IZB 2008: Suppliers Keep German Auto Industry Strong

    BERLIN, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Germany's auto industry provides new investors
with Europe's best network of suppliers and communications technology service
providers. These businesses help make Germany a top location for innovations
and vehicle lines. Developments in the auto industry from the viewpoint of
manufacturers, equipment suppliers, and mobility ICT providers were the focus
of a business breakfast carrying the title "Driving Global Trends, Shaping
Local Developments" at the IZB (International Suppliers Fair) on October 30,
2008 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
    Current numbers show that despite today's tough economic times, the
German auto industry is geared toward the future. Car production increased by
5.7% in 2007 and sixteen new vehicle programs are set to roll off assembly
lines in Germany between 2008 and 2012.
    The innovative strength of German-based suppliers is essential to the
growth of the German auto industry. Finding ways both to innovate and keep
costs under control were the focal points of Dr. Bernd Martens' presentation.
He is the Corporate Executive Director of Purchasing New Product Launches for
the Volkswagen (VW) Group.
    He stated in his presentation, "For Volkswagen, innovations are to be
realized in vehicles with affordable cutting-edge technologies oriented to the
mass market. Synergies across our broad product and brand portfolio mean a
powerful global business potential for our suppliers. We are therefore
intensifying cooperation with suppliers to implement innovative concepts
quickly and cost-effectively at an early phase."
    Dr. Martens was joined at the podium by Kim Hill, Director of the
Automotive Communities Program and the associate director of the Economics and
Business Group at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).
    He spoke about the global strategies of international automobile
suppliers within the broader context of international vehicle manufacturers.
His presentation addressed the importance of suppliers being close to
manufacturers, in particular those active in product areas like seat
assemblies or body panels that are especially fragile.
    The panel's third speaker was Peter Stolte, Head of Global Business
Development and Automotive Consulting at T-Systems. T-Systems works directly
with automobile suppliers as a communications technology service provider. His
talk focused on technological innovations taking place in Germany ranging from
powertrain efficiency to passenger safety and telematics. Stolte noted, "In
Germany there is a lot of work going on in alternative propulsion systems. The
auto industry is working actively to develop intelligent mobility services and
efficient traffic management systems. Germany is a testfield for the first
safe intelligent mobility program that addresses actual and future challenges
including congestion, safety, and climate change."
    Invest in Germany, the country's inward investment promotion agency,
organized the business breakfast and Oliver Seiler, Director of Mechanical &
Electronic Technologies, at Invest in Germany moderated the discussion.
    "Today's discussion revealed that even in difficult economic times,
companies investing in Germany have Europe's largest auto market plus a
stellar network of suppliers at their disposal," added Seiler.

    Invest in Germany is the inward investment promotion agency of the
Federal Republic of Germany. It provides investors with comprehensive support
from site selection to the implementation of investment decisions.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Eva Henkel, Invest in Germany,
Phone: +49-30-200099-173, Fax: +49-30-200099-111, Email:

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