Blazing the trail for the automobile of tomorrow

In the last 100 years, almost no other innovation has so emphatically shaped our world as has the automobile, and Germany has decisively helped pave the way. Indeed, the German automobile industry has a total payroll of just under 800,000 people and continues to be the most important sector of the economy. That said, the sector is currently facing major challenges in the form of advancing globalization, economic stagnation in the developed countries, and high growth rates in the emerging markets, tighter environmental regulations, and rising energy costs. These trends were the primary focus of the Third Equity Forum, which took place on the Dieter Schwarz Foundation’s Educational Campus on October 10. 


Seven publicly listed companies from Germany’s automotive and commercial vehicles industry presented their strategies on how to square up to the challenges ahead – to an exclusive audience of financial services professionals. The line-up included companies from the entire value added chain, from semiconductor manufacturers to carmakers. Financial analysts and investors had the opportunity to learn first-hand that these changes not only spell risks but provide excellent opportunities, too. One important lesson learned was that Germany’s carmakers have in recent years succeeded in further outdistancing their rivals. Thanks to a global presence, cutting-edge products and a flexible cost structure these companies are in a far better position to combat the looming downturn than most investors would expect, and this could give rise to many an interesting investment opportunities. True to Equity Forum Heilbronn’s motto of “discover and be discovered” the conference inspired exciting interaction between representatives from business, finance and research. The following companies gave individual presentations:  



AUDI AG - Martin Primus / Head of Financial Communications

ElringKlinger AG - Dr. Stefan Wolf / CEO

KSPG - Dr. Peter Merten / CFO

SAF-Holland S.A. - Wilfried Trepels / CFO

Elmos AG - Dr. Anton Mindl / CEO

Grammer AG - Ralf Hoppe / Head of IR

SHW AG - Michael Schickling / Head of IR