WEST Midlands Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour has welcomed the European Commission’s commitment to developing the competitiveness and sustainability of the automotive industry across Europe.

The plans are set out in a new study called CARS 2020. Mr Harbour said that with 12 million sector-related jobs, the automotive industry was vital for Europe’s prosperity and job creation.

He added those were the reasons why the Commission had proposed an innovation push by streamlining research and innovation under the European Green Vehicle Initiative.

Mr Harbour said: “It is evident from the local success of Jaguar Land Rover that a buoyant automotive industry benefits a much wider audience. However, not every vehicle manufacturer has experienced the amazing success seen by Jaguar Land Rover.

“I welcome the commitment to the European automotive industry shown by the EU Commission and enhanced loans from the European Investment Bank to help fund R and D.

“Measures to reduce carbon footprints, cuts in toxic and noise emissions, continued advances in safety technology and intelligent transport systems are very welcome steps forward.”