The President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, Bernhard Mattes, resigned his office at the end of the year. Mattes will turn to new tasks, said the VDA, without giving reasons. In the morning he had opened the industry fair IAA in Frankfurt am Main.
The former Ford manager is only since March 2018 VDA president. The association is considered one of the most influential lobby associations in Germany.
The Spiegel had recently reported criticism of Mattes: There were "deficits in political support" for the industry, the magazine had citing a high-ranking Automanager reported. The VDA sells below value. Critics therefore told Mattes that he was not close enough to the decision-makers in Berlin and Brussels. Especially now that politics is sharpening climate targets, the car industry needs a stronger voice.
According to the magazine, the name of a possible successor is already circulating: Günther Oettinger, who gives up his post as EU Commissioner in November.
The auto industry is currently undergoing a fundamental shift towards more alternative propulsion such as electric mobility. Manufacturers are under pressure for tough EU environmental targets. At the same time, for reasons of climate protection, the criticism is becoming louder and louder on heavy sports off-road vehicles (SUVs), which, however, yield a high return.
Mattes had turned to the IAA against a tightening of the already applicable climate targets. First, it must be done, what has been agreed, he said.