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Automobiles industry entities manufacture passenger vehicles, light trucks and motorcycles. Industry players design, build and sell vehicles that use a range of traditional and alternative fuels and powertrains. They sell these vehicles to dealers for consumer retail sales as well as sell directly to fleet customers, including car rental and leasing entities, commercial fleets and governments. Because of the industry’s global nature, nearly all entities have manufacturing facilities, assembly plants and service locations in several countries around the world. The Automobiles industry is concentrated, with a few large manufacturers and a diversified supply chain. Given the industry’s reliance on natural resources and sensitivity to the business cycle, revenue is typically cyclical.

Relevant Issues (4 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Automobiles

Product Quality & Safety
  • Product Safety

    Driving is a risky activity, since factors such as distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding and dangerous weather conditions may result in accidents that expose drivers, passengers and bystanders to injuries and deaths. Defective vehicles may also cause accidents, and failure to detect defects before vehicles are sold may result in significant financial repercussions for auto manufacturers. In many countries, defective vehicles that do not meet safety requirements must be recalled and repaired or replaced at the manufacturer’s cost. Recalls may damage brand value, which may reduce revenues and growth potential and increase an entity’s risk profile and cost of capital. Entities that ensure vehicle safety and respond quickly when they identify defects may reduce the risks of regulatory action or customer lawsuits that may adversely affect their margins. Through effective management of vehicle safety, entities may improve brand value and sales over the long term.
Labour Practices
  • Labour Practices

    Collective bargaining agreements cover many workers in the Automobiles industry guiding fair wage discussions, safe working conditions and freedom of association, which are among basic workers’ rights. Because of the global nature of the industry, auto entities may also operate in countries where workers’ rights are inadequately protected. Effective communication by management regarding issues such as pay and working conditions may prevent conflicts between workers and management that may result in strikes, which slow or suspend manufacturing, reduce revenues and increase operational risk. Auto manufacturers that manage workers’ rights effectively may improve the long-term financial sustainability of their operations by enhancing worker productivity.
Product Design & Lifecycle Management
  • Fuel Economy & Use-phase Emissions

    Motor vehicle fossil fuel combustion accounts for a significant share of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributing to global climate change. Engine exhaust also generates local air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NO?), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM), which can threaten human health and the environment. In this context, vehicle emissions increasingly concern consumers and regulators around the world. Although use-phase emissions are downstream from auto manufacturers, regulations often focus on auto manufacturers to reduce these emissions, such as through fuel economy standards. More stringent emissions standards and changing consumer demands are driving electric vehicle and hybrid market expansion, as well as for high fuel-efficiency conventional vehicles. Moreover, manufacturers are designing innovative vehicles made with lighter-weight materials to improve fuel efficiency. Entities that meet current fuel-efficiency and emissions standards and continue to innovate to meet or exceed future regulatory standards in various markets may strengthen their competitive position and expand their market share, while mitigating the risk of reduced demand for conventional vehicles.
Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
  • Materials Sourcing

    Entities in the Automobiles industry commonly rely on rare earth metals and other critical materials as important inputs. Many of these inputs have few substitutes and often are sourced from a few countries, many of which may be subject to geopolitical uncertainty. Other sustainability impacts related to climate change, land use, resource scarcity and conflict in regions where the industry’s supply chain operates are also increasingly shaping the industry’s ability to source materials. Additionally, increased competition for these materials because of growing global demand from other sectors may result in price increases and supply risks. These materials play a crucial role in clean energy technologies, such as electric and hybrid vehicles. As regulators strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumer demand grows for more fuel-efficient vehicles, the share of hybrids and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) produced by the Automobiles industry may continue to increase in the future. Entities that limit the use of critical materials, secure their sourcing and develop alternatives may mitigate supply disruptions and volatile input prices, which could adversely affect their margins, risk profile and cost of capital.
  • Materials Efficiency & Recycling

    Auto manufacturing involves the use of significant amounts of materials (including steel, iron, aluminium and plastics) and can generate substantial amounts of waste (including scrap metal, paint sludge and shipping materials). As the rate of vehicle ownership expands globally and millions of vehicles reach the end of their useful lives each year, automobile lifecycle environmental impacts are increasing. Automobile entities may focus on innovation in design as well as process and technological improvements to mitigate these impacts and achieve financial benefits. Entities that improve materials efficiency in their production processes, including reducing waste and reusing or recycling waste and scrapped vehicles, may reduce vehicle lifecycle environmental impacts. Through such innovation, entities may achieve cost savings by reducing input costs and mitigating potential regulatory fines or penalties. They may also mitigate production input price fluctuations from periodic or long-term resource scarcity.

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