VW boss Diess against general speed limit


The Volkswagen CEO cited competitive advantages and a feeling of freedom as reasons. In addition, the technological change regulates the problem by itself. He swept away climate protection concerns.

“Like no other country, Germany stands for individual freedom,” says the head of the VW Group when asked about a general speed limit. All over the world people rave about the feeling of freedom on German autobahns. This is a competitive advantage “that we shouldn’t give up lightly,” recommends Diess. He is certain: “We would give up a lot” if a speed limit were introduced. In a detailed, albeit uncritical way Interview with the Handelsblatt he asked himself further questions.



Diess: Politics is not about climate protection

The 62-year-old has the impression that the speed limit is “deliberately little talked about”. He advocates an open debate. Politicians are not concerned with climate protection. Otherwise, it would focus more on areas such as lignite-based power generation, the steel and cement industry, shipping and truck traffic, he explains.

“The contribution of electrification to car traffic is relatively small,” said Diess. He also sees free travel on motorways as a kind of engine for innovation. He said literally: “The free autobahns have produced a lot of engineering skill that makes German car manufacturers very competitive in a global comparison.”



Hardly any more accidents in 10 to 15 years

Diess also does not allow the security aspect to apply. He refers to traffic management systems and driver assistants. Both of these allow higher speeds with increasing security in the future. “I cannot imagine that in 10 or 15 years we will have any significant number of major motorway accidents,” he said. In addition, one will drive more slowly in the “electric world” anyway, because high speeds result in massive loss of range. His conclusion: “This is one of the reasons why I ask myself whether we need a speed limit at all.” In the background, the automotive companies should be prepare for a corresponding law.

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Electromobility and autonomous driving on the agenda

Diess emphasizes that it must be ensured that electromobility “also at home” becomes strong. A strong home market is a basic requirement for high export opportunities. He also called for speed of innovation. The manager explained: “We have to be quick with this Autonomous driving and driver assistance systems. If we can do that in Germany, we can also do it on the world market. “

When asked about the latest statements on climate and environmental policy, Diess referred to his responsibility for employees, shareholders and owners. Politicians set the guidelines as to where to go and decide, for example, about the drive of vehicles. “The auto industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world,” he added.

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