German auto industry lobby vows to fight ‘crusade’ against the car

Germany’s automakers will fight against a “crusade” against the car waged by populist politicians, said Bernhard Mattes, the former head of Ford’s German operations who is now president of the country’s VDA auto industry lobby.

Mattes said the industry would campaign harder against regulations they felt unfairly targeted their car buyers.

The VDA will raise its voice in 2019 “louder than last year,” Mattes said. “We don’t need a crusade against the car,” he told guests including politicians and business leaders at the VDA’s annual reception here Wednesday.

Mattes cited a recent heated debate in Germany about imposing a speed limit for the country’s autobahns as an example of “hysterical” populism.