Wanting to avoid a repeat of their failure on block exemption lobbying, European automakers are talking to the European Commission about the cost of regulation.
Last week, a delegation of top industry executives, led by new ACEA President Bernd Pischets-rieder of Volkswagen, warned commissioners the cost of proposed regulations threatens their viability in the brutally competitive global industry. The European industry is particularly concerned that US automakers lead Europe in competitive issues.
Ford estimates that regulations being introduced over the next five to 10 years could add E5,000 to the price of each E10,000 new car. Nick Scheele, Ford Motor Co. president, warned the commission about the potential costs.
A source at one carmaker said the industry failed to lobby effectively on Block Exemption.
"We certainly did not carry the weight with people who mattered," said the source, referring to EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti. He said EU Commission President Romano Prodi is now ready to listen to automakers.
European Commission spokes-man Peter Sandler said the industry must next list its priorities for the EU, perhaps within two weeks.
Said Ivan Hodac, secretary general of ACEA, "The commission understands what we are saying regarding global competitiveness and acknowledges some problems. One way or another, the commission is ready to do something about it."
Proposed rules about pedestrian safety, fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions top manufacturers' concerns.
Pischetsrieder asked the commission to take several steps: