Photo: Raphael Knipping / DPA
The IG Metall chairman Jörg Hofmann advocated a state "SME and transformation fund" that invests in companies in need.
"If the state assumes part of the risk, the small and medium-sized enterprise could provide the strength to invest and innovate," said Hofmann of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" (FAS).
"The situation for many companies is still tense," said VDA President Hildegard Müller.
That is why the exchange between companies, trade unions and politics is so important.
Concrete decisions are not expected at the meeting with Merkel.
It is about how Germany can further expand its strong position worldwide in connected and automated driving.
The German automotive industry will invest around 25 billion euros in digitization by 2024.
The demand for cars collapsed in the corona crisis.
In June, in the debate about an economic stimulus package, the industry demanded state purchase premiums for modern gasoline and diesel cars in order to stimulate demand.
However, this failed because of the resistance, especially from the SPD.
The coalition decided on higher government premiums for the purchase of electric cars.
In addition, the reduction in VAT should stimulate demand.
SPD supports IG-Metall demand
The SPD reacted positively to the IG Metall proposal.
Parliamentary group vice-president Sören Bartol said: "I support a state fund for small and medium-sized enterprises, as requested by IG Metall."
The future belongs to e-cars, "but combustion engines will still play an important role in the years to come".
SPD boss Norbert Walter-Borjans added in the news portal "t-online": "The car industry is the backbone of our industry. Millions of jobs in Germany depend on its strength to renew."
In a resolution of the SPD parliamentary group on Friday, it is said that the bridging aid and financial support from the economic and future package are currently taking effect for small and medium-sized companies.
"But this can also include other instruments, such as the establishment of investment funds that are based on regional transformation strategies."
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Green leader Annalena Baerbock stated in the "FAS": "We have to buy medium-sized companies and suppliers time."
With more than 800,000 employees in the automotive industry, "no politician can say: I don't care, let them see how they get by".
Manufacturers are demanding support for combustion engines
The head of the Cologne-based car manufacturer Ford, Gunnar Herrmann, again spoke out in favor of a purchase bonus for cars with economical combustion engines.
"The planning of vehicle production is currently made massively more difficult by the one-sided funding of electromobility alone, which customers are still skeptical about due to the inadequate charging infrastructure," said Herrmann to the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger".
After the federal government had decided in this way, however, he sees "currently no feasibility of a general purchase bonus".
"Subsidies and a one-sided commitment to battery-powered e-mobility are not the solution," said the FDP traffic expert Oliver Luksic.
"Rather, the auto industry needs relief in taxes and bureaucracy and better framework conditions for future investments."
Environmentalists want to make suppliers more independent
The Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) argued that a purchase premium for combustion engines to sell off stocks would only benefit the already financially well-off car companies.
"The suppliers go away empty-handed because the cars have already been produced", said BUND traffic expert Jens Hilgenberg.
Anyone who wants to help the supplier industry has to support them in breaking their dependence on the automotive industry in general and on the combustion engine in particular with new products.
Without a new funding strategy from the federal and state governments, Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder fears for the future of the entire German auto industry.
"We cannot play on time with the car. It is the central lifeblood of our economy," said the CSU boss in Munich.
Suppliers in particular would already be cutting jobs on a large scale.
"So we need an accelerated transformation strategy".
This should also include purchase incentives for classic internal combustion engines.
Icon: The mirror
mik / dpa