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The XI Sernauto Meeting of automotive suppliers is committed to sustainability with competitiveness

Under the motto “Automotive Suppliers: Sustainability with competitiveness”, during the XI SERNAUTO Meeting, renowned professionals have analyzed the challenges and opportunities involved in integrating sustainability into the future of companies.

Hereu has also announced the resolution of aid for projects submitted to the PERTE VEC II value chain line, in which various component suppliers participate.

In his speech, the Minister of Industry and Tourism stressed that “in Spain we are committed to sustainability, but also to reindustrialisation.” To achieve this, Hereu stressed the need to “walk together” by investing in innovation and investment.

The president of SERNAUTO, Francisco J. Riberas, has highlighted that “sustainability and competitiveness are two fundamental axes of our activity”, but the sector is in a complex situation of full transformation, “so we must move clearly towards one, while maintaining the other.”

Furthermore, the president of SERNAUTO has taken the opportunity to thank the Government for its efforts in launching these aid plans and has made an appeal to encourage it to “seek solutions that help us not to lose competitiveness in our sector. The new Industrial Law is a great opportunity to generate synergies and move forward together,” he concluded.

At the opening conference, Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz argued that the energy transition “must be addressed with ambition”, tackling decarbonisation without negatively impacting industry and quality employment. He advocated, first, guaranteeing “security of supply”. Secondly, he stressed that “decarbonisation and electrification are not synonymous. Renewable electricity is part of the solution, but not the whole solution, and the electric vehicle is part of the solution, but not the whole solution”, he said, defending “technological neutrality”.

Imaz has described the decision to ban the sale of light vehicles with combustion engines from 2035 in the European Union as erroneous, given that it is based on the “false concept” that electric vehicles do not pollute.

Specifically, Imaz has stated that decisions have been proposed in the European Union that, in his view, “are profoundly erroneous, such as banning the sale of light vehicles with combustion engines from 2035 onwards.” “This approach is based on a false premise, a false concept, which is that electric vehicles have no emissions,” Imaz explained.

However, Repsol’s CEO has argued that renewable electricity is part of the solution, but not the whole thing, just like electric vehicles.

Therefore, to reduce CO2 emissions, “an inclusive approach is essential, one in which we do not give up on any of the industrial technological solutions that can help us achieve this goal of reducing the maximum number of tons of CO2, which is what we have to seek as a society,” he explained.

Imaz stressed that the energy transition must be addressed with ambition and determination. “It is a complex challenge (…) because we have to face the energy transition, decarbonisation, without fail, and we must also make this decarbonisation compatible with economic and social development,” he explained.

In this context, Imaz has advocated decarbonisation “but without negatively affecting industrial competitiveness, quality employment and also the progressiveness of social policies, without putting the opportunities of future generations at risk.”

“We have given up on developing a single energy market in Europe,” added Imaz, who explains that “this has made us dependent on Russia.”

Experts in the automotive world

For his part, David Moneo, director of Mobility Shows at IFEMA, has shared the details of Motortec 2025 and has invited attendees to participate in this new edition of the largest automotive aftermarket event in Spain, which will take place from April 23 to 26 at IFEMA – Feria de Madrid.

And Vicente Segura, partner responsible for Automotive at Deloitte, addressed the transformation of the industry in a presentation and shared solutions to address the changes facing the sector. “The moment of disruption we are experiencing represents an opportunity for automotive suppliers. There are 4 major trends marked by sustainability, digitalisation, new business models and the global environment that will guarantee the competitiveness and future viability of the sector.”

Following the success of the previous edition, the XI SERNAUTO Meeting once again gave special visibility to innovative projects from several SMEs in the sector and a university through brief presentations in an “Elevator Pitch” format. Thus, during the celebration of the Meeting, representatives of two small and medium-sized companies associated with SERNAUTO and a University presented and made known their innovative projects and products to the more than 250 attendees at the event.

Sectoral Sustainability Impact Portal

On the other hand, Cristina San Martín, Director of Coordination, Projects and Services, and Carolina López, Manager of Communication and Sustainability, both from SERNAUTO, presented during the SERNAUTO Meeting the Sectoral Sustainability Impact Portal, developed with the support of the Ministry of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2023.

The main objective of this Portal is to provide companies with a tool to manage their non-financial data, while providing functionalities and knowledge to help companies advance in this transition towards sustainability.

The tool will also have a public section where aggregated information on the sector’s contribution to green, digital and inclusive mobility will be presented.

‘Green Engine’ project

Finally, António Calçada, CEO of Fundación Repsol, presented Motor Verde, the largest large-scale reforestation project on the Iberian Peninsula. According to Calçada: “Motor Verde represents Fundación Repsol’s commitment to decarbonisation and the reduction of CO2 emissions through natural solutions.” Furthermore, “it offers companies the opportunity to join the project, generating a positive impact on the economy, the environment and society.”

In line with the theme of the event and the commitment of the sector, at this XI Meeting SERNAUTO wanted to join the Motor Verde reforestation project of Fundación Repsol to mitigate the CO2 emissions generated during the event.

In this new edition, the event has also been sustainable from the production itself, opting for a mostly digital stage design and reducing printed components, the latter being made of recycled and fully recyclable materials.

The closing of the Meeting was carried out by Juan Bravo, Deputy Secretary of Economy of the Popular Party, who highlighted the crucial role played by the components industry in Spain. “From the public sector, we have a great responsibility for the development of the competitiveness of the sector, which is why private-public collaboration is essential. We have the capacity and the opportunities to be a world leader, and to be able to work and advance together in investment, digitalisation, sustainability and talent acquisition,” he concluded.

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