Tradition as a driver – the industry must build better, more innovative automobiles

Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer and Management Board Member Procurement, VW Cars

At the ZeitHaus Museum in the Volkswagen Autostadt, the Handelsblatt Auto Summit 2018 began on a wistful note. In his welcome address, management board member Ralf Brandstätter confessed: “These beautiful old cars evoke memories of a relatively carefree time in automotive construction.”

From this starting point, he derived a responsibility to prolong the history of the automobile, and hence the era of self-determined mobility, for as long as possible. For that, he said, was precisely what was now at risk: “Our industry is currently feeling stronger headwinds than ever before. On top of undergoing the deepest technology transformation in automotive history, we must also fight for acceptance for what we do.” Brandstätter said the industry must build better, more innovative automobiles that protected both people’s health, and the climate. This explained Volkswagen’s strong focus on electromobility. “We are fascinated by e-drives. They make driving not just cleaner, but more comfortable too.”

Automotive Summit 2018 – Executive Summary

In early December 2018, over 600 automotive experts from all over the world – including manufacturers and suppliers, tech and energy companies, politicians and associations – attended the auto industry summit in Wolfsburg, Germany. From 3 – 5 December, the industry’s big hitters discussed strategies, concepts and technologies for tomorrow’s automobiles and the future course of their industry.

We’ve compiled the highlights from the Handelsblatt Auto Summit 2018 in an interactive follow-up report.