vw.automotiveITMUNICH -- New automotive technologies and the increasing digitalization of all aspects of the car business are providing growth opportunities for the auto industry, Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Group, said Thursday.

In an address to the Handelsblatt Automotive Summit, the head of Europe's biggest automaker also said he didn't fear the transformation of the industry, which brings with it new players and new technologies, many of which come from the consumer electronics sector.

"I'm optimistic," Winterkorn said, citing "new trends, new technologies and new customer requirements that, first and foremost, mean new business opportunities."

And the VW Group CEO added: "Our developers are working on developments that are more exciting than ever before." Winterkorn cited new possibilities in sales and marketing, powertrains and other automotive areas.

Despite his optimism, Winterkorn also warned for difficulties resulting from political uncertainties worldwide. The political context will be "decisive" for the development of the car business in coming years, he  said.

-By Arjen Bongard