Green Suicide: Climate Hysteria Is Killing German Car Industry
Frankfurt’s biennial International Auto Show (IAA) opens its doors to the public Thursday, but major foreign carmakers are staying away while climate demonstrators march outside — forming a microcosm of the industry’s woes.
“There have never been so many cancellations by carmakers,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer of the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR).
“The IAA is turning into a trade fair packed with problems,” he added, in the image of the German manufacturers who host it.
Giants like Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen are seeing their engineering advantage and profit margins eroded — even as the global economic outlook darkens.
The potential blow of US tariffs on European auto imports hangs over many carmakers, who have already suffered from an escalating Washington-Beijing trade confrontation due to their American factories.
Meanwhile three of the world’s four largest carmakers will stay away from the IAA this year: the French-Japanese Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, Japan’s Toyota and US-based General Motors (GM).
Other heavyweights like Italian-American Fiat-Chrysler and France’s PSA have also absented themselves, as well as some of the best-known luxury brands.
The remaining manufacturers huddled in Frankfurt’s massive trade fair complex have one major priority: stoking enthusiasm for new electric models set for release this year, as new EU carbon emissions limits enter into force from 2020.