Polish representatives join CLEPA 2024 General Assembly to drive automotive transformation

The 2024 CLEPA General Assembly, hosted in Warsaw, saw more than 100 participants from 11 national associations and 80 corporate and associate members come together to discuss the future of the automotive industry in Poland and across the European Union.

The assembly was inaugurated by Matthias Zink, CEO of Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler and President of CLEPA, who highlighted the industry’s critical role in transforming European mobility.

He emphasized the challenges and opportunities this transition presents.

“In today’s political climate, dialogue is crucial for progress. As we look globally, America promotes, China strategically plans, and Europe regulates. CLEPA has consistently advocated for policies to shape the transition in a way that supports competitiveness. Poland, with its remarkable growth as the seventh-largest exporter of vehicle parts and components, plays a key role in this journey. Our collective efforts and broader collaboration will be crucial to ensure a competitive and green future for Europe’s automotive industry,” said Zink.

CLEPA Secretary General Benjamin Krieger reviewed the association’s membership composition and annual accounts, outlining the achievements over the past year and reaffirming the industry’s commitment to Europe’s twin transition.

“Europe is at a turning point driven by the transition and increased global competition. Automotive suppliers are at the forefront of innovation, developing the components and solutions for clean vehicles that will propel Europe’s transition to greener and smarter transportation. Our expertise puts us in a unique position to shape this shift in a way that also bolsters competitiveness and drives growth,” Krieger said.

The two-day program featured prominent speakers, including Krzysztof Bolesta, Secretary of State from Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, who emphasized the priorities of climate action, competitiveness and the need for a strategic vision.

Henning Rennert, Partner at PwC Strategy&, presented an update on investing in and financing the industry’s transformation.

On the second day, CLEPA members were joined by Ministers Miłosz Motyka, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Climate and Environment, and Ignacy Niemczycki, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology.

This year’s assembly was co-organized by the Association of Automotive Parts Distributors and Producers (SDCM).

Tomasz Bęben, President of the SDCM Management Board, highlighted Poland’s significant growth in the automotive parts production sector, stating, “Over the past 30 years, Poland has become one of the world leaders in the production of automotive parts. What’s more, our position in the global market is growing every year, and we are now already the seventh largest exporter of vehicle parts and components. It is therefore no coincidence that the largest meeting of European automotive parts manufacturers was held in Warsaw. We are happy to be a part of the CLEPA community and are ready to continue working together for the development of the industry in Poland and Europe.”

During the roundtable discussions, Mark Nicklas, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s DG GROW, shared insights on the green transition of the automotive industry in Eastern Europe.

“Central Eastern European car makers have set a strong footprint on the region’s manufacturing and supply chain capabilities,” Nicklas said. “New transformation strategies and identifying the enabling factors will be important to fully leverage the opportunities of the green transition for the CEE’s potential as an automotive hub for Europe.”

The General Assembly also confirmed new and re-elected members of the CLEPA Board and recognized nine new members, including ABEE, Deutz, DOW, Goodyear, JOST, LG Electronics, PHINIA, TRANE Technologies, and Upstream, as a new associate member.

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