VIENNA -- Volkswagen group Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder said European automakers struggle to compete globally because they are burdened by too much regulation at home.
European companies compete well at home but find it harder to be competitive on the world stage, Pischetsrieder said.
Unreasonable regulations cause this lack of competitiveness, Pischetsrieder told the Automotive News Europe Congress on Wednesday, June 21, in a keynote address.
"We have to serve worldwide customers as well as European ones," he said. "And we need to adapt our industry to the world."
Without directly blaming European lawmakers, Pischetsrieder complained that "there is a reluctance to accept" that change is needed in the way the European auto industry is regulated. He said this was "an obstacle to business."
Pischetsrieder said VW had to modify its Brazilian-built Fox minicar to sell it in Europe, adding 50 percent to the entry-level model's cost.
"These were not modifications to boost customer's comfort or add features or content, but only to meet the regulations," Pischetsrieder said.
Fox prices start at 9,075 euros, or about $11,400 at current exchange rates, in Germany, which is Europe's biggest market.
The VW group chairman said: "There are too many goalkeepers and not enough goal getters in today's industry."
Pischetsrieder is a former chairman of ACEA, the European automakers association. ACEA lobbies the European Commission on regulatory issues that affect the auto industry.
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