Automobile CEOs make the case for Europe

Brussels, 24 March 2017 – Marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome tomorrow, the CEOs of Europe’s 15 automobile manufacturers have adopted a statement re-iterating their commitment to the founding principles of the European Union.

“In these times, when principles such as free trade and the freedom of movement are under pressure, we believe that it is more important than ever to make the case for Europe,” stressed the CEOs, who are all members of the Board of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

The automobile industry values the EU for enabling the free movement of goods, people, services and capital, all key to growth and competitiveness. It now enjoys access to a single market of half a billion consumers, who in turn can profit from the benefits of scale. Today, vehicle manufacturers operate almost 300 plants across the continent, often manufacturing engines in one country and assembling vehicles in another, something that would be impossible without the four freedoms. At the same time, the industry employs 12.2 million Europeans across the value chain and contributes 6.5% to the EU’s GDP.

“Without Europe, we would not have a level playing field in which all auto manufacturers can compete to offer affordable cars,” stated Erik Jonnaert, ACEA Secretary General. “Likewise, following the recent issues faced by our industry, EU rules are important to help win back the trust of consumers.”

Jonnaert: “What is true for our industry, is also important for society: trade barriers, isolation and borders are no answers to today’s challenges. We believe that we have a duty to speak up against any attempts to turn back time. It is not about what we can save from the past. It’s about what we can win for future generations.”

Notes for editors

  • ACEA Board’s statement on the Treaty of Rome can be found here:
  • The members of ACEA’s Board of Directors are:
    • BMW Group: Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • DAF Trucks: Preston Feight, President
    • Daimler AG: Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: Sergio Marchionne, CEO
    • Ford of Europe: James D. Farley, Chairman and CEO
    • Hyundai Motor Europe: Hyung Cheong Kim, President and CEO
    • Iveco: Pierre Lahutte, Brand President
    • Jaguar Land Rover: Ralf Speth, CEO
    • Opel Group: Karl-Thomas Neumann, President
    • PSA Group: Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Renault Group: Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO
    • Toyota Motor Europe: Didier Leroy, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Volkswagen Group: Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management
    • Volvo Car Corporation: Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO
    • Volvo Group: Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO

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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