Wayne Griffiths / President of Anfac
In his first interview at the head of Anfac, he points out that the complex aid system slows down the takeoff of the electric
The 2021 financial year was “a lost year for recovery” in the words of the Anfac CEO. This was made clear in his opening speech at the second annual forum held by the association he represents, which includes car manufacturers in Spain.
The message he emphasized was the need to set binding targets for the installation of public access charging points and the importance of having fiscal measures that encourage the decarbonisation of the Spanish mobile fleet. “If the pace of decarbonization grows, we will need tools that are up to the targets. If we don’t have them, we cannot guarantee that the transition to electric will ensure more jobs », he concluded.
Since January this year,
Anfac It is chaired by the CEO of Seat, Wayne Griffiths. The Englishman has dedicated his first interview as a representative of the manufacturers to ABC.
—What production forecasts do you have for 2022?
“Any prediction I can give will be false.” The market continues to suffer from lack of supply and we are hit by one crisis after another. It is true that there is a pent-up demand and we hope to be able to cover it this year, but every time we have made predictions about the chips, they have been wrong. Now, with the impact of the war in Ukraine, it is very difficult to quantify the consequences on enrollment and the volume of production. However, I am optimistic that these factors are temporary and I hope they will be fixed soon.
—What do you think of the rise in energy prices?
—I am more concerned, along with inflation, because they are structural factors that influence customer decisions. Last week, it cost me 120 euros to fill the tank in Germany instead of 80, an increase of 50%.
—The Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, has announced that the Perte VEC will be published on Friday. He comes late?
—It has been a long process, but finally we have the opportunity to present the projects. Without the Perte, the manufacturers were not going to reveal their electrification plans in Spain, and these are necessary if we want to turn the country into a European electromobility hub. This was not going to happen with an 8% penetration of electricity and a lack of infrastructure.
—Is there a favorable environment for the electric vehicle?
-No. It is not that the infrastructure is insufficient, it is that it does not exist. And what is worse: there is no plan, which is what is necessary to achieve it. In his presentation, José López-Tafall mentioned the figures that must be reached, but these will only be numbers until they sign up for a mandatory plan. Whenever I see works in Barcelona, I wonder if they will follow a recharging point plan, because there has to be a guide.
—Do you consider that the Government’s measures to rejuvenate the park are sufficient?
—I think that the resources, in themselves, are sufficient if they are expanded and do not remain empty, as there is a risk in Madrid. The problem is that there is no certainty that they will continue. The Moves of the past sold out overnight. People have to get used to the fact that the electric car comes out for monthly installments similar to those of the thermal one. The markets of the countries that work like this are exploding. The average in Europe is 20% and here we have not even started, because it is very complex: there is not one Moves for private cars and another for fleets, but there are 34. In Germany there are two: if you are an individual, you receive 10,000 euros; if you are a company, you can deduct taxes. It is that simple and does not vary by autonomies: Bavaria applies the same as Lower Saxony. I don’t know why we have to be the most sophisticated, instead of copying a system that works.
—Speaking of certainty, what assessment do you make of the DGT labels?
-The Government has decided that they continue as is and I think that everything that removes uncertainty is positive. Changing them would be counterproductive. Instead of prohibiting, we must encourage: to sell sustainable cars, they must be made attractive in the eyes of the public. For this reason, I believe that the tax proposal of the Committee of Experts is completely unacceptable, since it did not help sustainability and they wanted to practically remove the right of individual mobility, something that we cannot support in any way.
—Will we reach a 25% electric share in 2025?
– I have my doubts. Either we get our act together with the infrastructure or we don’t get there. Even so, the remaining 75% will be thermal and we have to define, together with the other associations, a CO2 threshold that determines what a clean car is and, from there, support them together with the Government. We have to renew the fleet of 13 years old with clean and safe cars, we cannot allow Spain to be an Africa of the used car.
—By 2030, will the park be reduced by 20%?
—Those are our forecasts, due to the change in use and the new mobility. More important than whether there are 20 or 25 million vehicles, is that they are clean. The most important thing is to renovate the park, and the objectives must be changed: I do not want to see goals for 2030. They are good, because they show us the way, but neither I nor the politicians will have our positions then. Figures must be set for 2022 and 2023, both for penetration and recharging points
—Is employment in the industry at risk due to drops in production?
—If there is a drop of 30%, which is what has happened as a result of semiconductors, of course there is employment at risk. I am here to defend jobs. I am convinced that the market will revive, although we will see the economic situation that we faced then. We have to find a way to overcome momentary phases like these and circumvent them with measures such as ERTEs. On the other hand, it is true that the electric ones have fewer working hours than the thermal ones in the factories and 30% less labor for the VE means that there will be too many people. This is where we have to look for solutions, I prefer that we compensate it with other positions in the value chain, either in programming or with batteries.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.