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Diez says electric mobility needs to become more fashionable (Photo: Claus Dick)

Veteran industry observer Willi Diez said the car market in Germany and Europe won't likely pick up anytime soon. "The times are definitely getting tougher," Diez said in an interview with automotiveIT.

The economist, who runs the Institute for Automobile Industry in Geislingen in southern Germany, also said carmakers are adjusting their sales strategies to focus more on new businesses such as car sharing. It will take time to see whether this is a profitable business, Diez said.

The launch of BMW's new "i" sub brand comes with "extremely high" risk, Diez said, because the market for electric mobility is slow to take off. EVs need to become more fashionable before they can become more popular, he said.

The role of IT in automakers' product strategies remains to be properly integrated in their business approach, Diez said. Car companies need to redefine their core competency as new technologies play an ever bigger automotive role. "The industry has to move faster on this," Diez said.

The full interview is available in the July issue of the automotiveIT international Executive Report. To subscribe, please go to http://www.automotiveit.com/executive-report