"The supply companies are the backbone of the German automotive industry. They generate three quarters of the industry's added value. Strong suppliers are essential for the mobility of the future. However, the suppliers also have to have the necessary support from the loans sector of the finance industry if they are to optimize the classical powertrains and advance the development of hybrid and electrical powertrains. In this situation the banks have to take action. According to a recent VDA survey, for two out of three supply companies it has become harder to get loans. And for the national economy, it would be anything but sensible if companies that are basically healthy and have huge potential for the future were to get into financial difficulties owing to undue restrictions on the issuing of loans. We are in favor of an objective check on each individual case - but we are against lowering the credit ratings en bloc for a whole industry," stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the annual assembly of the VDA's Manufacturer Group III (suppliers) in Berlin.
The German Federal Minister of Transport, Peter Ramsauer, also spoke at the suppliers' annual assembly. He called for "competition for the best solutions in transport." He added that, "Clean and affordable mobility for all will only be possible in the long term if transportation becomes less dependent on oil. The cars of the future will have alternative, energy-efficient powertrains, in particular electric motors. As three out of four cars built in Germany are exported, this is a key issue for the competitiveness of the German automotive industry."
Ramsauer emphasized, "In Germany we already make the best cars with combustion engines anywhere in the world. My goal is that in the future we will also build the best electric cars in the world. Germany should become the leading market in electric mobility. Now the important thing is to utilize the existing good bases that we have. With good, innovative and intelligent solutions for business and the right general political conditions, Germany can expand its leading position. The VDA and its member companies are important strategic partners in this process."
The minister added that the German Government was working jointly with industry and science to support the market preparations for electric mobility by means of two large programs. The "National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program" (NIP) and the "Electric Mobility Model Regions" battery program were launched in the summer of 2008.
The Federal Minister of Transport underscored: "We still have a great deal to do to make electric cars available at marketable prices. We will therefore continue to add more detail to the national "Electric Mobility" development plan and expand it into a comprehensive development program. To this end, we made important preparations at last week's Cabinet meeting in Meseberg. There should be one million electric cars on Germany's roads by 2020. This target is ambitious but it can be realized."