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The Basque automotive industry has consolidated as a pillar of the industry and has grown by 11.7% turnover and 7.4% in employment

Automotive News

Last year, the sector grouped in the Acicae cluster invoiced 18,390 million, 11.7% more than in 2016 and created 2,840 jobs

For this year, they expect growth to continue around 7%

“It is a safe sector in which it is worth investing”, says its president Jose Esmorís

The Basque automotive sector lives a sweet moment. This is shown by the closing of 2017 with a turnover of 18,390 million, which represents 11.7% compared to the previous year. An increase in turnover -which does not include the specific weight of Mercedes in Vitoria- which has also translated into an increase in the workforce of 2,840 people, which means a further 7.4%, demonstrating that the sector is consolidated and grows at a good pace surpassing the forecasts that had been marked.

The automotive cluster, Acicae, believes that this moment of expansion will continue this year, “except hecatombe”, says its president Jose Esmorís, which foresees a growth of 7%. “The Basque industry in the sector has been able to diversify its portfolio of clients, products and markets in recent years, which is making it possible to take advantage of this moment of general economic growth,” he said. “It is a safe sector in which it deserves worth investing. ”

The automotive sector already accounts for 25% of the Basque GDP and almost 50% of the total automotive components of the State.

90% of its sales are international and more than half of them are generated outside Europe. In fact, for this year, they indicate as preferential markets, in addition to Europe, which will remain stable, markets such as China, India, Brazil and Mexico-United States. Precisely in the possible conflicts over the tariff plan of Trump, Esmoris has preferred not to pronounce on something that is not known how it will end. “A week ago we talked about tariffs for steel and today we do not know” -he is currently negotiating exceptions for European steel and aluminum tariffs- although he has pointed out that “no commercial war is good”.

In any case, they trust that it does not have any negative effect on the sector and that it maintains sales and sales, which currently are distributed by 60% to vehicle manufacturers, 38% to first level suppliers, leaving only 2% for the replacement world.

Regarding the arrival of the electric car, the president of Acicae has considered that the sector is prepared to face the necessary changes because it is a gradual process, not abrupt, in which different technologies will coexist in time.

The sector employs a total of 48,800 people in Euskadi alone, to which must be added more than 45,000 people in the plants that Basque companies have outside Euskadi. The cluster celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. An anniversary that will celebrate with an exhibition of cars manufactured by sector companies in the last century.

BELÉN FERRERAS – Bilbao THE WORLD – 22 Mar. 2018 (Translation Soft)

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