DAI.DE - Daimler AG

XETRA - XETRA Delayed Price. Currency in EUR
47.06
+1.52 (+3.34%)
At close: 5:35PM CEST
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Previous Close45.54
Open45.84
Bid0.00 x 124500
Ask0.00 x 73800
Day's Range45.65 - 47.15
52 Week Range40.31 - 60.00
Volume5,385,569
Avg. Volume3,929,841
Market Cap50.345B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.21
PE Ratio (TTM)12.51
EPS (TTM)3.76
Earnings DateOct 24, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield3.25 (7.14%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-05-23
1y Target Est62.70
  • 'One app to rule them all is dead': How Uber and Lyft can get disrupted
    Yahoo Finance

    'One app to rule them all is dead': How Uber and Lyft can get disrupted

    In Berlin, companies like Uber don't have a dominant hold on transportation. Instead, many companies compete for a slice of the market.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Daimler recalls hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles

    German carmaker Daimler is recalling hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz vehicles including Sprinter van models over diesel emissions issues. Daimler said late on Friday that Germany's road traffic regulator KBA has concluded hearings over certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles with so-called OM651 diesel engines meeting Euro 5 emission standards and has ordered Daimler to carry out recalls. Weekly Bild am Sonntag on Sunday reported a recall of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles was imminent after KBA warned the luxury carmaker that the transporter vans may contain illegal engine management software.

  • Daimler recalls hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles
    Reuters

    Daimler recalls hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles

    German carmaker Daimler is recalling hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz vehicles including Sprinter van models over diesel emissions issues. Daimler said late on Friday that Germany's road traffic regulator KBA has concluded hearings over certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles with so-called OM651 diesel engines meeting Euro 5 emission standards and has ordered Daimler to carry out recalls. Weekly Bild am Sonntag on Sunday reported a recall of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles was imminent after KBA warned the luxury carmaker that the transporter vans may contain illegal engine management software.

  • Bloomberg

    Renault Has Two Boardroom Coups in One Year

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- During the past 12 months Renault SA has looked more like a soap opera than a carmaker. The French company served up an ill-tempered denouement on Friday when it sacked Chief Executive Officer Thierry Bollore, who said he was the victim of a “coup.”Bollore only took the job in January after his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was arrested for alleged impropriety around his pay and resigned. Since then, Renault’s alliance with Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. has been in turmoil and the French company’s cash flow and share price have skidded.Renault compounded the dramatics earlier this by trying to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, only for the French state to torpedo the union.These events have created a profound sense of drift at the manufacturer, for which Bollore and his chairman Jean-Dominique Senard are probably equally to blame. It’s Bollore who’s been given the shove, though, and Renault now has (yet another) opportunity to start afresh. Clotilde Delbos, the finance director, has been appointed interim CEO while the company looks for a permanent replacement.The first priority must be to tone down the histrionics. As at Nissan, which appointed a new CEO this week, Renault needs to focus on operational matters, not creating newspaper headlines. Boardroom bust-ups are never helpful but this one is especially ill-timed. Car markets are weakening and anti-pollution regulations and the shift to electric vehicles require heavy spending.Unfortunately Renault isn’t starting out from a position of strength. It is reasonably well positioned in electric vehicles (with the Zoe) and in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia. Its low-cost Dacia business performs well. However, Renault can no longer rely on chunky profit contributions and dividends from Nissan because its Japanese partner is also battling slumping sales. Renault’s balance sheet isn’t the strongest: the group had just 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion) of industrial net cash at the end of June And its core automotive business eked out a meager 4 percent operating return on sales in the first six months of the year. Its local rival Peugeot SA achieved twice that. Overall, net income will probably fall by about one-quarter this year.  Looking ahead, Renault targets 70 billion euros in yearly revenue by 2022, about one-fifth higher than last year. Yet with car demand plateauing it’s unlikely to get anywhere near that. Sales will rise only slightly to about 59 billion euros in 2021, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.Fresh leadership at Renault and Nissan might at least help the two partners work more harmoniously. Then perhaps Senard and Fiat’s scion John Elkann can start talking again about a merger (Nissan wasn’t happy about the lack of consultation on the idea). But in view of the bad blood and false starts of the past 12 months, neither seems likely in the short term. Renault doesn’t need another distraction.The company’s shares jumped 4 percent on Friday but Renault shareholders remain pretty downbeat. Subtract the value of Renault’s 43% stake in Nissan, its stake in Germany’s Daimler AG and its net cash, and you’ll see they ascribe only about 2.5 billion euros of value to the core business.Bollore claims he’s been treated shabbily, but his successor inherits a lousy valuation, a trunk full of strategic problems and a chairman and French state stakeholder second-guessing their every move. His departure feels like an act of mercy.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Mercedes-Benz sales rise to record on back of boost from China

    Double-digit growth in sales from China helped the German car brand Mercedes-Benz generate record sales in the third quarter, despite a slowdown in the global market. While sales in Europe increased marginally last month for the first time this year, the Stuttgart-based automaker sold a record-breaking 181,233 vehicles in China in the three months to September, an increase of almost 13 per cent, the group said on Monday. The company unveiled its upcoming new Smart model at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which led consumers to shun the current line-up in September, driving down sales by more than 32 per cent. Additionally, overall Mercedes sales in the US remain down 0.5 per cent in the year.

