The Managing Board of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) elected Arndt G. Kirchhoff, CEO of Kirchhoff Holding GmbH & Co. KG, to the VDA’s Presiding Board for Manufacturer Group III (vehicle parts and accessories) at its meeting on 13 November 2013. Kirchhoff succeeds Dr Jürgen Geissinger, who has resigned from his posts as chairman of Manufacturer Group III and VDA Vice President due to his departure as CEO of Schaeffler AG. VDA Vice-president Kirchhoff is therefore also the new chairman of Manufacturer Group III.
Dr Geissinger joined the VDA’s Managing Board in 2002, and became VDA Vice-president in November 2007. Matthias Wissmann, President of the VDA, thanked Dr Geissinger on behalf of the Managing Board, saying, “As VDA Vice-president you have made a huge contribution to the work of our association overall, and to Manufacturer Group III in particular.” Wissmann added that Dr Geissinger had effectively represented suppliers’ interests vis-à-vis the manufacturers.
The Managing Board elected Dr Stefan Wolf, Chairman of the Management Board at ElringKlinger AG, to be deputy chairman of the Advisory Board of Manufacturer Group III – where he succeeds Kirchhoff.
Wissmann drew attention to the important role of the suppliers in the VDA. They form the largest group of members within the association. The number of supply companies in the VDA had risen to 522, he explained (cf. 514 last year). This means they now account for just over 83 per cent of all 627 VDA member companies. The proportion of suppliers in automotive value creation was around 75 per cent, and was set to grow due to new technological changes, increasing local production in other countries, and the greater range of models. That pointed up the drive for innovation at the companies. The development of alternative drive trains, vehicle connectivity and internationalisation were creating not only new opportunities for suppliers, but also challenges, Wissmann stated.