Message from EUCAR Chair 2021

It has never been more exciting to work in the automotive industry. We are in the era of transformation, with new ways of working, new players entering the market, and an acceleration of innovation and novel business models to reach a truly sustainable society.

In order to succeed with a fast implementation of new, more sustainable transport solutions for people and goods for the benefit of society, it is clear that we need to apply a systems perspective. We also need to work in partnerships involving the whole transport eco-system.

It is difficult to estimate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on society and our industry. The recovery into a new normal is of key importance. So far, we have seen a slow-down of economic activity and decelerating globalization. At the same time, digitalization as well as efforts to make the shift into a green economy have accelerated.

The European Commission aspires to accelerate the long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age. The goal is to achieve a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 and a net greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 55%, backed by a robust industrial policy, by 2030.

Europe can drive prosperity and competitiveness by focusing on sustainable growth, technology and innovation. In this vision, Europe will lead the transformation of the transport and mobility industry, creating more sustainable and resilient solutions while strengthening European competitiveness. To realise this ambition and make a difference, we need to coordinate between providing innovative solutions on one side, and necessary infrastructure, regulations and demand on the other.

EUCAR plays an important role in making sure automotive priorities are well recognised. In particular, the association can help maximise the potential leverage for EUCAR projects in the European R&I framework programmes (e.g. in Horizon Europe). Proposing and influencing actions will not only provide (co-)funding, but it will also contribute to harmonisation, standardisation and recommendations to the regulatory and policy agendas. The ultimate objective is enabling scaling-up and implementing new technologies and solutions.

In EUCAR, the European vehicle manufacturers come together in pre-competitive collaboration towards a common vision. We identify key areas and perspectives for research and innovation as well as ways to interact with the eco-system around us, facilitating successful projects with tangible results!

As chair for EUCAR 2021, I very much look forward to being part of a team with great passion for delivering value to the vehicle industry and society at large, willing to take on the significant challenges ahead with a strong “can do mentality” and great leadership.

Together we can shape the world we want to live in.

Yours sincerely,

Helene Niklasson

EUCAR Chair 2021

Vice President Innovation Ecosystems and Partnerships, Volvo Group