Industry association European Aluminium has added its voice to those of several European automotive associations in calling for an aggressive response to falling car sales, given the automotive market makes up 36pc of aluminium demand in Europe.
Earlier this month, the European automotive sector proposed a 25-point plan to help restart the severely weakened industry after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased, following closures amid the pandemic and new car sales all but vanishing in April.
EU-wide production losses since mid-March, as a result of automotive factory shutdowns, reached 2.3mn vehicles as of the end of last month, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
“As an essential supplier to the automotive industry, the European aluminium producers consequently rely on a rapid recovery of the entire automotive sector,” European Aluminium said.
The association highlighted three of the 25 suggested actions in the plan, with a focus on those measures that accelerate the progression to more environmentally friendly vehicles — a vehicle renewal programme incentivising the sales of more efficient cars and the start of investments in charging and refuelling infrastructure.
It also called for an acceleration in checks for regulatory requirements of new vehicles, so as not to delay the bringing of new vehicles to market.
But it is highly unlikely that car markets will recover to anything like previous levels in the foreseeable future, despite any forthcoming incentive programmes. With auto sales at their worst in living memory across much of the continent, some suppliers to the automotive industry are now calling a recession unavoidable.