  • Bloomberg

    EM Review: U.S. Data Sent Stocks Lower and Currencies Higher

    (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market stocks fell for a third week last week as poor U.S. manufacturing data stoked concerns about faltering growth. Those same figures gave developing-economy currencies a fillip though, bringing a two-week decline to an end, on increased bets the Federal Reserve will cut rates further. A lack of positive news in the trade war and U.S. political front kept investors cautious about taking on more risk.The following is a roundup of emerging-markets news and highlights for the week ending Oct. 6.Read here our emerging-market weekly preview, and listen to our weekly podcast here.Highlights:The Trump administration has issued a partial -- and qualified -- denial of reports that it is discussing the imposition of limits on U.S. investments in Chinese companies and financial marketsChinese officials are signaling they’re increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by President Donald Trump, ahead of negotiations this week that have raised hopes of a potential truceThe U.S. Commerce Department slapped more duties on wooden cabinets and vanities from China in a sign of the challenges awaiting negotiations when the two countries resume trade talksTrump said that China’s Xi Jinping should consider investigating Joe Biden and his son after again calling on Ukraine’s president to re-open an investigation into one of his top political rivalsFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who’s noncommittal about further interest rate cuts, is facing greater pressure to make a third-straight reduction in response to weakening data, volatile markets and a continued bashing from TrumpPowell said the U.S. economy is in a good place, though it faces some risksU.S. nonfarm payrolls expanded by 136,000 in September, slightly missing estimates, while August’s reading was revised upward. Wage gains cooled and the unemployment rate fellU.S. ISM factory index slipped to 47.8 in September, the lowest since June 2009, missing all estimatesMarkets placed about a 75% chance of a rate reduction at the October meeting after the jobs report on Friday, compared to 85% Thursday and 40% on MondayTrump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr were all drawn deeper into the House impeachment inquiry after new details of the administration’s foreign contacts emergedChina said it would continue to open up its financial markets and encourage foreign investmentThe health of China’s manufacturing sector improved in September, although it was still below the line indicating contraction. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 49.8China’s onshore financial markets have been shut for a week-long holiday from Oct. 1 through Oct. 7North Korea and the U.S. have agreed to hold working-level talks on Oct. 5., Korean Central News Agency says, citing a statement from vice foreign minister Choe Son HuiNorth Korea fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile designed for submarines, testing Trump’s tolerance for weapons tests just hours after agreeing to restart stalled nuclear talks with the U.S.South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office is preparing for the possible visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in November, Tak Hyun-min, Moon’s planning advisory committee member, saidNorth Korea called the first test of its new submarine-launched ballistic missile a major boost for its national securityNorth Korea said it’s not keen to hold more talks with the U.S. until measures are taken to withdraw Washington’s “hostile policy” toward Pyongyang, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reportedIndia’s central bank cut its key interest rate for a fifth straight time this year, moving aggressively to revive economic growth as the banking system faces new stressesThe RBI lowered its full-year growth forecast for a fourth time to 6.1% from 6.9% previously.Saudi Aramco sought to underpin the targeted $2 trillion valuation for its initial public offering by increasing dividends, paying less tax and finding cornerstone investments from major Asian oil producersTurkish inflation slowed sharply into single digits, possibly setting up another confrontation between the central bank and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who signaled that he expects interest rates to be cut furtherBrazil’s Senate concluded its first full vote on a pension reform proposal that was weakened by a last-minute amendment, reducing the impact of President Jair Bolsonaro’s main initiative to tame a rising debt loadEgypt will raise its share of longer-dated debt to 40% of annual domestic issuance by the end of the current fiscal year, from 5% in 2017-18, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait saidThe biggest emerging-market bond ETF suffered the largest two-day outflow since February 2018 and Morgan Stanley said withdrawals might pressure developing-nation high-yield sovereign bondsAsia:Xi kicked off a parade marking 70 years of Communist rule in ChinaXi called for stability in Hong Kong, unity among Chinese ethnic groups, and the “complete unification” of the countryHong Kong invoked colonial-era emergency powers for the first time in more than half a century to ban face masks for protesters in a bid to quell months of violent unrestDownside risks in South Korea’s economy are outweighing upside ones, making it increasingly hard for the central bank to maintain its growth forecast that was already cut earlier this year, according to Governor Lee Ju-yeolConsumer prices fell for the first time in September, underscoring the hit to domestic demand as the economy grapples with declining exports. Overseas shipments decreased 11.7% in September from the previous yearIndustrial production fell an annual 2.9% in August, the biggest decline since FebruaryIndia’s government maintained its borrowing plan for the remainder of this fiscal year to restore calm in the market after a $20 billion stimulus triggered a sell-off in local bondsThe government is considering a proposal to ease foreign investment limits in government bonds, Reuters reported, citing people it didn’t identifyThe current-account deficit shrank to $14.3 billion in the April-June period, or 2% of gross domestic product. The gap in the year-ago period was $15.8 billion, or 2.3% of GDPU.