car-it wissmann.automotiveIT

VDA President Wissmann (Photo: automotiveIT)

FRANKFURT -- VDA President Matthias Wissmann said young people's infatuation with new online technologies doesn't mean the end of car ownership.

More than 80 pc of young Germans are still interested in owning a car, the head of the German automobile association said at the opening of the first carIT Congress here. "The internet and car ownership are not opposites," Wissmann said, referring to studies that have shown that younger people seem to be more interested in social networking than in driving.

Wissmann said the integration of ever more IT into the car is one of the major issues in the auto industry today. "We need to continuously reinvent the car," he told an audience of more than 300 industry executives present at the car-IT event.

Only 16 pc of a car's value represented electric and electronic components in 1990. Currently, that percentage stands at 30 to 40 and indications are that it will rise further, Wissmann said.

The VDA president emphasized that new connected-car solutions will help deal with increasing road congestion. He cited a European Union study that put the cost of congestion at 17.4 billion euros in Germany alone.

Wissmann expressed caution about the near-term prospects for electric vehicles and said their success will depend to a major extent on the future efficiency of batteries. And he noted that other technologies, including hydrogen and fuel cells will play an important role in shaping the future of automotive mobility.

"Germany is not committed to just one technology," Wissmann said. And he added that: "For all this we need IT."