Thursday , December 9 2021

“Car summit” in Berlin: trillions more for the car industry


The e-car purchase allowance has been extended to 2025, a disbursement allowance for new diesel trucks as well: the federal government wants to launch the car industry of the future with an additional three million euros. The industry is happy.

The federal government is helping the automotive industry with another three million euros. As previously announced, it provides the industry with about five billion euros. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert has justified the new aid with a “long-term structural change” that brings “major challenges”.

At the same time, Seibert has admitted that the automotive industry “after a significant drop in sales in the first half of the year” is now showing “signs of a first recovery”. Two billion euros in aid had already been promised from the stimulus package for the supplier industry.

Promote “transformation strategies”

In addition, Seibert has now announced one million euros to secure a “future fund for the automotive industry”. The purpose of the fund is to develop “transformation strategies” for the automotive industry in the medium and long term. The aim is to join forces and achieve “cooperation between the federal, state and regional levels, but also cooperation between companies, unions and science.” In addition, the so-called innovation premium will be extended until 2025, which is another billion euros in aid to industry. The government has already extended the purchase price for all electric vehicles and connected hybrids in the summer until 2021.

The planned fleet renewal program for trucks will provide another one million euros in support. Half of that money went to the Federal Department of Transportation to buy new trucks; the other half went to the companies to upgrade their fleet.

On Tuesday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged ideas with representatives of the automotive industry about the future of German industry. The so-called Concerted Mobile Action included several federal and prime ministers who attended the virtual car summit, as well as union representatives and heads of the Union and the SPD.

Automotive and IG Metall in good spirits

The German auto industry and the IG Metall union welcomed new federal funding commitments of $ 1 billion. Hildegard Müller, president of the Automotive Industry Association (VDA), explained that extending the “innovation premium” for electric cars and other tools is a support for climate protection and economic strength. “Every week we bring 12,000 new cars to the streets in Germany.” But these would now also require a lot of new electronic charging stations.

IG Metal chief Jörg Hofmann said a program for the exchange of heavy commercial vehicles should be viewed positively in order to get more financial support. It will also apply to the increase in the allowance for electric and hybrid vehicles. In the industry, especially in the case of many suppliers, the harsh employment situation necessitates the rapid implementation of measures.

Criticisms from environmental groups and entrepreneurs

A spokesman for the Fridays for the Future (FFF) climate protection movement has criticized the investment package as a “deadlock in the mobility transition”. In particular, he condemned the “purchase premium for dirty hybrids”. The government and lobbyists invited to the car summit would delay the “sustainable transformation of the car industry,” he told AFP. In the end, this only hurts the employees.

On the eve of the summit, Cem Özdemir, chairman of the Bundestag’s transport committee, criticized the fact that the federal government has so far been moving “from car summit to car summit”. That alone cannot “successfully shape the transformation of our most important industry,” Green said.

The environmental organization BUND warned the automaker against further “tax gifts”. JUND Hilgenberg, a Bund traffic expert, said it would be “unacceptable” to extend funding for the purchase of electric cars and hybrid plugs from 2021 onwards. Especially in the case of plug-in hybrids with partial electricity, the support is “lethal” from a climate protection perspective.

Volkswagen: Politicians send a “strong signal” for change in the automotive industry

Volkswagen believes, however, that the decisions taken at the car summit could lead to a decisive shift in change in the German base industry. In the afternoon, the group spoke of a “strong signal” that it was showing a “political will to adapt”. The measures taken are likely to “accelerate further increases in electromobility”. This will facilitate the transition to climate-friendly car traffic.

As a major step, VW believes it is looking for faster expansion of the cargo network. Recently, the demand for e-cars has increased in the summer buying premiums, but there is a strong link to charging options in many regions. The federal government is trying to “increase the trust that customers need for easy and hassle-free switching to electronic mobility”. 1200 charging points have been set at VW locations.

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