Representatives of the so-called 'Cars 21' or Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st century have been asked to develop a common action plan for the European Union automotive industry.

The European Commission (EC) has asked Cars 21 to formulate strategy on resource and industrial policy, as well as clean and energy efficient vehicles.

A report published by the Commission today (10 November) shows the industry is on track as regards the reduction of CO2 emissions from new cars, according to the EC.

EC Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship and chairman of the group, stressed the importance of the initiative:

"The automobile industry is crucial for Europe as an economy and as a society," he said. "We need an ambitious and comprehensive strategy to foster its competitiveness and growth worldwide while ensuring sustainability.

"By bringing all relevant interests to the same table we will identify policies fit for the future."

Cars 21 will develop policy recommendations related to the competitiveness and sustainable growth of the automotive industry and proposals to further the development and take up of clean and energy efficient vehicles in Europe and beyond.

The group in its new form consists of prominent representatives of the automotive industry, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, users, EU Member States, the Commission and other EU institutions.

The CARS 21 process will be managed through a three-level structure, notably a 'high level' group - CEOs, association presidents and Ministers; a 'sherpa' group responsible for preparing input to the high level group and the working groups, addressing specific topics to be tackled by technical experts.

The group is expected to issue a report in spring 2012.