Spain needs annual investment to avoid falling behind in automotive technology

11 April 2018

11 April 2018:

Spanish automotive association ANFAC feels the country is falling behind others in the European Union when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs).

Therefore, the president of the association, José Vicente de los Mozos, has developed a unique structural plan, asking the country’s government for an investment of €150 million per year. Presenting a ′strategic global automotive plan’ with executive vice president Mario Armero, los Mozos explained the strategy would be built on five pillars.

ANFAC wants to focus on taxation, industrial competitiveness, productive investments, mobility and the green city. Firstly, with taxation, Armero has revisited a previous idea in creating a new system in Spain, based on use and emission and not purely on the acquisition of the vehicle. This would help introduce a reduction of VAT on alternatively fuelled vehicles, including hybrid and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) models, in order to not penalise those that pollute less.

Tax reform would be important for the country, because should no action be taken in the area, the new worldwide harmonised light-vehicle testing procedure (WLTP) could mean a market drop of between 5-7%. In this sense, los Mozos has asked for neutral taxation that does not increase revenue above the current €26 billion the car already contributes to the country’s economy.

In order to preserve the country’s importance as a vehicle manufacturer, ANFAC suggests Spain must maintain a high level of industrial competitiveness. For this, the plan suggests measures that can be taken in different sections, in logistics, the increase in the capacity of trucks, reduction of the fees paid by cars in maritime transport, the improvement of the connection of the ports by rail or the standardisation of trains of 750 meters in length, would reduce the costs of industry by around €100 million per year.

ANFAC advocates that environmental and mobility policies be the best possible in the country and that promoting the use of EVs would help reduce pollution and improve air quality in the Spanish cities.

Finally, the report also states the Spanish automotive industry needs an innovation policy that functions as an essential lever to maintain and enhance the country’s competitiveness and productivity. For this, stimuli are required for productive, effective and attractive industries, which, under the modality of subsidy or soft financing, allows them to adapt and improve production processes towards the different concepts of industry 4.0, which in turn helps with the development of new vehicle concepts.

′If we want to continue to maintain a leading industry that today is essential in the productive fabric and in the Spanish economy, focusing on these five areas is essential,’ says los Mozos. ′Our sector is undergoing an evolution technological breakthrough: digitisation, connectivity, electrification, driving autonomous, and all with a greater environmental requirement. We are going towards a new mobility model. Spain needs a Strategic Automotive Plan to continue being a reference worldwide in the sector.’