Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, gave keynote remarks this morning at the Washington Auto Show on behalf of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Jacoby is this year’s chairman of the alliance, the major association of 11 vehicle manufacturers who do business in the United States.
Jacoby’s comments were twofold, part dealing with the state of the automotive industry in general and part focusing on Volkswagen’s embrace of the U.S. market. (.pdf copy of his prepared remarks)
He noted that the Alliance’s members are guided by four principles:
1. To thrive in a clean-energy economy, our industry must look to the future and anticipate social needs. Long-term planning is critical.
2. We must engage all stakeholders to enhance energy security and combat climate change.
3. We must rely on sound data and advanced engineering to achieve sustainable, safe mobility.
4. To preserve a healthy, competitive industry, we must be on the leading edge of the new clean-energy economy.
And, comments we trust policymakers, regulators and the White House will pay attention to.
Our alliance supports a nationwide program on fuel economy and carbon dioxide standards that bridges state and federal concerns. We are using everything in our arsenal to make progress in that area.
Uniformity would move all stakeholders forward. A patchwork approach makes a difficult job even more complicated.
We also need to work together on alternative fuels. We have the technology to shift from oil-based fuels. We don’t have the infrastructure we need to deliver and support alternative fuels on a mass scale.
And as we develop new and better ways to power cars and trucks, we have to make sure those vehicles are safe, affordable and practical.
During this transition period, it is critical to maintain a shared commitment to the goal of sustainable mobility.
The recent drop in energy prices makes the task more complex. Lower fuel costs encourage our dependence on oil-based fuels.
Government can help by providing tax incentives that move us toward our objectives.
Customers can help by taking a long-term view when oil prices fall. Our industry will help by staying focused on our collective future.
The way forward is clear: We must continue the shift to alternative fuels.
When it comes to energy, there is no turning back.
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