“Without a battery factory for electric vehicles in the Iberian Peninsula it will be very difficult for the automotive industry in Portugal and Spain to maintain their relevance in the future,” said Jorge Rosa, president of the industrial division of ACAP (Associação Automóvel de Portugal) this Thursday. .
The official defended that this must be a priority for both countries during the webinar “Iberian Automobile Industry: Perspectives and Opportunities”, organized by the Spanish Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Spanish Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by KPMG.
The need to adapt the automobile industry to what they call the Iberian automobile “cluster” was common to the various stakeholders in the debate.
“There are new challenges, which were already posed before the pandemic, such as decarbonization, digitalization, connectivity, autonomous driving and ‘car-sharing'”, said José Couto, president of the Association of Manufacturers for the Automotive Industry (AFIA ).
José Vicente de los Mozos, president of ANFAC, Spanish counterpart to ACAP, underlined that “the automotive sector in the Iberian Peninsula faces two threats: from the eastern and Moroccan countries” and that it needs to remain “competitive”.
At the opening of the webinar, the Spanish minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Maria Reyes Maroto, left the guarantee that the Spanish government is committed to “define a roadmap for the Iberian automotive industry” and that it will work with the sector associations and with the Portuguese Government.
Pedro Siza Vieira, for his part, stressed that both countries “have a strategic interest in sustaining the automotive industry” and noted that his ministry “has been working with the industry and the government of Spain”.
The Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition stressed the central importance of the automotive sector to Portugal, not only in employment, but also in exports and GDP.
“A significant part of the recovery of the Portuguese economy in the second half of last year was driven by the automotive sector, namely by exports of vehicles and components”, he stressed.