A delegation of top-level motor industry executives has warned European Commissioners that a complex regulation threatens their competitiveness as global players.

EU regulations taking effect over the next decade threaten to add more than €5,000 to the cost of every European car, states a leaked planning document from Acea, the association of European carmakers, according to Automotive News Europe.

Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder, the incoming ACEA president, led the delegation to Brussels which included Renault CEO Louis Schweitzer, Fiat group CEO Giuseppe Morchio, Ford president Nick Scheele, CEO Leif Johansson of truckmaker AB Volvo and Ivan Hodac, ACEA secretary general.

They met with Commission president Romano Prodi, Vice President Loyola De Palacio (transport), and EU Commissioners Erkki Liikanen (enterprise) and Phillippe Busquin (research).

The delegation argued at the meeting that “dense, complex and often conflicting” EU regulations hamper the motor industry. They also said conflicts between the rules of the EU and various national governments create unnecessary administrative costs.

One manufacturer representative says complex regulations waste effort and resources. “We end up spending a lot of money that could go into productive R&D,” he said.

Manufacturers frequently don’t get enough lead-time to comply with regulations.

“We understand the need and the benefits [of regulations],” he said. “The question is: is there a more coherent way?”

ACEA director of communications Alfredo Fillipone described the meeting as “an interesting exchange of views.”

For the motor industry to better compete, Pischetsrieder called for:

– an integrated assessment of new regulations and policies
– a plan to improve the industry’s competitiveness
– regular consultation
– a high-level working group focusing on the motor industry.