This transformation plan intends to help the Spanish automation through the eminent transition towards the new mobility paradigm while keeping up with their leading position in high-level worldwide exports, such demand is based on the quality of made-in-Spain vehicles and components.
After a 2020 marked by the effects of the health-emergency-induced economic crisis, the Spanish automation industry started 2021 with good news from La Moncloa’s government. The government came with a plan in mind: Strategic Project for the Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE VEC) -which belongs to España Puede, a plan mainly financed by Next Generation EU recovery fund- focused on the development of a connected and electric vehicle. It devotes a share of resources to enforce the strategic autonomy, modernization, decarbonization, and digitalization of the Spanish automotive sector.
It is a transcendental plan, not only for the Spanish automotive industry but also for the country’s economy: the automotive sector represents around 10% of Spanish GDP.
Furthermore, the automotive industry generates a strong multiplying effect on the Spanish economic activity. Each euro of demand in the sector generates €3.1 in the whole economy, one of the highest ratios in all industries.
The automotive sector’s boost is also reflected in jobs. Every direct job created by a vehicle factory brings four at component factories and seven or eight ones in the services sector. In fact, 7.2% of industrial workers belong to the automotive sector.
Also, its participation in the national trade balance is quite relevant. Around 80% of Spain-manufactured vehicles get exported (2019 data). It places the sector at 4th position in Spain with 15% of the whole Spanish exports.
Regarding the Spanish component sector, it exports around 60% of its billing to more than 170 countries with +€30 million global billings registered before the health crisis.
The sector is placed third at industrial I+D investment, 10% of the whole Spanish industry. The automotive sector’s component business, aware of the sector dynamism, has strongly supported research, development and innovation with a pre-pandemic annual investment of €1,500 million which represents 4% of its billing, three times the industry’s media average.
As today, the automotive traditional value chain has followed a manufacturer-determined lineal dynamic. In this framework, both the Spanish component and equipment sector as a piece have a substantial influence on the vehicle’s value chain, contributing about 75% of it.
However, its configuration goes in an ongoing change towards integral solutions oriented to create independent and collaborative ecosystems.
The sector’s transformation requires the interconnection of traditional companies such as manufactures of engine, car-body, pieces and electric and non-electric accessories which now join new complementary actors such as the digital or the energetic business. They perform a critical role in the productive model transformation towards a sustainable and connected mobility.
With all that, the PERTE of the connected and electric vehicle sets -as main access- the creation of an ecosystem which allows the development of an innovative automotive industry with a strong influence on other economic sectors, to answer the new connected and sustainable mobility and gathers new activities.
To do so, an investment of 24,000 million euros is proposed between 2021 to 2023, with a € 4,295 million public investment and a €19,714 million private investment through projects which not only favor the connected-and-electric vehicle’s production but also the creation of a beneficial environment for the new sustainable mobility.
What is the expected impact? Besides an average transformation of the industrial value chain in the automotive sector, it is also expected to build-up key strategic alliances, contribute to quality-job creation and establishment, attract investors on future electric vehicle’s new components which will reduce the foreign dependence, generate a productive system’ transforming current based on energetic efficiency, digitalization and innovation besides an improvement in sector’s competitiveness at the international stage.
How will this be made? Reaching PERTE VEC objectives must consider two differentiated performing scopes:
The first scope, the one supporting value chain’s transforming projects for the electric and connected vehicle, focused on segments guaranteeing the central axis. They are oriented to infrastructures, facilities, processes, procedures and mechanisms which generate the required environment where the sector gathers agents, providers and essential items interacting in the value chain.
In this sense, a measure to work integrally on the value chain is expected, affecting both central items on the electric and connected vehicle’s industrial chain and the manufacturing and assembling of original equipment, batteries, hydrogen batteries and other essential components for the vehicle manufacturing as well as the ones regarding the manufacturing of innovative features, its connectivity or the manufacturing of charging systems and all transversal items related to the circular economy, digitalization or training.
At the same time, this scope also includes specific support measures to specific value chain’s links which are especially relevant for its transformation with a special focus on I+D and digitalization.
The second scope of action is facilitating measures which can contribute both to the creation of a new mobility and the development of the electric vehicle. These measures will have, on the one hand, a regulating character and on the other, will address electrification, circular economy or digitalization, among others.
After the high-budget proposals period closed, offering around €2975 million in public funds: €1,425 million correspond to 10-year loans at 0% interest rate and €1,550 to subsidies. 13 big corporations have participated.
"We have received applications for the 13 large-scale projects with a €5,927 million worth of subsidised investment grouped in 487 primary projects involving 327 companies. The total investment flow reaches €11,855 million", explained the minister of industry during the III International Expansion Forum. SMEs represent 55.7% of participants, followed by corporations with a 38.8%. The resting 5.5% is taken by public universities, estate technology centres and nonprofit organisations, among others.
The minister explained that the presented projects are transversal: innovation projects represent 60% of primary projects. Those devoted to sustainability and energetic efficiency innovation reach 20% of the proposals, regional investment ones cover 16.3% and training projects related to the electric and connected vehicle's value chain 3.9% as reported by El Mundo.
SERNAUTO (Spanish Association of automotive providers) gives a positive assessment that, in the PERTE VEC context, supports a wide country-project which gathers all private and public agents including all sector’s value chain.
“At SERNAUTO, we represent automotive providers responsible of + 55% of the vehicle final value. An industry formed by more than 1000 companies employing directly in Spain more than 212,000 people. Creating awareness on the effort of +140 private and public institutions involved in the PTCICs Strategy to develop new investment and projects (industrial and I+D) and settling down the automotive industry’s activity alomg with other involved sectors is essential to make European funds hit the desirable effect”
In this way, Autoparts from Spain – a SERNAUTO’s initiative to boost Spanish manufacturers overseas expansion- considers that “it is a great opportunity budget-wise with the same condition and aid-intensity possibilities seen in other calls. The most important thing is getting vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) and the rest of the ecosystem connected”.
Some of the companies belonging to Autoparts from Spain agree in the need to apply intelligence and strategy in this national plan to answer to real needs of all actors on this key sector for Spanish economy and job creation. This vision for a national strategy holds a larger number of value chain organizations. It will empower these ecosystems and guarantee competitiveness and global position for the Spanish automotive sector, a strategic industry for the country and a symbol of Spanish branding (Marca España).
Presence at international events not only boosts brand positioning, but also market diversification. One example is the outstanding participation of Autoparts from Spain in Automechanika Dubai, one of the most important trade fairs in the international automotive industry. This participation positions the initiative as a benchmark of excellence in the global automotive industry and promotes the image of Spain as a country with a high quality and reliable automotive industry.