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April 2020 | Platform

“The automotive industry sings jointly a code of to support the start of production” CLEPA y ACEA

CLEPA , the European Automotive Suppliers’ Association,  and ACEA , the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association,  have jointly adopted a ‘Code of Business Conduct in view of COVID-19’ to support a rapid and smooth restart of the automotive industry.

What does the business code of conduct to face COVID19 intend?

It intends a successful exit from the corona crisis and this will require timely sharing of critical and appropriate information, making sure that all players in the value chain can plan and act as effectively as possible. 

 “While the safety and wellbeing of our communities remains first priority, a well-coordinated and timely restart of the sector is of utmost importance to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis for society. The joint automotive business code of conduct will make a real difference in this process,” said Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA

What sectors are affected by the industry code of conduct to face

The Code of Conduct therefore contains chapters on health and safety in the workplace, timely communication, contractual requirements and coordination of the restart

  1. Safety in the workplace:

Employees and citizens health and safety are a priority. Therefore, all actors along the value chain must commit to

  • Provide a safe workplace which meets with the applicable safety norms.

  • Ask public authorities for consistent measures all over Europe, as much as possible.
  • Discuss, together with social agents, about criteria, norms and common conditions to which employees should rely on when restarting work and production.
  • Assure an excellent communication among employees, set up measures for preventative healthcare and also provide the required training.
  • Share the best practices regarding health and safety with partners along the value chain
  1. Transparency

The successful overcome of this crisis will require to share timely critical and proper information and allow partners in the value chain to plan and act In the most efficient way. Before and after the process the partners in the value chain are committed to:

  • Mutually provide transparent and believable information about the forecasted demand and report among each other on delays and later deviations.
  • Share information about closing, inactivity time and increase of capacities with the purpose of avoiding unnecessary loss of cash.
  • Communicate clearly and transparently with commercial partners on real capacities in production plants in consideration of security measures.
  • Discuss in good faith with commercial partners if the exceptional situation requires setting up new priorities in the ongoing projects having in mind limited
    R&D capacity and plants. This may imply a review and/or the delay of milestones and project planning.
  1. Contractual requirements

All actors within their value chain have a shared responsibility in the continuous prosperity of the sector. Therefore, they believe:

  • This industry can only overcome this crisis if every actor follows the contractual agreements, particularly those referring payments, reception and punctual delivery of orders, investments, tools, tests, development and engineering services and inventory, and doing so,

  • Having in mind the extraordinary circumstances affecting the whole industry. These terms must be applied in a pragmatic manner with the goal of avoiding unnecessary functioning or an additional cost for the partners in the value chain.
  1. Preparedness for recovery

The organized restart of production along the value chain in the automotive industry is impossible without a tight coordination. Because of that, they are committed to:

  • An appropriate start of production capacities, coordinated among all above mention actors and forthcoming partners in a hard sanitary and economic environment. These refers to projects, production plants and also logistic capacities and, if necessary, also the consideration of critical potential necessities of the involved parts.

  • Have in mind the effects of production closings in a region and the availability of its components for the production continuance in other parts the world.
  1. Fair competition

The necessity of cooperation among industry is acknowledged, however, all actors within the value chain are completely committed with following the applicable competition laws. The following principles will be applied, besides periodic legal review of every information interchange and coordination efforts:

  • Information commercially sensible (including demand, production capacity, inactivity time or increase of capacities) will be limited to those partners in the same value chain and will not be generally shared when agents compete with each other

  • When it is considered that information interchange or temporary cooperation between competitors is required to avoid supply shortage caused by Covid-19, such interchange or cooperation must meet the article 101TFEU/53 in the EEE agreement and other applicable competition laws and follow guidance from competent authorities on competition.

“We are committed to emerge from the crisis even stronger, and all partners in the value chain have a shared responsibility in managing the industry re-launch in a sustainable way. The code of business conduct gives manufacturers and suppliers essential guidance on the approach needed to overcome the COVID-19 crisis,” said Eric-Mark Huitema, Director General of ACEA.

As stipulated in the code, COVID-19 represents a global health, societal and economic challenge with severe potential impact on individuals, corporations and countries. The minimization of risks for employees and the community at large should have always a highest priority. Navigating the COVID-19 crisis together in a spirit of partnership, in compliance with the applicable competition laws, yields the best possible results towards protecting individuals and minimizing economic damage.



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