EU Pulls Up Its Socks to Help Auto Industry
According to drive.com, EU takes the limelight with discussions regarding ways of helping the falling car industry. The European Commission claimed the automotive industry is facing the poorest sales in 15 years due to the credit crunch. The announcement was made after the European automakers association ACEA reported on Thursday that new car sales in Europe dropped by 7.8 percent last year. Low sales are said to be caused by weak demand in the car sector.
"The purpose of the meeting is to review the situation in the sector and discuss existing and future measures at national level and in particular the need for coordination at the European level," the commission said in a statement.
The European Commission has also suggested using five billion euros in EU funds to help develop safer and greener cars. Taking into consideration EU's new legislation regarding carbon emissions, ACEA asked for 40 billion euros in loans to encourage the car industry develop greener vehicles.
As we reported a few days ago, the French government was also considering providing an aid package to its own struggling auto industry. Nicolas Sarkozy made it clear that they are “going to mobilize a lot of money" for the car sector.
More importantly, State secretary for industry Luc Chatel explained this week that Paris was working closely with the European Commission regarding this specific aspect.
"We've had contacts with the French authorities about possible schemes for aid to the car industry," commission spokesman Jonathan Todd told journalists in Brussels adding that “there are many possibilities under the EU state aid rules for aid to various sectors including the car industry."