SPD chief Norbert Walter-Borjans has defended his party's waiver of a purchase premium for combustion cars in the Corona economic stimulus package of the Grand Coalition. It could not be "that an industry dictates to the state in which way the funding has to be carried out," said Walter Borjans of the Augsburg general . The policy is not "recipient of industry orders ". The SPD boss accused the corporations of using employee worries for their own purposes.

The cancellation of the grand coalition to a car purchase premium for IC cars has caused criticism of the SPD, especially from the trade union side. IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann, for example, had sharply attacked the SPD leadership and warned of a "massive loss of trust" among employees in the car industry in relation to social democracy. "Here there is disappointment that it was not industrial responsibility, but demoscopy that determined the actions of the SPD leadership," he said.

"The SPD leadership did not understand"

The works councils in the auto industry also came in for criticism. Michael Brecht, head of the general works council, said that he and his colleagues from the auto and supplier industry were "pissed off." The SPD leadership didn't understand it, said Brecht to, which massively approaches the jobs. "

The industry had invested in growth, and now Brecht was threatened with overcapacity that could not be bridged for three or four years. He does not understand why the SPD leadership did not understand this and vehemently blocked himself against a purchase premium for low-polluting petrol and diesel vehicles in the economic stimulus package, said Brecht. The party leadership also did not seek dialogue with the works councils.

MAN Group Works Council Chairman Saki Stimoniaris also criticized the party: "The SPD party leadership should question itself. Does it still represent the interests of the employees?" Said the works council head of the truck manufacturer belonging to the VW Group. Such an attitude endangers millions of jobs. "We are worried about our jobs and our future," said Stimoniaris.

SPD leader demands more sustainability from the auto industry

Walter-Borjans generally rejected the criticism in Augsburg . "You all know that we have done a lot for the entire economy in the stimulus package," said the SPD leader. The SPD leader said the automobile industry would also benefit from the funding for research and development decided in the economic stimulus package. "Billions are being invested there."

Walter-Borjan demanded more commitment from the car companies for sustainability. "We want the car industry to focus even more on job security in the future. The companies have neglected a lot, for example when it comes to the development of climate-friendly electric cars. The car lobby is over the top," he said.

VDA rejects criticism of insufficient electromobility

The president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Hildegard Müller, rejected the accusation in the newspaper that German car manufacturers overslept the trend towards electromobility. "The electric segment for new car registrations is currently less than ten percent. Of the ten best-selling e-models, seven are from German manufacturers," said the chief lobbyist at Augsburger Allgemeine .

The leaders of the grand coalition had agreed in a two-day negotiation this week on an economic stimulus package worth 130 billion euros. It comprises almost 60 individual items, including a reduction in VAT for the second half of 2020, a family bonus of 300 euros per child and support for the municipalities. However, the package does not provide for the purchase premium for cars with internal combustion engines.

The large German manufacturers and also the three federal states with the most important automotive locations, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony had spoken out in favor of stimulating the economy. But especially the SPD was strictly against it for environmental protection reasons. There were also critical voices from the Union. The slump in demand for petrol and diesel cars is now to be boosted with the lower VAT. The economic stimulus package also decided on higher premiums for electric cars.