OEM bureaucracy impairs German automotive suppliers: ArGeZ

Germany’s automotive suppliers do not anticipate a boost for business this autumn, according to their interest group, ArGeZ, a subgroup of steel and metals fabricators association WSM. In a statement issued this week, the group addresses some burdens that have aggravated its members.

The current sentiment is not a consequence of shock effects like the Covid pandemic or the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but reflects a structural crisis in Germany as an industrial location, ArGeZ says. Small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, do not have the flexibility to avert the unfavourable regulatory conditions of the government, but also of the OEMs, ArGeZ notes.

The interest group points to the high prices for gas and power, which it says are a multiple of those paid in France or the USA, for example. As steel federation WV Stahl did previously, ArGeZ has called on the government to provide a capped electricity price for manufacturing industries for a limited period of time, Kallanish notes.

Another main issue it addresses is bureaucracy, which needs to be trimmed to size, says its spokesman Christian Vietmeyer, who is also managing director of WSM. Apart from governmental bureaucracy, he attacks the bureaucracy formed by companies misusing the idea of sustainability. “The ‘sustainability’ label is used to flood smaller suppliers with ever new requests for declarations and documentation. Medium-sized companies drown in excessive questionnaires with repetitive and often absurd questions,” he observes.

This has grown to a painful degree that was not intended by the legislator, and has gone beyond reason and common sense, he notes on behalf of the interest group.

Christian Koehl Germany