BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union's industry chief says ailing automakers should not expect a free ride in state aid to overcome the financial crisis.
EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen says carmakers should get better access to investment cash to keep the industry in step with technology, but insists the 27-nation bloc will not distort the global car market by funding overproduction.
Verheugen is warning that the slumping market would get worse this year compared to 2008, with up to 20 percent less in sales. The survival of millions of jobs is threatened.
An informal meeting Friday of the EU's industry ministers concluded that long-term investments to make safer and cleaner cars held the key to the survival of the EU's biggest employer.