FTAs could trigger savings but some warn against

FTAs could trigger savings but some warn against

Delphi says the twin poles of Free Trade Agreements and sustainable mobility will be essential components for industry to tackle rising global vehicle volumes and infrastructure challenges.

Some forecasts see global vehicle production topping 100m units per year and with megacities approaching gridlock already, it is clear urgent, long-term planning and urban transport solutions need to be evaluated.

"The TTIP [Transatlantic Trade and Industry Partnership] is critical in our ability to eliminate barriers between the US and Europe, to increase competitiveness in both regions," said Delphi Europe, Middle East and Africa president, Michael Gassen, addressing delegates at this year's CLEPA Aftermarket Conference in Brussels.

"What is our biggest future challenge? I think it is creating a model for sustainable mobility [with for example] increased volume of vehicles on the roads. China alone will make far more than 30m vehicles. In ten years there will be 50% more vehicles on the road.

"Another fact is the increase in population - the number of people living [in] cities is expected to grow from 50% to 70% by 2050. That shift will be most evident in China. By 2025, China will have added 350m people in terms of urban residents - the country will boast 221 cities with more than 1m people."

Such a vast and dramatic increase in vehicles, not to mention population, will place huge strain on emissions targets as pollution, already a pressing concern in China, becomes an ever hotter political potato, as well as a clear health issue.

"More people, more cars and globally, more emissions," said Gassen. "That makes our challenge very clear - we must create solutions to enable [a] sustainable environment.

"All of these challenges are coming faster and solutions must keep pace. Technology has revolutionised how we learn [to] communicate, how we do business. It has changed everything.

"65% [of] pre-schoolers will work in a job that does not even exist today. They want the technology in the vehicle to keep up with their mobile devices.

"Let's get back to my point about how we do business. Think about where we are headed. What is the ceiling of fuel efficiency - 3L/100km or more?"