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FISITA 2010 Congress opens in Budapest

31 May 2010

The FISITA 2010 World Automotive Congress has opened in Budapest, Hungary under the banner “Automobiles and Sustainability”.  An international audience of engineers and executives gathered to hear presentations from industry and public policy leaders including Wolfgang Hatz of Volkswagen Group, Eva Molnar, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNCE) and Josef Palinkas, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Opening the world association’s  33rd biennial world congress, FISITA President, Christoph Huss (BMW Group) set out the challenges facing the industry, and inspired the world’s engineers to come together to solve them.

 “Many people are talking about a return to “business as usual” in the automotive industry.  I don’t believe this will happen”.

“Yes, credit is beginning to flow again in most markets, and yes the customers are starting to come back into the showrooms.  But our industry will emerge from the crisis, changed forever”.

He went on to explain that with the world’s population predicted to exceed 9 billion by the year 2050; hundreds of millions expected to live in megacities; 500 million new households joining the $5,000 income band – demographic change will be the key driver of technology in future automobiles.

“With this growth and improvement in living standards comes increasing demand for Mobility. Mobility is fundamental to life. It underpins every modern, prosperous and growing society”.

“According to IEA projections, we will need about 40% more energy in 2030 than we consume today. And, if current trends continue, we will double today's demand by the middle of the century.  At the same time, all the major powers have governments in office with a strong commitment to tackle climate change”.

“This is to say nothing of the 1.2 million people who lose their lives in traffic accidents every year, and whose numbers are forecast to rise dramatically along with increasing motorisation in the developing markets.  So however we look at it, business is usual is no longer an option”.

Huss went on to explain how engineers held the key to sustainable mobility, stating that “The future of the automotive industry will be secured by technology and innovation.”

The agenda for the 2010 World Congress is packed with more than 300 presentations and debates on the technologies which are crucial to making the automobile safer and more environmentally sustainable.  These include Electric vehicles, alternative fuels, advanced driver assistance systems and  “Connected Car” technologies  which offer the potential to save fuel, cut CO2 and prevent accidents by utilising vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.

The Congress is sponsored by Audi, BMW Group, General Motors, Siemens, Suzuki and ITD Hungary.

The first FISITA Congress was organised in Paris in 1947.  Since then, every important technical landmark, from the airbag to the catalytic converter, has been discussed, debated and progressed at this major international gathering.

Download Christoph Huss' opening speech in full