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September 6, 2019 11:30 AM, EDT

Daimler Faces Off With Green Groups In Berlin

Daimler Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg News

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Daimler AG’s head of sales, facing off with environmentalists at a heated meeting in Berlin, said the company is investing billions of euros to transform its product range to reach emissions targets.

“We are very serious about this,” Britta Seeger said Sept. 5 during a discussion forum in Berlin with members from three groups that have promised to bring the upcoming Frankfurt car show to a standstill. “We are part of the solution for the future.”

Seeger made her comments in response to an environmental activist from the Campact group, Luise Neumann-Cosel, who said the large number of “big, dirty cars” on the roads will have “catastrophic” consequences. “You have your hands on the wheel and your foot on the pedal. We need new policies and new measures.”

In a possible foretaste of what’s to come during the biannual Frankfurt show, the exchanges among Seeger, BMW AG’s labor head Manfred Schoch, German auto lobby VDA President Bernhard Mattes and three green group representatives grew unusually hostile, with panelists interrupting each other onstage. The event attracted an audience of about 200, as well as about a dozen protesters outside.