German car industry degraded to supporting role at electronic fair CES
At the Las Vegas consumer electronics show CES, technology "made in Germany" only plays a supporting role, while real progress happens elsewhere, report Stefan Beutelsbacher and Thomas Heuzeroth in Die Welt. "The impression is bitter: Once upon a time, Sony radios were built into German cars. Nowadays, German technology is built into a Sony car," the article says with reference to Sony's presentation of an electric vehicle at the trade fair. Electric mobility and autonomous driving dominate carmakers' presentations at the show, but the German companies don't leave their mark on either as exciting innovations originate in other countries, the authors write. German car companies and suppliers like Bosch, Continental and ZF might be at the top of the game in many technologies, but fail to impress in Las Vegas, according to the article. "At the CES, Germany did not present itself as a leading nation of progress, but often merely as a helper."
Germany's shift to electric mobility looks set to get underway in earnest in 2020, and the country's mighty carmakers look ahead with trepidation to what promises to be a tremendous effort for the industry. Against the backdrop of slowing global car sales and huge investments in clean propulsion technologies, the EU's new stringent emission rules entered into force in January, forcing Germany's major carmakers to rely on strong sales of electric vehicles to compensate for their conventional high-emission models. At Europe's largest car show in Frankfurt, German car groups BMW, Daimler and VW faced an unprecedented wave of climate protests because combustion engine sales will remain a key part of their strategies for many years to come.