Mobility is an important and valuable asset for society. It is accessible to many people, already technologically advanced and generally affordable for broad sections of the population.
It is not yet sustainable, however, and this is where the car industry has an important role to play. What contribution will the industry make over the next decade? This issue will be the key focus of our Digital Automotive Talks this year.
The move towards mobility of the future was no walk in the park for the automotive industry even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The industry is in the midst of a transformation with crises hitting at a faster and higher rate (Brexit, Coronavirus pandemic, global trade tensions). The automotive industry - in close dialogue with society - must not only answer the question of where, with which partners, from which raw materials and under which conditions our cars will be produced in the future, but also perhaps the most important question of all: What contribution will the automotive industry make to the mobility of the future?
Markus Lanz is one of the most well-known faces on German television. Since 2009, he has successfully hosted the talk show that bears his name on ZDF.
Born in 1969 in Bruneck in South Tyrol, he attended grammar school in Bolzano. After graduating from high school in 1988, he trained as a radio operator with the Italian army and served in the mountain infantry. He was also working at a radio station in Bruneck, where he gained his first broadcasting experience.
At the age of 21, he relocated to Germany and completed his further education in Munich to become a communications manager at the Bavarian Academy for Advertising and Marketing. After completing an internship at Radio Hamburg, Markus Lanz became news editor and presenter at RTL Nord and from 2003 to 2008 he was editorial director of the RTL magazine "Explosiv".
In 2008 he switched to ZDF and has since hosted the talk show "Markus Lanz", which is broadcast three times a week on ZDF. He also hosted the successful cooking show "Lanz kocht" until 2012 and hosted "Wetten, dass...?" from 2012 to 2014. In addition to his talk show, Markus Lanz also hosts various other entertainment shows and creates very successful documentaries.
CEO Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Member of the Board Volkswagen AG and Head of Brand Group Volume
Thomas Schäfer has been CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, a member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Head of Brand Group Volume since 1 July; having become COO of the Volkswagen brand in April. Previously, Schäfer had served as Chairman of the Board of Škoda Auto from August 2020, where he drove forward the electrification of the model portfolio alongside internationalisation.
Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Procurement
Markus Schäfer is a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, where he is responsible for Group Research. He has also been COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars for around a year. At Daimler, he symbolises transformation: while pushing the transition to electromobility, he is also working on the development of the company's own operating system and plans to make the company more sustainable at all levels. Daimler's fleet, for example, is to become carbon-neutral by 2039.
Co-CEO Sixt SE
Alexander Sixt has been Co-CEO of Sixt SE together with his brother Konstantin since June 2021 and is responsible for strategy and organisation. His primary focus is on the digitalisation of the Group, which he sees as the key to improving the customer experience. He has been active in the family-owned company Sixt since 2010, initially as Managing Director and since 2015 as a member of the Board of Directors. He previously worked for Roland Berger from 2006 to 2010.
CEO ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Stefan Wolf, born in 1961, studied law in Tübingen after successfully completing a banking apprenticeship and obtained his doctorate in 1994. After working as a lawyer in a law firm in Stuttgart, he joined ElringKlinger GmbH in 1997. Dr Stefan Wolf has been Chairman of the Management Board of automotive supplier ElringKlinger AG since 2006. Since 2012, Wolf has also been chairman of the Südwestmetall employers' association and a member of the board of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
Co-Founder and Managing Director Gravity GmbH
With her strategic creative agency gravity, Judith Hufnagel has been working at the junction of innovation, design and futurology since 2008. People and their wishes and hopes are at the centre of her team's work as a source of inspiration and point of reference. Judith started her professional career at the international design consultancy IDEO. She studied sinology and economics in Heidelberg and Shanghai.
Automotive Leader, PwC Germany
Felix Kuhnert is a partner at the auditing and consulting firm PwC. In 2017, the automotive expert was promoted to "Automotive Leader". Born in 1969, Felix Kuhnert looks back on more than 20 years of advising OEMs, supplier companies and dealer networks within the automotive industry. He previously studied economics at the universities of Freiburg, Bonn and Berkeley.
Director of CAM
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratzel is director and founder of the independent Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach. He has held several positions in the automotive industry at smart, Quam and PTV. Since 2004, he has also been a lecturer and course director for automotive management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach.