European car manufacturers voice concerns on 1st anniversary of EU-South Korea FTA

One year on, automotive NTBs are still in place and trade flow is asymmetrical.

Brussels, 29 June 2012 – Automobile figures for the first 11 months of the EU-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA) highlight the asymmetrical trade flow relations between the two partners, with massive increases for Korean exports of passenger cars, yet only relatively modest gains for the EU industry. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) took the opportunity of the first anniversary of the FTA on 1 July to draw attention to this unbalanced situation.

During the period from 1 July 2011 to 31 May 2012, Korea exported 400,000 domestically-manufactured passenger cars into the EU; a figure which is up 40% from the same period one year earlier.  By contrast, over the same time frame Korea imported 73,000 European passenger cars, which represents an increase of 13%. This information – confirmed yesterday by the Korean International Trade Association (KITA) at the Business Europe meeting at which ACEA was present – paints a very different picture to that presented by the European Commission in its statement yesterday. Since the entry into force of the FTA, Korean import duties have come down from 8% to about 6%, and EU import duties have been reduced from 10% to approximately 8%. “It is still too early to say if there is a direct relationship between the entry into force of the FTA and the increase in trade flows,” stated ACEA Secretary General Ivan Hodac. “What is clear however is that European exports are being hampered by the continuing existence of automotive non-tariff barriers (NTBs).” “On the occasion of this one-year anniversary, ACEA calls on the Commission to resolve the issue of existing automotive NTBs as well as to ensure that no new ones are introduced,” Hodac stated. “We will continue to actively monitor the situation and remain vigilant to further developments.”


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 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, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.auto, +32 485 88 66 47.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.7 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €76.3 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
Content type Press release
Vehicle types All vehicles
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