In an open letter ahead of European elections, Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo has set out his vision for a thriving European automotive industry by developing an industrial policy leveraging inter-sectoral cooperation. The letter also calls for large-scale projects between the public and private sectors.

The open letter offers concrete proposals for a competitive, low-carbon European automotive industry.

Writing with just a few weeks to go before the European elections, de Meo’s letter calls for a European mobilisation to collectively succeed in the automotive industry’s energy transition.

“Before the electoral campaign gets under way with its attendant arguments, I wanted to make my voice heard, not to get involved in policy but to contribute to a decision on the right policy,” writes de Meo.

He also says a period of unprecedented transformation can be the springboard for an industrial renewal in Europe and cites the example of pan-European aviation giant Airbus.

“With Airbus, we have already seen what Europe can do,” says de Meo. “By stepping up co-operative initiatives, we will set our industry on the road to revival.”

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de Meo sets out his diagnosis, recalling the importance of the automotive sector not only for the economy, but also for the European way of life, which today faces an unbalanced competition [with an emerging threat in low-cost BEVs from Chinese OEMs]: “The Americans stimulate, the Chinese plan, the Europeans regulate,” he comments.

The Renault CEO formulates seven recommendations and eight measures to develop a European industrial policy which is competitive and decarbonised: “Europe must invent a hybrid model,” he adds, for example by involving “Europe’s 200 largest cities in the decarbonisation strategy” by setting up an “industrial Champions League” to reward players committed to the transition, and by establishing “green economic zones” that would concentrate investments and subsidies for the energy transition.

As the vanguard of the electric revolution, the Renault Group CEO also proposes the launch of ten major European projects in strategic areas that go far beyond the automotive sector alone: promoting small European cars but also revolutionising last-mile delivery, developing charging infrastructures and V2G technology and ‘increasing Europe’s competitiveness in semiconductors’.

He says “the ecological transition is a team sport” and that the European automotive industry could rapidly emerge as the solution to the challenges facing the continent.

de Meo’s Letter to Europe also calls on political decision-makers, town councillors, European citizens, NGOs and players in the energy, software and digital sectors to mobilise and work together to create a new mobility ecosystem in Europe.