Carmakers slam Greens’ Kretschmann

Carmakers slam Greens' Kretschmann
Photo: DPA
The auto industry hit back on Tuesday at the Greens premier-designate in Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, over his weekend suggestion that the German industry needed to shrink in the interests of the environment.

Matthias Wissmann, president of the VDA peak body for the industry, told daily Tagesspiegel that Kretschmann should take a look at the environmentally friendly cars already rolling off the assembly line in his home state.

Premium German car brands were slashing the greenhouse gas output on their latest models “faster than their leading competitors,” he said.

The manufacture of top car brands was “vital for the industry and for Germany as an innovation centre,” he said.

Greens leader Kretschmann, whose coalition with the centre-left Social Democratic Party is set to take power in the wealthy southern state next month said at the weekend: “Fewer cars are of course better than more. We must sell mobility concepts in the future and not just cars. That includes walking, bicycles, cars, trains. We must join these up so well that one can travel easily and protect the environment.”

His comments were provocative given Stuttgart is Germany’s auto-industry capital, home to Porsche and Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz. It is sometimes known as “the cradle of the automobile.”

Porsche workers’ committee chairman Uwe Hück urged the Greens not to create fear around the auto industry.

“Porsche and Daimler should not have their names tarnished. Both companies build environmentally friendly cars and sell them not only in Germany but around the world,” he said.

The Local/DPA/djw

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