The AfD's criticism of the switch to electric cars at Volkswagen's Zwickau site almost three years ago has been met with widespread criticism in the Saxon state parliament. "After all, we can't keep doing what we're doing and then find out in five years that other manufacturers from the U.S. or China are offering products and our products are no longer in demand," said CDU member of parliament Jan Hippold. The transformation of the automotive industry is not always linear and painless. According to Hippold, it is a challenge, but it also offers opportunities for new jobs.
AfD faction leader Jörg Urban had previously blamed the "political hype around e-mobility" for the weakening demand at VW in his speech. "Politics from black to red via yellow and green kept creating new obstacles for the hitherto successful German internal combustion engine," Urban said.
"The biggest mistake that politics could make now would be not to further promote the innovation process or even to talk badly about it," countered SPD state chairman Henning Homann. Saxony is a car state and wants to remain so. Singing the swan song for the e-car now is insubstantial and irresponsible, he said. "Whoever does that does a disservice to the employees and Saxon industry," Homann criticized.
His party colleague Petra Köpping finally promised support to the workers in Zwickau - representing Economics Minister Martin Dulig (SPD), who could not be there in person because of a trip to East Asia. They needed "security for their perspective."
It had become known last week that VW was cutting jobs at the Zwickau plant because of weakening e-car demand and that 269 temporary contracts would not be extended.
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