Statement delivered by VDA President Hildegard Müller on the results of the Coalition meeting

    Berlin, June 03, 2020

    The companies in the automotive industry are going through an unprecedented transformation. It affects manufacturers and suppliers, dealerships and workshops. They will not be able to gear further development to climate protection and digitization with the speed or scope that Germany needs unless they have secure economic prospects. To remain competitive and to coordinate climate protection with economic recovery, we still need a mix of offers including vehicles with modern and efficient combustion engines.

    The VDA regrets that the agreed economic stimulus package contains only some of the automotive industry’s proposals for a comprehensive and immediately effective boost to the economy. Nonetheless, the reduced rate of VAT for the next half-year and the doubling of the state’s portion of the environmental bonus for purchasing electric cars will provide positive impulses and go some way to reviving the currently very weak demand on the auto market.

    The manufacturers organized in the VDA have promised that the incentive resulting from this measure will be enhanced. This means that, while keeping in line with cartel law, the OEMS in the VDA will create the necessary conditions for passing on the full benefit of the VAT reduction to their customers.

    The companies will each also examine how the effect of the VAT reduction can be reinforced to accelerate sales of modern vehicles, and will inform the customers of these measures in an appropriate manner.

    We want to send consumers a strong signal and let them know that by buying a new car from our manufacturers they are not only acquiring a state-of-the-art product, but by buying one of the lowest-emission vehicles that have ever existed they are also contributing to climate protection.

    A clear and important step has also been taken regarding the commercial vehicle industry. The industry had appealed for a separate stimulus package for commercial vehicles. The decision to work toward a European fleet renewal program is therefore an important signal for the sector. However, the discussions with Brussels must be brought to a swift and successful conclusion.

    The package contains other positive measures that the VDA had joined in proposing. They include an extended period for loss carryback, wider application of depreciation using the diminishing balance method, additional tax measures, reduction of the EEG surcharge, expansion of the public charging infrastructure, the implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy and the reduction of bureaucracy. The bonus program for promoting new technologies, procedures and systems will exert its effects at an important point, but it should be fleshed out with the correct details, given the size of the task particularly when it comes to the transformation of medium-sized suppliers. For all these points it is important that the right keywords are now quickly turned into concrete measures. Implementation should also encompass the increased expansion of the private charging infrastructure, which has not yet been taken into account in the economic stimulus package.

    The VDA will support implementation with constructive proposals. With a view to the two and a half million people across Germany whose jobs depend either directly or indirectly on vehicles, we will intensify the dialog with politicians, business and society on progress and mobility, which places a central focus on automobiles.”