Europe's automakers are pinning their hopes on the European Parliament to protect the industry from cheap Korean imports after the EU and and South Korea signed a free trade pact.
Fiat S.p.A. and Ford Motor Co. are among automakers that fear the agreement could flood Europe with cheap Korean-built cars.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the agreement is not a "fair and equitable way of trading." The pact will hurt the European industry's competitiveness, Marchionne told a meeting of ANFIA, the Italian automakers association.
The pact is "very one-sided in favor of Korea," Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said at the Paris auto show last week. Ford makes most of the cars it sells in Europe in its European factories. Ford of Europe made a second-quarter pre-tax operating profit of $322 million.
Good for Chevrolet
Korea's Hyundai and Kia carmakers and General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet stand to benefit from the pact.
"We are optimistic this will help us. It makes building cars in Korea for Europe more affordable," Chevrolet Europe chief Wayne Brannon said at the Paris show.
Chevrolet exports cars such as the Aveo and Spark from Korea to Europe. The brand aims to double European sales to 500,000 in the next six years.
ACEA, the European automakers association, says it is not against a deal with South Korea, but the current agreement offers South Korea an unfair competitive advantage and it will set a harmful precedent for existing and future pacts between the EU and other major trading partners.
ACEA cites the example of the United States where a U.S.-Korea free trade agreement from 2007 is on hold while President Barack Obama's administration seeks to tackle an alleged imbalance in car trade.