Protesters attempt to disrupt the opening day of the Frankfurt Auto Show, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially opens the annual event. Laura Frykberg reports.
It's not often a silent protest, get's the point across so clearly. But this Greenpeace stunt at the annual Frankfurt Auto Show, speaks volumes. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GREENPEACE TRANSPORT EXPERT BENJAMIN STEPHAN, SAYING: "There are 68,000 early deaths in Europe caused by nitrogen oxide, which, as we know, come from diesel engines to a large extent. And diesel cars are still being sold. Angela Merkel's politics allowed this to happen." Perhaps not any more though. The German Chancellor used the opening of the event to warn carmakers to clean up their act. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "The car industry must do everything it can to win back credibility and trust, which is both in their own interest and in the interest of the employees as well as the entire German economy." This year's displays suggest the industry is trying to. BMW, Mercedes and the notorious emitter Volkswagen, have all unveiled new, greener models. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PRESIDENT OF GERMANY'S AUTO INDUSTRY LOBBY GROUP VDA, MATTHIAS WISSMANN, SAYING: "We are aware that trust has been lost. Our main goal is to win it back. Integrity on all levels takes the same priority for us." It's been two years since its was revealed That VW cheated on its diesel emissions tests in the U.S. Since then, several countries including the UK and France.. Have announced they're slowly phasing out petrol and diesel engines.. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Large towns and megacities are particularly affected by pollutants. It's why countries like China are thinking about the end of combustion engines, it should be a wake-up call for German exporters especially." But Merkel did say demand for combustion will still be there for a few decades. Relief for German carmakers, with possibly 600,000 jobs at stake. But not for those who want a cleaner environment.