The Business Year

José Vicente de los Mozos

SPAIN - Industry

José Vicente de los Mozos

President, Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (ANFAC)

Bio

José Vicente de los Mozos holds a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, has a master’s in techniques of production from CESEM of Madrid, and an executive program from Stanford University. A holder of numerous awards and recognitions, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Valladolid in 2016. He currently has significant responsibility and influence in the automotive sector worldwide, as the President of ANFAC.

The automotive industry is facing the greatest transformation in its history, and ANFAC is doing all it can to meet the country's decarbonization and digitalization objectives.

According to ANFAC, given the current registration tax, about 100,000 fewer cars will be sold this year. What expectations does ANFAC have regarding the change in registration tax?

We do not have news of any changes. This de facto increase is not the best for 2021, with a market that will close around 925,000 registered units, which implies a 26% drop compared to 2019 sales. We are at a key moment and must achieve a recovery of the market as soon as possible. At the same time, we must take advantage of the context to accelerate the renewal of the fleet and the entry of zero- and low-emission vehicles. The de facto increase in tax does not facilitate such a recovery. The cost of a vehicle is approximately 5% more expensive on average such that we should promote measures that encourage recovery and market stimulation. Other countries, such as France, Portugal, and Italy, with registration taxes similar to Spanish, have mitigated their impact to help in the recovery of the market. ANFAC believes it is necessary to carry out a comprehensive environmental tax reform that penalizes the use of polluting vehicles and not the purchase of new vehicles, thus promoting the necessary renewal of the car fleet.

What is ANFAC’s strategy for the transformation of the automobile industry, as well as the continuous automation and digitalization of the 17 Spanish factories?

We are facing the greatest transformation in the automotive industry. The 2020-2040 Automotive Plan lays the foundations and the essential roadmap to achieve the necessary decarbonization and digitalization objectives. This will keep Spanish industry as a benchmark in new mobility while facing a transformation of the business model that addresses and turns into an opportunity the great mobility challenges of the future: electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving, and the new models of access and use of vehicles. This transformation may result in the mobility industry increasing its value by 50% in the next 20 years, from the current EUR200 billion to EUR310 billion in 2040. Enacting this change will cost us; however, there is a firm commitment from the industry. Our proposal is clear, included in the ANFAC Automotive 2020-2040 Plan. The transformation toward this new mobility needs a commitment from everyone; it needs to be a country-wide project.

What are ANFAC’s main priorities for this year?

2020 was not an easy year for the automotive sector; we closed the course with a 32% drop in registrations and a 20% drop in production. We need to recover as soon as possible; however, we mustn’t forget the fundamentals of decarbonization and digitalization that are pushing the transformation of the automotive industry toward a new mobility. It is necessary to recover the level of production and sales. We must also view this situation as an opportunity. We can leverage the resources to be earmarked for recovery to accelerate the transformation toward more sustainable, efficient, smart, accessible, and affordable mobility. Decarbonization is a shared goal that brands are pushing for decisively. Electric vehicles are proposed as a solution for the future; therefore, it is necessary to act along three axes: assistance plans that promote and stimulate the market; fiscal change that favors the purchase of electric vehicles; and boosting the development of charging infrastructures. In addition, it must be taken into account that the decarbonization of industrial and heavy vehicles takes another path, because the current electrification does not respond to their needs, meaning transition will take longer. The development of hydrogen for this segment must be taken into account. We must act immediately; however, we will only achieve this through public-private collaboration and being efficient and intelligent in allocating the funds and resources. The Next Generation funds and the Value Chain Boost Plan are an opportunity for the sector to promote the electrification and transform industry and Spain into an industrial hub for the new mobility.

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