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Automotive News

You have to make decisions urgently, because otherwise every day that the Government of Spain does not make a decision is taken by someone from another country
The automobile sector is facing the biggest changes in its history, which is already a hundred years old. And the changes come through four very different topics, but all of them related to each other. The electric car, the displacements without driver or the car connected with its surroundings are the three main transformations facing the sector. And to all of them is added the one that is perhaps the most important: car sharing (‘carsharing’), another way of understanding mobility that is going to suppose a radical change in the way of using the car. 20 or 30 years ago, young people dreamed of buying a car, but now this is no longer the case, they already think more about their mobile or their trips by train or plane. And if they have to think about a car they do it just to share it.

But each and every one of these important developments in the automotive sector mean leaving in the air the future of the second most important industry we have in Spain, the production of cars and everything that this entails in jobs and wealth for the country . This sector accounted for 22% of Spanish exports, with more than 2.4 million vehicles made in Spain sold worldwide in 2016.

Last week, at the Faconauto Congress, the president of the Federation of Associations of Automotive Dealerships, Gerardo Pérez, called for the launch of a global plan for the automobile that would allow Spain to be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that will bring the changes that the sector is experiencing.

The automotive sector is at a turning point that forces the government, the rest of public administrations, brands, distribution networks and manufacturers of equipment and components to clarify what will be the role of each one in these times of change . And for that, it is necessary to clarify the country’s strategy regarding this profound change.

During the crisis, the automotive sector has lost a lot, but since Mariano Rajoy came to the Government there has been a very close relationship between the administration and the automotive sector, which has allowed to exit the crisis quite well and make this sector industrial has been the main standard of the Spanish recovery. A way of tackling the problems that has been very well valued in Europe.

But in the same way that the government has worked perfectly to support a key sector to get out of the crisis, in recent years they are not having the same tune. Every day this industry is more abandoned by the Executive and that happens at a vital moment for the future of the automotive sector in Spain. Now is when more support is needed, but not only economic, but legislative or planning. You have to make decisions urgently, because otherwise every day that the Government of Spain does not make a decision it is taken by someone from another country and with it new options for this industry are going.

The case of the electric car is a very clear example. It took nine months to make the decision to implement the Movea Plan, which lasted 24 hours, and another six months was the gestation period of Movalt, which was also operational one day. Europe imposes infrastructure plans for the electric vehicle that Spain does not comply with. And beware, that according to the words of Francisco Javier García Sanz, world vice president of the Volkswagen group, Europe has already lost the electric car train.

China is solving its very serious pollution problems, closing thousands of highly polluting companies and encouraging sales of electric cars. In Spain pollution is growing, the European Union has already given us an ultimatum, but in 2017 the percentage of electricity produced by burning coal has increased, the most polluting way to produce electricity. And we still have no concrete plan to reduce pollution. Everyone does, every day what comes to mind. It’s like playing football in the schoolyard, where everyone goes after the ball, not knowing how or why things are done.

THE CONFIDENTIAL – Carlos Cancela – 12.02.2018 (Translation Soft)

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