The pandemic is also hitting the automotive industry hard. Filter systems for old diesel vehicles could not be installed last year as planned. So the dirty diesel vehicles continue to contribute to bad air and make diesel driving bans inevitable.
Filter systems for old diesel vehicles were supposed to be increasingly installed for VW Group vehicles in 2020, thus making them cleaner. The manufacturer of these filter systems, Baumot Group AG, together with its subsidiaries Twintec Technologie GmbH, Baumot Technologie GmbH and Baumot Deutschland GmbH, has now announced that it will file for insolvency in self-administration.
Although the company had been authorised to install the filter systems in many vehicle models, the Corona pandemic prevented Baumot Group AG from implementing the planned retrofits. Many enquiries came from the region around Stuttgart, probably as a reaction of vehicle owners to the blanket diesel driving ban in the city. Baumot Group AG was unable to meet the customers' requests and even had to cancel some sales contracts.
This is painful for the company as well as for the citizens of Stuttgart who, as a consequence, are not allowed to drive into the diesel driving ban zone. For the time being, the old diesel vehicles will continue to contribute to poor air quality in the vicinity of the Stuttgart cauldron, so nitrogen oxide levels are likely to remain high, even if the vehicles only drive in close proximity to the low emission zone. Although some of the owners may gradually opt for newer vehicles, the insolvency of Baumot Group AG will hit citizens who cannot afford a new car hard.
The news is also bad for other German cities where diesel driving bans continue to loom. The company's filter systems promised to reduce nitrogen oxide in diesel vehicles by up to 90% and thus to convert vehicles with the Euro4 standard to the Euro6 standard. Moreover, the filter systems were not only suitable for passenger cars but also for trucks and buses, among others. They could have made a big difference in long-distance transport for logistics companies, for example.
The insolvency of the company is therefore another step towards a diesel driving ban in German and European cities and will cause headaches for many owners of diesel vehicles. All driving bans in Germany and rules for older diesel vehicles in other European cities can be found in our Green-Zones app.