MEPs discussed Europe’s car industry as Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen indicated that sales could fall by up to 1 million cars next year. Around 15 million Europeans are employed in the motor industry and one of the main names – Opel (Vauxhall in the UK) – is in difficulty due to the credit crunch and falling sales. MEPs urged greater investment to build more efficient cars and a move away from subsidies for older models.
They also want realistic targets set for manufacturers and more incentives to boost car sales in Europe and globally. A representative of the French Presidency said that European Ministers have already accepted the principle that support for Europe’s car makers could be useful. Mr Verheugen said he wanted clear and predictable rules rather than subsidies. See for different national support schemes for clean vehicles under Financing.