Mobility forms the basis of our economy and allows us to participate in society. To guarantee mobility for future generations, the German automotive industry is working with the single raw material available in unlimited quantities: innovation. Germany is where the automobile was invented, and it is here that it is continuously being reinvented with ten patents registered each day. The German automotive industry invests by far the most in research and development, turning the “Land of Ideas” into the “Autoland of Ideas”.
A guarantor of jobs in industrialized Germany
The power of innovation driving the German automotive industry is not merely the result of the efforts made by nearly 90,000 engineers employed in Germany alone, but the combined effort of more than 785,000 employees in total. In industrialized Germany, the automotive industry can guarantee jobs: while the number of those working in manufacturing industries has fallen by 42 percent since 1991, the number working in the automotive industry has even risen by 4 percent over the same period. And most of these 785,000 are employed not at large corporations, but in SMEs as well as family-run businesses within our industry.
Germany: the experts in exports
Together, the manufacturers and suppliers of parts and accessories, as well as the makers of trailers and bodies make Germany a leading export nation. This is not only reflected in the global market share of German brands amounting to 19 percent and of 80 percent in the premium segment. It is also reflected in the fact that the art of German engineering is an integral part of almost every foreign marque, too.
This is not only good for the country’s export figures; it also ensures the share of added value in Germany’s industry: guaranteeing a stable market economy.
Vision zero: Increasingly safe
The automotive industry utilizes a large part of its innovative power for continuously improving safety, as well as further reducing emissions and the consumption of our valuable resources. This progress is not only found in the wording of patent certificates, but is actually taking place on our streets: since 1970 the number of accidents and the number of those killed or injured in traffic incidents has been constantly falling.
Aiming for zero emissions
What is true of road safety is equally true of CO2 emissions on German roads, which have been lowered (-16 percent) since 1999. Furthermore, this technological feat is all the more impressive, considering the fact that the amount of traffic has increased by 13 percent over the same period.
Nonetheless, the long-term goal remains that of zero emissions: vehicles that do not produce any local exhaust or greenhouse-gas emissions.
The drive away from oil
Environmental protection, as measured in terms of CO2 emissions, represents a particular challenge. On the path to the mobility of tomorrow, the German automotive industry is pursuing a multipronged strategy. This describes the relinquishing of oil by reducing, replenishing, and finally completely replacing oil as a source of energy. Enhanced traffic efficiency by way of networking and novel mobility concepts, such as car-sharing, both support and develop the new possibilities available.