German auto lobby calls on Merkel to allow car sales to resume

Oliver Sachgau and Christoph Rauwald

Germany’s automotive lobby group and the country’s largest union called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to allow car sales in the country to resume as soon as possible.

High inventory that can’t be sold is risking the bankruptcy of many companies in the industry, the VDA and IG Metall labor union said in a letter to the chancellor on Thursday that was also released as a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs the media about measures of the German government to avoid further spread of the coronavirus at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, April 9, 2020.

“The companies cannot accommodate any more vehicles,” the groups said. “This means that delivery and production come to a standstill or cannot be started again.”

Merkel has been talking with the automotive industry, which forms the backbone of the German economy, to find a way to restart production. The talks are focused on automotive suppliers that might not be able to survive extended production shutdowns.

Factory shutdowns triggered by the coronavirus crisis resulted in lost production of 1.47 million vehicles so far, European auto industry lobby group ACEA said in a separate statement.