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27 Nov 2019, 13:30
Benjamin Wehrmann

Former energy lobbyist and Merkel confidante to lead German carmaker association

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Former energy industry lobbyist Hildegard Müller will become the next head of the influential lobby group German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), according to an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Müller, a member of the conservative government party CDU, used to work as state minister in Angela Merkel's chancellery, headed energy lobby group BDEW and worked on the board of energy company innogy. Müller will be the first woman to lead the lobby association of one of Germany's most important industries. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, she will take up her new job in January 2020 and replace current VDA head Bernhard Mattes.

The new VDA head is expected to inherit a row between Germany's carmakers and suppliers over the precise future strategy for propulsion systems as the industry faces one of the most profound changes in its history, with potentially extensive implications for Germany's entire economy. All carmakers have announced plans to decarbonise their activities but they face mounting pressure to adapt to new competitors from abroad and continuous criticism for relying on a heavily climate-damaging business model.

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