Carmakers call for state support to boost industry and green mobility after corona
dpa / Süddeutsche Zeitung
German carmaker BMW has proposed that the German government introduce an "innovation premium" for car buyers to help the industry overcome the impacts of the coronavirus, reports news agency dpa in an article carried by Süddeutsche Zeitung. "We see a double opportunity in an innovation premium: It can boost the economy as a stimulus measure and at the same time accelerate customers' switch to climate-friendly technologies," Oliver Zipse, CEO of BMW, told the dpa. Volkswagen manager Stefan Sommer added that investments were needed in both the industry and to enable consumers to afford the cars. Markus Söder, state premier of Bavaria from the CSU party, recently called for a scrappage premium to boost car sales, calling it a "huge chance to help climate-friendly engines make a breakthrough". However, Oliver Krischer, deputy leader of the Green Party's parliamentary group, criticised the proposal, arguing that a previous scrappage premium introduced in 2009 "laid the foundation for the car industry to continue to lag behind in electric mobility to this day."
Germany's largest carmakers, including VW and Daimler, have suspended production in a bid to cushion the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and introduced 'short-time' work for their employees in order to limit the damage to their businesses. Leading industry and trade union representatives have recently urged the government to back them in efforts to make the European Union drop a planned tightening of emission limits on cars.