Auto industry reacts to conclusion of EU-Japan free trade agreement

Brussels, 18 July 2018 – The members of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) are global companies and international trade is an important pillar of the EU automobile industry’s competitiveness, generating a trade surplus of more than €90 billion in 2017.

Hence, ACEA supports trade agreements that are free and fair, providing mutual benefits. The fact that the EU and Japan signed a free trade agreement (FTA) yesterday is a positive signal for international trade.

ACEA takes note that the FTA includes a seven-year tariff phase out for all automobiles as well as an Automotive Annex, designed to ensure continued regulatory convergence into the future as well as to provide certain protections against sudden and substantial increases of imports, or the imposition of non-tariff measures by Japan.

The issue of the imbalance in the taxation of subcompact cars, known as ‘kei’ cars, could not be addressed in the context of the FTA negotiations. Nonetheless, ACEA expects that this will form part of the overhaul of the taxation system planned for 2019.

ACEA recognises the progress made by Japan in harmonising its vehicle standards with international UN Regulations, so that an EU type-approved vehicle can be sold in Japan without the need for further costly modification, and trusts that this commitment will continue for future regulations.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
  • Visit for more information about ACEA, and follow us on or


  • Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director,, +32 485 88 66 47
  • Ben Kennard, Content Editor and Press Manager,, +32 485 88 66 44

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
Vehicle types All vehicles
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