What happened to the Indian auto industry

German auto industry 2020 : It's over, BMW, Daimler and VW!

2019 will be remembered as the year the automotive industry was doomed. The internal combustion engine, your technical and economic drive for 100 years, is turning the last few laps. Car manufacturers who invented it no longer believe that it will last another 100 years. On the street they have long been singing about a different, clean future: It's over, BMW, Daimler, VW! The time was good.

It is obvious that others are coming now, you just have to look around: Tesla is building a gigantic electric car factory in Brandenburg. The Chinese produce battery cells in Thuringia. The Chinese in general. At Daimler, they collect blocks of shares because they want to control the premium manufacturer. That makes sense, as Germans sell most of the cars in China.

If you consume too much, you face penalties

None of this is madly new. But on the eve of the 1920s, it turned into a doomed scenario. Because from 2020, emission standards will apply in the EU, which German carmakers warned about ten years ago, which go beyond the limits of physics. They could not prevent it, the EU regulation will come into force next week. This means that new vehicles can only use four liters of petrol or three and a half liters of diesel on average. Failure to do so will result in heavy fines for every car sold in the EU. The regulation will become even stricter from year to year until 2030. Incidentally, also in China.

The speed limit will come automatically

Engines that burn fossil raw materials will no longer meet the limit values. But for example electric cars. The electric age must begin now - not as an announcement, but on the street. The end of the traditional internal combustion engine is a necessity, not an option. Incidentally, this also applies to the speed limit. It would sort of take care of itself because batteries lose range at high speeds.

[On the subject of transport policy: Dispute over the speed limit - lawn has nothing to do with freedom!]

Companies are more ill-prepared than they are. If they are going to start advertising for e-cars soon, when they talk about the advantages of silent electric motors, then nobody should be fooled. It is not a pioneering spirit and a love of the environment that make manufacturers inventive, but necessity, or: politics.

Herbert Diess achieved a feat

Smart managers have understood that they are depriving themselves of their entrepreneurial freedom of action if they do not change course. VW boss Herbert Diess, for example, has achieved a feat: Despite a diesel charge against him and sales records for SUVs, the boss of the largest car company is also credible in debates with Fridays for Future or as a preacher of electric mobility.

Others like BMW boss Oliver Zipse, however, sound like the day before yesterday when they define themselves as classic carmakers again. Even when Daimler boss Ola Källenius says “technology openness”, one cannot get rid of the suspicion that he means indecision.

Moral appeals alone are not enough

Making affordable offers, following words with deeds and remaining open to discussion - this is what the automotive industry will be all about in the coming year. But climate activists also have to learn from a discourse with the engineers. Because economic constraints and technical questions will come to the fore in 2020. Moral appeals from the cycle of outrage in the climate debate will then no longer bother the corporations.

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