VDA President Hildegard Müller: Promote climate protection and economic growth hand in hand

    Berlin, 02. Februar 2020

    “We support growth through technical progress” – Offer of discourse to all stakeholders – German automotive industry stands for sustainable individual mobility – Ensure free access to international markets

    Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), wishes to initiate a broad dialog on sustainable individual mobility with all stakeholders: “I take climate change very seriously,” said Hildegard Müller as she took office as VDA President. “The German manufacturers and suppliers already make a considerable contribution to reaching the ambitious climate protection targets. These activities will be expanded intensively in the coming years.”

    The German OEMs will treble their portfolio of electrified vehicles to over 150 e-models by 2023. Manufacturers and suppliers will invest around 50 billion euros in the research and development of alternative powertrains by 2024. During the same period, another 25 billion euros will be spent on digitization and connected and automated driving. “The automotive industry is about to undergo a fundamental change, and I will make sure that it is driven forward energetically,” Hildegard Müller announced.

    “We need an intensive and objective debate on integrating climate protection and sustainable individual mobility. The question is no longer whether our key industry is committing to more climate protection, but how we are to achieve this target together – which is a task for society as a whole. We understand sustainability to be more than ecology, also including economic and social aspects,” Hildegard Müller said. “We bear responsibility in all three dimensions. The automotive industry will make a contribution and seek dialog with all stakeholders.

    “Furthermore, in the discourse on the best solution I will listen to all sides and examine the arguments. However, when it comes to these important future-oriented topics I will also assume the role of a driver and moderator,” she stressed. “We want to regain lost trust and energetically drive forward the necessary reforms.”

    The new VDA president went on to say that climate protection and sustainable individual mobility were not opposites, just like climate protection and economic growth. “We will shape the mobility of the future through more research, more development, and more innovation. These are strengths that have always characterized the German automotive industry and its employees. They also include entrepreneurial confidence, enjoying competition and the courage to pursue new paths,” she underscored.

    The VDA president also wishes to place a new emphasis on strengthening free and fair world trade. “As an automotive country, Germany needs unfettered access to the international markets. Three out of four cars that we produce in Germany are destined for export. It is therefore vitally important that we remove trade barriers and clearly express our opposition to all forms of protectionism,” Hildegard Müller stated, adding that she would use convincing arguments to promote this position in Berlin and Brussels.