Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo has been elected to lead Europe’s automotive industry lobby group, the ACEA.
The ACEA (short for Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles) currently represents 16 major manufacturers in Europe, including the BMW Group, the Renault Group and the Volkswagen Group.
The Italian succeeds BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, who has led the organisation for the past two years.
Undoubtedly topping de Meo’s in-tray is addressing Euro 7, the final set of EU regulations for internal combustion engine emissions before sales of new pure-ICE cars are banned in the 2030s.
He said in a statement: “The Euro 7 proposal in its current shape would draw away massive human and financial resources from electrification, at the very time when other world regions are creating an attractive investment environment for zero-emissions mobility.
“[The] ACEA will continue to advocate for a balance between what is good for the environment, what is good for Europe’s economy and what is good for society.”
De Meo must also confront the increasingly fractured nature of the ACEA. Stellantis dealt it a big blow in June when it announced that it would leave the group by the end of 2022.
As Autocar Business previously reported, Stellantis’s weighty status as a 14-brand conglomerate allows it to do much of the heavy lifting on its own, without the need for the help of a representative body.
By leaving, it gets full control of its political messaging – through the Freedom of Mobility Forum starting in 2023 – and saves a (relatively) small amount of money on funding the ACEA.
Volvo followed Stellantis in July, citing differences in its sustainability plans. “What we do as a sector will play a major role in deciding whether the world has a fighting chance to curb climate change,” the Swedish manufacturer said in a statement.
Zipse said of his time as ACEA president: “These past years have been marked by the Covid pandemic, supply-chain disruptions, the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, all of which have had a profound impact on our sector.
“Nevertheless, the European auto industry has been the reliable industrial backbone of the EU in highly volatile times. At the same time, we have been cautioning against over-regulation and calling for technology-neutrality to be the base of EU competitiveness.”