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3 questions to Oliver Dippold

President, German Municipal Vehicles and Equipment Industry Association (VAK)

IFAT | What are currently the most important drivers in the advancement of work equipment and municipal vehicles?

The challenges for our industry in terms of climate protection and sustainability are great. But we have accepted these challenges and are working on sustainable solutions. This includes municipal vehicles and equipment with alternative drives, i. e. vehicles and equipment that are as carbon neutral as possible. We want to support the circular economy and ensure climate-friendly and low-emission waste disposal in urban areas. Here, we must also always bear in mind the current legal situation. One example is last year's Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD).

We understand digitalization as an opportunity and want to integrate it into all our processes. Already today, we operate digital scanners for recyclable materials or record the data digitally when the vehicle is used. And we are also intensively addressing the areas of autonomous driving and artificial intelligence in health care.

IFAT | What is your current main wish for the new federal government?

Digitalization and climate protection continue to drive prosperity, growth, and employment. At present, however, we have unfortunately discovered that the problems in procurement predominate, hitting the municipal vehicle manufacturing industry particularly hard. Lack of microchips, high procurement prices and the drastically excessive transport prices are putting an unprecedented strain on our industry.

Hence, we call on the German government to focus more on the municipal vehicle manufacturing sector and to support it at the same time. When production declines in our industry, it has an immediate impact on customers and, in turn, their customers—a domino effect is created. And all this in an industry that is systemically relevant.

IFAT | What importance do you attach to IFAT Munich 2022?

IFAT Munich is the world's leading trade fair for recycling and waste management and thus one of the most important trade fairs for the municipal vehicle industry. The Truck in Action Show and the VAK Innovation Award in particular show how innovative the industry is.

I'm glad that the players are meeting in person again, at last, the focus is back on products, equipment, and vehicles. Innovations that have been developed since the last trade show can be examined in very concrete terms. Moreover, the VAK is almost at the participation level of 2020, which is a good sign. It demonstrates how important this industry trade show is for our member companies. After this long break, we are therefore very pleased to be able to enter into an exchange with our national and international customers. I am convinced that this trade show will be particularly exciting for everyone involved.

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