German minister for Economic Affairs wants German EVs to be sexy
At a conference in Berlin, initiated by German publisher Axel Springer, final discussions concerned future mobility, electric vehicles and autonomous driving.
During the quite conversable meeting, Peter Altmaier, German minister for Economic Affairs, made a striking statement that may have caused an awkward silence among German car manufacturers.
According to "Welt am Sonntag", Peter Altmaier raised his voice against fellow meeting participants, Volkswagen's chairman Herbert Diess and Daimler's chairman, Dieter Zetsche. Also BMW could not get away scot-free.
Altmaier did not mince matters
In his speech, Altmaier stated, "I'm really wondering about what time you, Mr. Zetsche, or you, Mr. Diess, or Mr. Krüger from BMW, will be able to build an electric car that is at least half as sexy as a Tesla. Regarding the appeal of your e-cars, you could indeed come up with some fresh ideas."
The reaction of addressed panellists was not passed on by the reporting newspaper, but it followed a quick change of subject.
Opinions about the German automotive future
During an earlier discussion about autonomous driving, Altmaier stated that he is "convinced that completely autonomous driving will happen. Maybe later than we expected about two or three years ago." He believes in the German automotive industry and that they could make up for some deficits in digital platform development.
Dieter Zetsche predicts that the first autonomous vehicles will be lorries and utility vehicles driving on the Autobahn, before passenger transportation could be realised.
Herbert Diess admitted that the Germans have fallen behind regarding autonomous driving, but is "determined to catch up. The game is not lost yet."