Car plants need to be reopened as soon as possible, says automotive industry

Car manufacturing sites need to be reopened as soon as possible, European car makers have said.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), which represents 16 of Europe’s major car, truck, van and bus makers, has announced a strategic plan which it believes offers the best chance of successfully kick-starting the automotive industry back into production.

With many factories currently closed, the ACEA states that manufacturers and suppliers need to “rapidly and simultaneously” reopen all of their factories once the “immediate crisis” of the coronavirus pandemic has gone.

Eric-Mark Huitema, director general of ACEA, said: “A top priority is to protect the health of all those who work in the auto sector.

“To that end, we need clarity on the relevant health and safety rules in each country for when production re-starts.”

In addition, the ACEA believes that governments need to implement measures to help stimulate the car-buying market and boost the amount of demand for new models. Ideas highlighted include scrappage schemes and electric car grants, which would help people see buying a new car as a more affordable option.

Huitema added: “As Europe looks to reboot its economy, it will be crucial that clean road transport and mobility are affordable for everybody across the continent. Given the fragile economic situation, however, many consumers and professional transport operators will be simply unable to purchase new vehicles.”