OEM&Lieferant Ausgabe 1/2020

76 Welcome adress by Dr. Joachim Damasky Managing director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) The automotive industry is undergoing a transformation process that presents companies and employees with many challenges at the same time like never before: First, the decline in the global automotive econ- omy – with an impact on capacities, production, exports and employ- ment. Secondly, the major trade policy uncertainties. What’s more, there’s Brexit. Third, electromobility and digitization. We are dealingwith a fundamental structural change that requires high investments while the market dynamics are weakening at the same time. The tension can be felt in many companies. Manufacturers and suppliers adjust capacities, increase efficiency, clean up their product portfolio and improve their cost structures. In some companies, this also includes employment in the medium term. The EU Commission has just announced that, as part of the “Green Deal”, it plans to review the rules on CO 2 fleet limit values for cars and light commercial vehicles from June 2021. Therefore, there is a danger that the already very strict worldwide fleet limits could be tightened again. The current limit values were adopted only a year ago; companies will only be able to achieve them with great effort. Politicians in Brussels as well as in Berlin must be aware that these plans are very critical for the automotive industry because, following last year’s decision, companies are aiming for the very ambitious target of minus 37.5 percent for passenger cars by 2030. The German automotive industry supports the ambitious Paris climate targets and the EU Commission‘s plan to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Climate protection is a priority, but at the same time it must be economically, ecologically and socially compatible. We do not always achieve the associated goals through new guidelines and intermediate goals. Our companies need planning reliability to be able to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. Manufacturers and suppliers are investing heavily in alternative drives. The new models emit less and less CO 2 or are CO 2 neutral. In addition, we strive for CO 2 neutrality in the entire value creation process – from development and production of the automobile to sales and the use and recycling of the vehicle. It is now a matter of driving the rapid market penetration of electric vehicles. By 2023, our manufacturers will have quintupled their range of models to over 150 electric models. Every third patent in the field of electric mobility and hybrid drive worldwide already comes from Germany. Even if the focus is on electromobility, we continue to work on alterna- tive drives and fuels because, in the long term, there will be a technol- ogy mix for the drive types. Our companies actively promote research and development in the segments of climate-neutral e-fuels, CNG and hydrogen. But for these technologies to reach the market, the right political course must nowbe set. It is not just a matter of a type of drive, which we are pushing forward with all our might. It is about a politically and socially driven system change. The German automotive industry is making a strong contribution to this. However, all actors should be aware that CO 2 reduction is a task for society as a whole and cannot be reduced to just one industry. Only a cross-structure approach is efficient and the demanding goals can only be achieved with the right framework, appropriate incentives and infrastructure investments. The German automotive industry is ag- gressively facing these challenges. We thereby balance people‘s desire for individual mobility and climate protection. Progress is driven by incentives – rigid prohibitions slow it down. VDA www.vda.de Transformation of a key sector: challenges for the automotive industry