Welcome Adress by Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, for the CTI Young Drive Expert Award 2018“The automotive industry is a figurehead for the German economy”., and one of the country’s most important industries. From large carmakers to SME suppliers, it provides over 800,000 jobs – most of them well paid. Almost two-thirds of the industry’s turnover comes from international markets: all over the world, automobiles ‘Made in Germany’ continue to enjoy an outstanding reputation.
Now this core industry is facing challenges that include international trade disputes. Both digitalization and incursions by outsider companies into tomorrow’s ‘connected mobility’ market are challenging existing business models, while also creating new opportunities. Long-term there is a trend towards electrified drives, based on batteries and fuel cells. But for the foreseeable future we must rely on a plurality of drive concepts, from efficient, clean diesel and petrol engines through to hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This makes it even more important for the bright minds in Germany’s auto industry to take the lead in innovative excellence as we push towards new markets and transform structures. Innovation leadership will remain a central pillar of global success; in Germany, a respectable one-in-eight automotive employees is working on innovation.
The CTI Symposium is an attractive international forum for ideas and discussion on the issues that shape the industry moving forward. The CTI Young Drive Experts Award enables young graduates to present their own innovative research findings to a broad specialist audience and compete for attractive prizes. The Award is particularly important because these young professionals have a key role to play in developing Germany’s core industry, and providing fresh impulses for forward-looking mobility.
I wish all participants a stimulating and successful time at this proven event, and ongoing success in the competition for the best ideas.
Under the patronage of:
Federal Minister for Economic
Affairs and Energy