Institute for Automobile Economics
DW-TV: To tell us more, we've got Andreas Bremer with us. He heads up the Institute for Automotive Market Research in the German city of Essen. Thirteen liters every hundred kilometers, we just heard there. You've got to have a lot of money for that.
Andreas Bremer: You'd better, yes. It's not the trend of the future, I'd have to say.
DW-TV: Are these monsters going to become the new vintage cars of tomorrow, do you think?
Andreas Bremer: Probably, probably. I mean there's always going to be people who have the money and are willing to spend it, because these cars are fascinating. That's why we look at them, that's why there are shows about them.
DW-TV: What about the job of auto-tuner, though - is that going to become something of the past as well?
Andreas Bremer: I don't really think so. For one, there are always going to be people who enjoy the high-power engine, and on the other hand, the tuner is going to get a different task. With all of the knowledge about engines, the real challenge is going to be: reduce fuel consumption and still give pleasure to driving one of these cars.
DW-TV: Well as far as performance goes, that's something that's really big on display at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Is that something we've forgotten - that we were going to go green at some stage?
Andreas Bremer: Well that's part of the problem, really - going green and having fun at the same time with the car is really what the car industry has to find a solution for. It seems like we've forgotten that the green car is on our agenda. But I think it's going to come back, sooner or later.
DW-TV: What are some of the changes that we are going through right now, as far as JOBS in the sector go?
Andreas Bremer: Well, cars have become computers on wheels really, when you look at it. Everything is connected and there are so many sensors. And it's a real system integration, and we're going to see electricians become more important for cars, computer specialists who work with them, and don't forget the high-voltage that they have to deal with, so the mechanic with oil on his fingers - he's not going to be a thing of the past, but there's going to be a whole lot less of him.
DW-TV: Now the car industry is, of course, one of the big employers here in Germany. That's clear when you take a look at the numbers. In the year 2000, it was about 750,000 workers. That grew and grew until the financial crisis hit, of course. And then things really went downhill - we can see that there. Now though Daimler, for example, is creating 10,000 new jobs worldwide. It's almost schizophrenic - can you explain that?
Andreas Bremer: Well one thing is that the cars that were sold during this period, the one-and-a-half years of the crisis, were already produced. So now demand is coming up again, slowly however, but these cars need to be produced. And they will be produced, but just not in Germany - but elsewhere. And that's of course part of the problem that we'll face in Germany - that production is going to other countries.
DW-TV: Well, another problem we're facing is petrol prices - they're so high at the moment. Is that something that could threaten the industry or put a damper on job creation, for example?
Andreas Bremer: I'm afraid so. If it's a long-term phenomenon that we're watching here, I'm afraid that we will see consumers putting purchases off. If it's mid-term or short-term, I don't think we're going to have much of a problem.
DW-TV: And just briefly, any other developments that could change things in the future for the car industry?
Andreas Bremer: Well the main thing really is the petrol crisis right now - if it is going to be one. And if that lasts - if Saudi Arabia creates problems, then this is what we're going to have to deal with.
DW-TV: Andreas Bremer, thank you very much for coming in.
(Interview: Ben Fajzullin)