Mith surprising statements about car-free days and speed limits, Audi boss Markus Duesmann has spoken out. “In order to better attune us to the situation and the need to save in Germany, there could be car-free days again, like in the 1970s,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In the conversation he also commented on the speed limit, which he described as a helpful symbol. “We have to rethink, realize that our lives are changing,” he said.
The company sees the first signs that incoming orders for Audis are declining. The current positive business situation could prove to be deceptive, said Duesmann, who worked for the Daimler Group before joining Audi. According to him, the energy crisis is already making itself felt in driving behavior. “I can already see on the Autobahn that people are running out of money,” he said. Where there was otherwise unrestricted racing, many now lead to the right at 100 kilometers per hour. Money as the only regulator will not suffice in this area.
Duesmann also thinks a speed limit is a helpful symbol. He himself will also take part and use the positive effect of empty streets. “If it’s a Sunday, I’ll ride my road bike across the closed highway,” he said. His stance contradicts that of the Association of the Automotive Industry, for which President Hildegard Müller is vehemently opposed to a speed limit and says drivers do not need any instructions.
Despite the turning point in history, he believes that last year’s decision to be the first car manufacturer to do without the combustion engine was the right one. “The price of electricity in Germany and in Europe may have increased now, but we will not adjust our strategy because of that,” he said. On the other hand, other cars in the VW Group could continue to produce combustion engines for a little longer than planned.