Ex-SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel does not become the new president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). "Undoubtedly, it is an exciting and challenging task to accompany the automotive industry in a time of great upheaval," he told Tagesspiegel and Handelsblatt . "Nevertheless, after careful consideration and due to other tasks, I can not be available for this post."
The importance of this part of German industry for the economic success, social stability and ecological sustainability of the country can hardly be overestimated, judged the former environment, foreign and economic minister. "I therefore also see it as an expression of great trust that representatives of this industry, which is so important for Germany, trust me to be the President of the VDA."
Several media had reported in October, Gabriel could move to the head of the lobby association. As another candidate, the former Minister of State at the Chancellery, Hildegard Müller (CDU) was called. She would be the first woman on the post. The current VDA boss Bernhard Mattes had announced in mid-September to retire at the end of the year as Germany's top car lobbyist.
In an interview with DIE ZEIT, Gabriel had denied that there had been formal talks with him about the post. "I did not get involved and have not been officially approached by the VDA."