On the occasion of a recently held summit, the Audi CEO Markuss Duesmanntook the opportunity to present his point of view about the current situation in the automotive sector and the latest events in the industry, commenting on the war between Russia and Ukraine, the temporary fuel subsidy and the possible elimination of aid for the purchase of plug-in hybrids this year in Germany.
More concretely, Duessman’s comments have been given at the Ludwig Erhard Summit, an event of which Audi itself is a partner and which annually brings together opinion leaders and decision-makers from the world of business and politics. Organized by the Weimer Media Group, the summit was held in Tegernsee, in southern Bavaria. The host of the event has been the Governor of Bavaria, Markus Söder.
At the summit, the CEO of Audi, who is one of the leading exponents of the Volkswagen Group in terms of decision-making and project leadership, has been blunt with aspects such as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the measures designed to alleviate the economic effects of the war.
Duesmann commented on the war in the Ukraine: “Peace in Europe is the cornerstone of our prosperity, and we need to get back to it as soon as possible. It is also the only way to remain an economic power on a par with the United States and China.”
He also encouraged the Ukrainian companies that, despite the situation, continue to supply Europe with their products: “It is admirable how Ukrainian suppliers continue to work in these high-risk conditions, guaranteeing nearly half of the production. We promise to continue working with them in the future, although in the short term the production has required a displacement to centers in other countries”.
The conflict has brought with it, among other things, factory closures and cessation of activity by European companies in Russia and an unprecedented rise in fuel pricesof which Russia is largely an exporter to Europe.
As an extraordinary measure, and to alleviate the effects of the rise in the cost of fuel for citizens and companies, Europe approved a subsidy of 9,000 million euros to be distributed among all the countries of the Union. A measure that has polarized opinions between companies and the public. Duesmann, for his part, is clear about it: “The subsidized drop in fuel prices does not favor the real objective of reducing fossil fuels. We have to take this terrible war as a catalyst for the necessary transition to renewable energy.”
Audi, as a member of the Volkswagen Group, is clearly committed to electric mobility while moving away from the use of green hydrogen and any solution that involves internal combustion: “Green energy will continue to be a scarce commodity in the immediate future, for what we will have to make the best possible use of what we currently have. And the most efficient use in transport is electric mobility”.
Duessman puts electric cars center stage as a solution to personal transportation, llignoring even plug-in hybridswhich represent a solution that the public is now beginning to consider more popularly: “In our opinion, for individual mobility, the German automobile industry should concentrate its efforts on electric propulsion, since high investments are required to build an infrastructure of proper recharging. I am strongly committed to making this technology the preferred choice. And therefore I am also in favor of removing the incentive to buy plug-in hybrids at the end of this year“.