Germany's carmakers only have a 50 percent chance of surviving as leading players in the auto industry unless they transform to meet new regulations and adapt their supply chains, Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess said on Tuesday.
Some carmakers could be pushed out of business by reforms required to shift production to electric cars from vehicles running on combustion engines and by introducing the changes needed to tackle new geopolitical threats, he said.
"From today's point of view the chances are perhaps 50-50 that the German auto industry will still belong among the global elite in 10 years' time," he said, referring to Volkswagen Group, BMW and Daimler.
The intensifying push to cut carbon dioxide pollution and nitrogen oxide emissions amounted to a campaign against individual mobility and against cars, Diess said.
"We are all used to the fact that we have flourishing industrial metropolises around the central manufacturing plants of German carmakers and their suppliers, places where people like to live and work, but that's not guaranteed for eternity," Diess told an auto supplier conference in Wolfsburg.
"If you look at the former bastions of the auto industry like Detroit, Oxford-Cowley or Turin, you understand what happens to cities when once powerful corporations and leading industries falter," he added.