy, which leads to a fundamental shift in automotive products and therefore manufacturing, given electrification and digitalisation. Moreover, there is a greater emphasis on the need of preserving and restructuring the auto industry in the face of increased competition from the emerging markets, not least China and India. In trade policy, Europe feels the need for a more assertive and autonomous trade policy to protect against perceived imbalances in the current models of globalisation. Much has been written about the individual building blocks of each of these points. Our aim is to consider the cumulative impact of the initiatives, the risks they may entail, and how these can best be managed, on a single industry that is often at the nexus of climate, trade and industry policy debates.