Social Democrat chief Martin Schulz says embattled sector’s failure to innovate and lead projects such as electric cars risks the future of country key exporter

Martin Schulz, the main challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s September election, has accused the country’s car industry executives of putting the sector at risk by failing to plan for the future.

The future of the automotive sector, Germany’s biggest exporter and provider of about 800,000 jobs, has become a hot election issue as politicians blame executives and each other for the industry’s battered reputation following the emissions scandal.

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