Madam President Müller, how do you assess the coalition agreement for the future traffic light coalition from the point of view of the German auto industry?

Tobias Piller

Editor in business.

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First of all, I think that there are many good approaches in the coalition agreement. This includes points that go far beyond the supposed interests of the auto industry. To give just one example: If there is something written there to speed up planning and approval procedures, then we in the economy are all listening because we have to deregulate and accelerate the construction of infrastructure at all levels. This applies to broadband networks, but also to the charging infrastructure for electric cars. There are many other examples, such as digital management. We have been waiting for it for a long time, and it has long been standard in other countries.

Some environmental policy observers were predicting difficult times for the auto industry under the government of a traffic light coalition. A lot will be asked of your industry. Where do you still see the positive signs?

One of the good approaches is to approach questions of the future with an open mind. It addresses specific challenges that we now urgently need to solve: for example, when electromobility is ramping up, the expansion of the charging infrastructure. It is open to technology with statements about the future of hydrogen and synthetic fuels, so-called "e-fuels". There is still a lot to be questioned. But we are finally getting to the point where everyone sees transformation and change as an opportunity. Now politicians have to back up the goals with concrete actions and instruments. We all want to become climate neutral as quickly as possible. I believe that with the right policies we can also become world champions in innovation. If we are innovation world champions,our example is also being followed in other regions of the world. This is not only good for the climate, but also for jobs in Germany. So: the goals are in place, we now need instruments and plans.

If the coalition agreement talks about modernization and fundamental upheavals, this could be interpreted as positive towards industry, but also as anti-car. Is there still a lot of room for arguments?

Good solutions can be found in open and constructive debates, dialogue is central: we all have to move out of old enemy images. Successful examples of the mobility transition in cities like Copenhagen were not decided in a dispute, but rather by getting together to develop amicable solutions quarter by quarter. The ideas have to adapt to the life situation of the people. And with the Berlin view you can certainly not talk about the situation in the whole of Germany and certainly not in rural areas. People are concerned with specific questions, such as the next connection for local public transport, how to get to and from work, how to go shopping? Or how do the children get to sports or music school? Mobility means participation! The question is,how such participation is made possible: in my opinion, only by networking different modes of transport. Social support and acceptance among people are crucial for a successful transformation; we absolutely have to prevent further divisions in society.

Can the required change progress quickly at all, or would you have to convert the cities first?

So are the shopping centers too often on the outskirts, only accessible by car?