Volvo leaves door open for ACEA collaboration

Europe

Volvo Cars’ CEO Jim Rowan has left some wiggle room for his company to keep working with Europe’s largest automotive lobbying group, ACEA.

“We never want to close that door completely,” Rowan told Automotive News Europe. “But right now there is a misalignment on the sustainability strategy, which is an important part for us.”

Volvo, which aims to be an electric-only brand by 2030, announced last month it would leave ACEA by year-end, largely because the two sides have had very different reactions to European lawmakers’ efforts to phase out internal combustion engines.

“The European Union said 2035 is when it wants to eliminate tailpipe emissions, which is five years later than we are going to get there,” Rowan said. “And then we had ACEA saying, ‘Hey, we need an extension’.”

He said Volvo, for which full-electric cars account for more than one-tenth of overall sales in Europe, would use the remainder of the year “to detangle properly” from ACEA.

He added: “We wish these guys good luck, but it’s a different strategy for us. We think we have got it right and some of those guys think they have got it right. Time will tell.”

When asked whether Volvo would still be open to working with ACEA on topics such as safety regulations Rowan said: “Where there are opportunities to collaborate, we will certainly collaborate. Not just with ACEA but with the other federations around the world.”

‘ACEA adds great value’

Another brand making a strong EV push, Hyundai, for which battery-driven cars currently account for 15.7 percent of its European sales, has no plans to leave ACEA.

“ACEA adds great value to the industry,” Hyundai Europe CEO Michael Cole told Automotive News Europe in an interview.

“Of course, not all automakers are aligned on the position for Fit for 55. Despite these differing opinions, I believe it’s important that we try to maintain a united front,” Cole said.

“Although a number of members have decided to leave after this year,” Cole said, “my plan is to remain in ACEA.”

Stellantis said in June that it will leave ACEA by the end of this year, as part of a new approach to addressing issues and challenges of future mobility, including a shift away from traditional lobbying activity.

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