The guest list reads like the who's who of the automotive industry: It extends from Aston Martin -driver Ulrich Bez about Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche, Porsche boss Michael Macht and shareholder Wolfgang Porsche up to V W -supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech and -group boss Martin Winterkorn.
Brand bosses like Reinhard Jung ( Skoda ) and Wolfgang Armbrecht (Mini) were delighted about the meeting, as were sales and marketing directors Peter Schwarzenbauer (Audi ), Ian Robertson ( BMW ), Joachim Schmidt ( Mercedes ), Alain Visser ( Opel ), Christian Klingler (VW) and Klaus Berning (Porsche). Development directors such as Klaus Draeger (BMW), Wolfang Dürheimer (Porsche), Thomas Weber (Daimler) and Ulrich Hackenberg (VW) talked shop about technical innovations in the age of the climate change. Designers like Adrian von Hooydonk (BMW), Gorden Wagener (Mercedes) and Walter Maria de ‘Silva (VW) met tuners like Günther Irmscher or creative people like agency boss Jean-Remy von Matt (Jung von Matt). Former CEOs also mingled with the people, including Karl-Heinz Kalbfell and Carl-Peter Forster. The supplier industry was also well represented, for example by Bernd Bohr (Bosch) and Herbert Demel (Magna).
Daimler boss Zetsche: 'The upper class is the delicatessen of the auto industry'
Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche was able to properly polish the Mercedes star. This year, the Stuttgart-based company won two first places - one for the Mercedes E-Class and the second for the Mercedes SLS AMG . When asked by auto motor und sport editor-in-chief Bernd Ostmann whether large luxury sedans might be less in demand in the future, Zetsche replied calmly: 'The upper class is the delicatessen of the auto industry. And there will always be gourmets. Even if more organic products are in on the shelves. ' Gaya Uesugi, Board Member for Development and Strategy at Mitsubishi , received this year's Paul Pietsch Prize from editor-in-chief Ostmann, who led through the program together with presenter Babette Einstmann.
Publishing house founder Paul Pietsch (98): 'Oh, there are always crises . '
Jörg Plathner, Head of the Automotive Division at Motor Presse Stuttgart, summarized the most exciting readers' evaluations with regard to selected automotive brand dimensions for the 400 guests. In a welcoming speech, publisher Friedrich Wehrle gave a retrospective and outlook: 'Many business audiences declared 2009 Darwin's year. And they were unfortunately right,' said Wehrle, looking back on brands such as Saturn and Pontiac . 'Other brands have changed hands, such as Chrysler , Dodge and Jeep . And the upheaval in the automotive industry is probably far from over End. `Survival of the fittest´ is also on the agenda in 2010.'
Motor Presse Stuttgart publisher Paul Pietsch, who is now 98 years old, reacted calmly to the crisis in a recorded greeting and said: 'Oh, there are always crises. I have had so many and completely different ones experienced it, that will also pass again. '