27. June 2013
Friedrichsaal, Deutsche Bank AG Berlin
The VDA Commercial Vehicle Symposium 2013 was held in Berlin at the end of June and attracted more than 120 participants. Within this context, the CEOs of the most important German and European commercial vehicle manufacturers, including Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard (Daimler) and Dr. Leif Östling (VW) presented their outlook on the strategies of commercial vehicle manufacturers in global competition.
Attention focused on the requirement for “sensible policies and sober calculations,” because the companies are facing tough international competition at the same time as experiencing increasing levels of red tape in Europe. Directives, laws and regulations must reflect the reality of markets much more effectively in future, and display joined-up thinking, these were the requirements. As a result, there must not be any new and possibly contradictory regulations on pollution emissions, noise and CO2/fuel consumption. Instead, politicians must set their priorities on further reductions in fuel consumption, which is something that the industry is pushing ahead with at a significant pace of innovation.
Dr. Jos Delbeke (Director-General climate action) gave a keynote speech in which he stated that the market for heavy commercial vehicles – efficient and subject to intensive competition – is fundamentally different from the car market. Transport companies themselves are continuously striving to minimize fuel consumption and their operating costs, he continued, so that the EU Commission will not propose any limit value regulation, but will initially concentrate on recording and monitoring the emissions from heavy commercial vehicles. In the subsequent podium discussion, comments were provided by Jochen Flasbarth (German Environment Agency), Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Schmidt (BGL) and Ulrich Schöpker (Schmitz Cargobull, VDA Vice-President).