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International News From the Field: Europe

After a very sluggish 2020, due in no small part to the pandemic, European manufacturing metrics and opportunities are improving. The EU is making vast investments in the future of electric vehicles and renewable energy, and the defense sector remains...
by Hubert Sawicki
Jan 26, 2021

January 25, 2021

After a very sluggish 2020, due in no small part to the pandemic, European manufacturing metrics and opportunities are improving. The EU is making vast investments in the future of electric vehicles and renewable energy, and the defense sector remains strong. In addition to the new U.K.-EU trade agreement, the European Union recently concluded trade agreements with China and Japan, further adding to the optimistic business mood. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

  • The automotive sector in Europe has growing opportunities in new energy vehicles, particularly electric vehicles (EV). Models are now available from all major European manufacturers, with a strong showing from Peugeot, Renault, BMW, and Volkswagen. Rapid retooling is taking place, requiring the latest in advanced manufacturing technology. Also, most manufacturers have R&D investments in hydrogen vehicles.

  • The proposed merger between Peugeot-controlled Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has received shareholder approval from both companies, paving the way for the creation of the world’s fourth largest automaker. The newly combined company will be called Stellantis.

  • FCA group will expand its already large manufacturing facility in Tychy, Poland to manufacture families of such brands as Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jeep for both internal combustion and new energy engines.

  • The Tesla 3 domination in the EV European market may be ending, at least symbolically, as the electric Peugeot E208 has been voted the best European car of 2020 in all categories. However, Tesla will soon be manufacturing a record 500,000 cars per year in its new German Gigafactory, which is to be operational mid-2021.

  • Over the next 10 years, the renewable energy sector in the European Union is expected to expand dramatically and absorb $280 billion of new investment.

  • It was announced that Italian energy producer ENEL will invest $21 billion in renewable energy production in the next three years. Similar projects are planned across Europe.

  • The demand for industrial automation solutions in Europe continues to grow. Many European distributors and service providers are looking for new solutions and equipment providers in this field.

  • According to the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), German businesses have lost an estimated 30% of potential trade due to the unavailability of trade shows.

  • Apart from its last-minute trade agreement with the U.K., the European Union has also recently reached trade agreements with Japan and China. These should ensure more FDI access by the 27 EU countries to the Japanese and Chinese markets.

For more information, please contact Hubert Sawicki at hsawicki@AMTonline.org.

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Author
Hubert Sawicki
Head of AMT European Office
Born and educated in Poland, had a successful international career. Worked in several European countries, always within and for the engineering commun ...
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