The European Commission unveiled a plan on Monday to help car industry better anticipate and manage change.
The plan was centered on a new partnership between the commission and the main industry and workers' organizations in the car sector of the European Union (EU).
It proposed to monitor change in the automobile industry, including employment and skills needs, while the partners would exchange know-how on managing restructuring in a socially responsible way.
"Twelve million European families depend on the automotive sector for their livelihoods," said EU Employment Commissioner Vladimir Spidla, "While the sector faces tough challenges such as increased competition and restructuring, there are also big opportunities."
The initiative, which followed a high-level forum on restructuring in Brussels last month, also called for better use of funding, such as the European Social Fund and European Globalization Fund, to support anticipation and adaptation to change.
The automotive sector provides work for more than two million Europeans and supports an additional 10 million jobs indirectly. It accounts for approximately 3 percent of EU gross domestic product (GDP).
But the industry also faces diverse challenges, including growing international competition, changing societal demands related to mobility, environmental concerns and road safety, shifts in demand around the world and skills shortages to replace an ageing workforce.