Dr. Rudolf Müller

Dr. Rudolf Müller

Dear Readers,

Editorial by Dr. Rudolf Müller
(Technical Editor at OEM&Supplier)

… ‘bright to cloudy’ – if one wants to describe the current situation in the automotive industry and its short and medium-term prospects, this concise expression from the weather forecast is quite appropriate.

The current situation is bright when one considers German car manufacturers’ registration figures. A healthy increase of 12 per cent in new passenger car registrations in Germany in July compared with the same month last year is a clear sign of success. For German brands, including their Group brands, the increase was as much as 15 per cent. Almost 2.2 million new passenger cars have been registered since the beginning of the year – a figure last achieved in 2009.

The clouds would seem to be clearing away over the export routes to the United States. While in the first half of he year there was still talk of a trade war due to the threat of an increase in tariffs by the US administration on non-American cars, the trade negotiations between the US and the EU appear to have brought about at least a verbal disarmament. As a globally active industry – German carmakers and their suppliers produce more cars outside Germany than in Germany – free access to markets is and remains vital.

Manufacturers, and therefore also suppliers, are concerned about certification according to the new WLTP emissions test, which takes considerably longer than the previous NEDC procedure but should ensure realistic values. This results in delivery delays for almost all model series, as models that are already on the market also have to be recertified. Production cutbacks in the second half of the year can no longer be ruled out and the continuation of the excellent figures from the first half-year seems at least questionable.

The German government has set a clear signal for the promotion of electro-mobility with its cabinet resolution on company car taxation. Despite critical voices from the opposition camp, this measure is to be welcomed, even though the goal of one million registered e-vehicles by 2020, set by the German government itself, will probably not be achieved. Nevertheless – if one wants to succeed in foreign markets with electrically powered vehicles, the domestic market for these products must clearly also develop positively.

E-mobility, in all its forms and applications, is also one of the dominant topics in this issue of OEM&Supplier. The transformation process from internal combustion engines via hybrid systems to pure electric drives presents the German automotive and supplier industry with enormous challenges. The contributions of our authors and interview partners prove that these challenges are accepted along with the aspiration to set world standards here, too.

They make OEM&Supplier a forum where German industry and its service partners can present and showcase their latest developments, technologies, innovations and products – not only in proven print form but also in cross-media.

This opens up the opportunity for you, dear readers, to learn considerably more about backgrounds and relationships via interactions, links and networking with web content and social media than is possible in the print articles.

We hope you enjoy reading and networking. We thank our authors, interview partners and advertisers for their excellent cooperation and cordially invite you to contribute to the success of the magazine with articles, interviews and advertisements in the next issue, which will appear in spring 2019.