SPD chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans has rejected demands from the car industry for a state purchase premium.
“The car companies should first fall back on the hefty profits of the past years before calling for the taxpayers,” Walter-Borjans told Business Insider magazine. He called it wrong to look only at large companies for corona-related support measures because they are supposedly systemically important. “There is a lot of work to be done to ensure that society has a good future and does not fall apart. We cannot achieve this if we only look at the big ones. The best example is gastronomy: this is not a key industry like the automotive industry, but it is extremely important for the interpersonal and the quality of life on site.”
A “car summit” with Chancellor Angela Merkel is planned for this Tuesday. The industry is demanding state aid in the face of the heavy burdens of the Corona crisis, but Merkel had said on Thursday that the industry could not expect special incentives. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) advocates an “innovation premium” that ties purchase premiums to climate protection. On Monday, he plans to talk about this with his colleagues from Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony.
The CEO of Volkswagen AG, Herbert Diess, urged politicians to take swift decisions in view of the economic downturn. “The next few weeks will be decisive,” Diess told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “Therefore, not policy discussions, but focus on the economy and pace. Otherwise time will run away from us.”
With a premium, he said that this should not only apply to electric cars: “We need the premium regardless of the type of drive, for the entire product range.”