Europe’s carmakers don’t need to be told by lawmakers how to regulate their industry, according to Ivan Hodac, secretary general of ACEA, the European auto manufacturers association.

Hodac told the Automotive News Europe Congress in Montreux that the motor industry could achieve breakthroughs on issues such as safety and air pollution without new laws.

He highlighted technological innovations including anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and electronic stability programs (ESP) that have helped to cut the numbers of road accidents in recent years.

Hodac also cited particulate filters that European automakers and suppliers have developed to reduce potentially harmful exhaust emissions from diesel engines.

“These technologies came from within the industry,” said Hodac. “It is time that we stood up and talked about our contributions to society and our achievements,” he said.

The heads of Europe’s auto companies recently organised their first high-level delegation to lobby politicians and lawmakers on regulatory issues.

Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder, who is current ACEA chairman, accompanied by Ford of Europe president Lewis Booth, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Jean-Martin Folz and other auto industry chiefs, personally lobbied EU Commission President Romani Prodi and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in two separate meetings.

Europe’s automakers claim that new regulations are pushing up showroom prices of new cars, hitting their competitiveness and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

They are demanding that independent impact assessments are carried out before any more new regulations are implemented.