According to the latest data, in the EU, annual investment in R&D by the automobile and parts sector has risen by 7.4% to reach an all-time high of €53.8bn (US$63bn).
This, and many other facts about the industry, were compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) in its Automobile Industry Pocket Guide, published on the occasion of the association’s annual general meeting earlier this week.
This contribution makes the sector the EU’s number one investor in R&D – ahead of pharma and tech. It is responsible for 27% of the region’s total R&D spending.
Compared with other world regions, the EU auto sector by far leads the way in terms of R&D investment. Japan comes second in the global ranking with an investment of €29.8bn (US$33.7bn) per year, followed by the USA with €18.5bn (US$21.6m). In fourth place comes China with €5.4bn (US$6.3m) – or just one-tenth of the EU’s annual spending. In addition, over 8,700 automotive patents were granted by the European Patent Office last year.
“This level of investment into innovation shows how serious we are about further decarbonizing and digitizing transport, thereby supporting the EU’s policy aims,” underlined the ACEA secretary general, Erik Jonnaert.
Other key figures contained in the new pocket guide include:
• 13.3 million people – or 6.1% of the EU employed population – work directly and indirectly in the sector;
• The 3.4 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent over 11% of total EU manufacturing employment;
• Motor vehicles account for some €413bn (US$582.5) in tax contributions in the EU15 alone – almost three times the total EU budget; and
• The automobile industry exported 5.9 million motor vehicles in 2017, generating a trade surplus of €90.3bn (US$105.5) for the EU.
The 2018-2019 edition of ACEA’s Automobile Industry Pocket Guide can be found online here.