Nearly 300 automotive factories operating across Europe

07 May 2020

7 May 2020

There are now 298 automotive assembly and engine-production plants operating in Europe, according to new data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

An interactive map released by the association shows that 142 plants in Europe produce passenger cars, 28 manufacture light-commercial vehicles, 58 make heavy-duty vehicles, another 58 build buses and 71 put together engines.

The European Union (excluding the UK) currently has 196 plants. Germany tops the charts with 42 factories, France with 31 and Italy at 23. Outside of the EU, Russia now has 31 plants, the UK has 30 and Turkey has 17 plants operating.

Vital to recovery

′This data shows the sheer scale of our industry’s manufacturing footprint, spanning right across the European continent,’ said Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA’s director-general. ′A successful re″launch of the automotive industry post-coronavirus will clearly be vital to Europe’s wider economic recovery.’

The automotive industry employs 13.8 million Europeans (directly and indirectly), making up 6.1% of all EU jobs. Over 11% of all the bloc’s manufacturing jobs, some 3.5 million, are in the automotive sector. Motor vehicles themselves account for over €440 billion in taxes in key European markets, with 7% of EU GDP coming from the industry.

But due to COVID-19, plants have been closed for an average of 29 working days, ACEA revealed. As a result of these shutdowns, production losses have amounted to 2.3 million vehicles so far. While some factories are restarting, operating capacity can be expected to be well below pre-lockdown capacity. Manufacturers are having to test the waters with pilot schemes, social distancing and increased hygiene measures.

′If we are to return to full-scale production again, automobile manufacturers and suppliers must get their plants up and running in a quick and synchronised manner,’ said Huitema. ′That is why we are calling on the EU to support a coordinated re-start of activities and investments right along the supply chain.’

25 actions

ACEA recently came together with three other automotive associations, CLEPA, ETRMA and CECRA, to issue a 25-point action plan to help the industry exit the COVID-19 crisis. The recommendations span the supply chain, from vehicle manufacturers to equipment, tyres, dealers and workshops. The plan looks to ensure public health, minimise economic impact and maintain focus on overarching objectives like carbon-neutrality and digital development.

The associations draw attention to the need for harmonised guidance on workplace health and safety precautions as well as reopening dealerships and vehicle workshops as soon as possible.

The plan also calls for coordinated renewal schemes for all vehicle types and categories across the EU. The associations state this will boost private and business demand, support economic recovery and accelerate the rejuvenation of Europe’s vehicle fleet.

It further outlines the need for purchase and investment incentives to be based on similar criteria across Europe, drawing on national and EU funding. Scrappage schemes should enhance these incentives while considering climate ambitions and the economic impact, the groups said.

′To relaunch mobility and economic activity, it will be essential that vehicle dealerships and motor vehicle workshops reopen as soon as possible in the countries where they are still closed,’ said Bernard Lycke, director-general of CECRA, the association of automotive dealers and workshops. ′Targeted purchase incentives and scrappage schemes for all categories of vehicles will, in addition to spurring the recovery, make a positive contribution towards carbon neutrality and road safety.’