Merkel: Go Easy on Germany’s Auto Industry

May 16, 2018 at 9:09 AM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges lawmakers not to force the country’s carmakers into costly diesel emission system retrofit programs when they should be investing more heavily in future technologies.

Merkel, a staunch defender of Germany’s auto industry, says it’s up to the car companies to regain consumer trust in the wake of disclosures about widespread manipulation of diesel emission levels, Reuters reports.

She also calls for a European effort to bolster the region’s technical capabilities in software and vehicle electrification to avoid ceding those skills to Asia and North America.

Like Germany’s vehicle producers, Merkel favors cheap software updates rather than hardware solutions to reduce emissions from older diesels. Reuters notes that Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has asked carmakers to detail how they plan to do just that this year for some 5.3 million diesels currently on the road.