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EU regulations ‘drive big changes’ in automotive sector

‘Incredible changes’ in the relationship between car manufacturers and the dismantling sector were heralded at the latest edition of the International Automotive Recycling Congress (IARC) in Geneva.

Galloo’s Olivier François, who’s also president of EuRIC, reflected on the two decades in the car dismantling sector since the first IARC event in Geneva in 2001. The market development officer for Galloo Group pointed out the original gathering followed the introduction of the original ELV Directive and, although it was largely a European event, ‘this directive has worldwide consequences’.

At the turn of the century, François noted, manufacturers were concerned that one consequence of the initial directive in 2000 would be used spare parts being in competition with their own new parts.
‘There was a big fight then but now it is very different,’ he said. ‘Now the manufacturers are relying on reuse, repair and remanufacturing – these changes are incredible.’

He also pointed out the relationship between steel and the car industries. ‘New vehicles, whether ICE or EV, are 70% steel so if we want to decarbonise new vehicles this relies deeply on the decarbonisation of steel.’

Changing relationship

Two keynote speakers reflected the changing relationship. Senior Renault exec Jean-Philippe Bahuaud spoke about ‘The Future is Neutral’, Renault’s new operation across the entire automotive value chain. The company is said to be the first offering closed loop (car-to-car) recycling solutions at every stage of a vehicle’s lifecycle to generate a turnover of more than EUR 2.3 billion and an operating margin of more than 10% by 2030. Bahuaud explained how the company had three subsidiaries:

  • Gaia – battery repair, parts collection and reuse and recycling of materials from ELVs
  • IndraELV treatment in France, with more than 370 approved centres (50-50% joint venture with Suez)
  • Boone Comenor- recycling of metal scraps from industry (33-67% JV with Suez)

A fourth subsidiary, for recycling batteries in closed-loops, is due to be launched in October.

‘We decarbonise our lives’

Abhijit Sanyal, head of metallics for ArcelorMittal Europe, spoke about the steel giant’s wish to be a ‘responsible and responsive’ partner with recyclers and manufacturers in the decarbonisation journey. Steel, he said, was a fabric of life and ‘When we decarbonise this fabric of life we decarbonise our lives’. ArcelorMittal’s XCarb brand across its business was part of a net zero roadmap with the company ‘fully and visibly committed to decarbonisation’.

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