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IAA 2018 – «The Autobranche has been two years away» News

Sunday, September 10th, 2017 | Economy

As Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Automesse IAA in 2015 conjured the technological change, no one knew what an earthquake would follow. Only four days later, Volkswagen's exhaust emissions plummeted, which has shaken the industry since then. The scandal not only forces VW to get fit for the future. Almost all car owners have been under pressure to revamp their business in order to meet the stricter CO2 requirements.
"It is the reinvention of the industry," says Senta Graf, an analyst at Fondshaus Deka. When the IAA, which takes place every two years in alternation with the Autosalon Paris, opens its doors again in Frankfurt in mid-September (14 – 24 September), companies can show that they are changing from the combustion engine to alternative drives and new mobility services vigorously.
"It is about the fact that everyone is now standing together to take the step towards electromobility", Graf warned. After the dumbfounding of the diesel and the cartel allegations against the big manufacturers it was important to regain the lost trust of the customers. Because in the background the clock ticks: If the carters want to meet the sharper climatic requirements in the beginning of the next decade, they have to spur. Otherwise, severe penalties may occur.
Industry is facing tremendous upheaval
The industry is facing enormous upheavals because the reorientation devours huge investments. Size according to paragraph – as propagated by Winterkorn – has long since ceased to be a panacea. In addition, the management style with an iron hand, as it has been maintained for a long time at Volkswagen, has been overtaken. Instead, they need agile companies with flat hierarchies that react quickly to new developments.
"Agility is the benchmark that counts today," says Stefan Bauknecht, fund manager at DWS. Nested large conglomerates are often too slow. "Sporty motorboats have better chances than heavy tankers." An example is shown by US electrician Tesla, who is willing to teach the established manufacturers in the mass business the fear. At the latest, the experts in the industry have to come out of the starting blocks. Otherwise, they run the risk of being hanged by others.
"But we do not mind, the money is still earned with the old techniques", Axel Schmidt from Accenture advises. "Neither Daimler deserve car2go, nor BMW with DriveNow, still with a hybrid or electric vehicle is only one euro earned, which costs only for the time." This puts the corporations in a dilemma: They have to invest heavily in the future and at the same time burden the diesel crisis its income.
Daimler is stepping forward
As the first large-scale group, Daimler apparently now takes flight. The Group is likely to be completely restructured to react more flexibly to changes. According to a media report, the Stuttgarter thinks about a triple division: Under the umbrella of a holding, the passenger car and transport business Mercedes-Benz, trucks and buses as well as financial services could be run separately. Partial exchanges are possible. Daimler himself has kept to his plans so far.
The VW Group also does not want to push its planned restructuring on the long bench. A new team of the Autobauer actively involved in the sale of several areas, which no longer belonged to the core business of the group, CEO Matthias Müller recently reported to the "Wall Street Journal".
It is not a capital requirement, however, which drives the builders primarily because the coffers of most corporations are well filled – yet. "The willingness of the car makers to spend their money on a diesel has decreased," says Bauknecht. On the other hand, the demand for e-mobiles lamented because the cars are expensive, the batteries are not yet enough for longer distances and recharge options are inadequate. A rapid change is therefore not in sight.
Industry has been two years away
In the opinion of Bauknecht, the industry has lost two years because it has held the diesel too long. Diesel cars have less carbon dioxide due to the lower fuel consumption, but more toxic nitrogen oxide. The high exhaust emissions in conurbations are putting manufacturers at a disadvantage because driving bans are threatening.
"Today, the industry is faced with the huge task of reaching the CO2 targets with a falling diesel share," says Bauknecht. In addition, customers buy more sporty off-road vehicles (SUVs), which are lucrative for the manufacturers, but also consume more fuel – and thus emit more carbon dioxide. The manufacturers get into a pinch mill.
Nevertheless, the car dealers in Frankfurt are putting the SUV in the spotlight in all conceivable games. "Everyone wants to become SUV world champion," says Autoprofessor Ferdinand Dudenhöffer. There are now all-wheel drive off-road vehicles with electric drive. Most of the electric vehicles presented at the IAA, be it the EQ of Mercedes-Benz or the I.D. of VW, are still visions. Until mass-e-mobile E-Mobile were to be bought, passed still a few years.
"The most important thing that is currently available, the model 3 of Tesla, is not shown in Frankfurt," complained Dudenhöffer. A total of about a dozen brands, including Fiat, Volvo and Peugeot, are missing at the IAA – either because the trade fair no longer offers them the right framework, or because they have to save.
(Reuters)

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