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said there was no structural reason a U.S.-India trade deal could not be done soonSpeculation on Thailand’s currency has subsided after central bank measures and a rate cut in August, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said, adding the currency has strengthened mainly on the country’s current-account surplus, foreign direct investment, and tourismInflation in Indonesia and Thailand weakened in September, providing policy makers ample room to keep lowering interest rates to spur growthIndonesian President Joko Widodo said the wave of protests sweeping the country over his government’s controversial legislative agenda would not derail reforms aimed at bolstering growthWidodo said he’ll introduce sweeping changes to labor rules by the end of the year and open up more sectors of the economy to foreign investmentHe also said the resources powerhouse wants to process more crude palm oil domesticallyInflation in the Philippines slowed to 0.9% in September, the lowest since 2016, from 1.7% in AugustEconomic growth likely bounced back to the 6% level last quarter as inflation cooled, giving the central bank room to pursue more monetary easing this year, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia saidMalaysia sees sustainable growth in the second half of 2019 and the ruling coalition’s presidential council will decide on whether to revive GST, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng saidEMEA:The South African Reserve Bank’s ability to cut interest rates to boost the economy is limited by political and policy uncertainty and inflation that’s still not sufficiently anchored at the midpoint of its target range, the central bank said in its bi-annual Monetary Policy ReviewThe nation’s ruling party approved a range of proposals to revive economic growth, but stopped short of endorsing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s controversial plan to sell some state assetsIts trade balance swung to its biggest surplus in eight months in August as mining exports surgedKenya’s economic growth remained unchanged in the second quarter as a drought weighed on agricultureUkraine sold 77.2 million hryvnia ($3.1 million) in local debt at its weekly sale on Tuesday, the least since January. Political turmoil is tainting the best currency rally this yearErdogan expressed his readiness to act alone in northeast Syria and retake areas from American-backed Kurdish forces, saying that efforts to defuse the threat they pose to Turkey have failedTurkey reinforced army units at the Syrian border hours after Erdogan signaled an imminent cross-border operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish militants in Syria, state media reportedPolish banks suffered a setback in a ruling by the European Union’s top court on unfair terms in foreign-currency loans while avoiding a worst-case scenarioMoody’s Investors Service raised the Czech Republic’s credit rating by one notch to Aa3, the fourth highest investment grade, from A1Failed efforts to ease U.S.-Iran tensions on the sidelines of the United Nations have left both sides hardening their positions and diplomats warning of growing mistrust and a risk of escalationSaudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman warned that war between his country and Iran would lead to a “total collapse of the global economy”Lebanon was placed on review for a rating downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, which said that the country’s increased reliance on foreign-exchange reserves could potentially destabilize its decades-old currency pegLebanese central bank Governor Riad Salameh attributed the recent hike in demand for dollars to increased imports and affirmed the country’s commitment to the currency pegSaudi Arabia is turning to Shariah-compliant investors for its third international debt sale this year as the tide begins to turn against the kingdomThe nation was downgraded for a third time since 2016 by Fitch Ratings, which warned about entrenched budget deficits and cited the kingdom’s vulnerability to military threats following the biggest attack ever on its oil industryThe kingdom’s non-oil economic growth accelerated in the second quarter, a sign that the economy is shrugging off the effects of austerity measures that followed the collapse of crude prices five years agoEgypt’s finance minister is presiding over the Middle East’s fastest-growing economy, earning accolades from investors and international finance institutions alike. He’s got one big problem: improved indicators are failing to translate into higher incomes and living standards for the Egyptian peopleZambian Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu plans to obtain almost 10% of the southern African nation’s total income next year from undisclosed sources, raising concerns about the accuracy and sustainability of government spending plans for 2020Latin America:Brazil’s industrial output expanded more than forecast in August, in what was seen by Morgan Stanley as a signal that the economy may have bottomedNation’s net debt to GDP ratio fell to 54.8% in August from 55.8% in the previous monthBrazil economists reduced their forecast for the benchmark interest rate at the end of the year to 4.75% from 5% the week beforeSecond-round vote on the pension reform bill in Senate was delayed to later this monthBrazil and Argentina signed a new trade agreement for the automotive industryPeru’s President Martin Vizcarra dissolved the opposition-controlled Congress and called a parliamentary election in a bid to end the political gridlock over his plans to stamp out corruptionVice President Mercedes Araoz resigned one day after being sworn in by lawmakers as the country’s interim president, strengthening Vizcarra’s hand against the CongressVizcarra promoted budget chief Maria Antonieta Alva to Finance Minister as he forms a new cabinet following a no-confidence votePeru dollar bonds proved resilient to the political noise and government is planning to issue a green bond for the first timeMexico is renewing an IMF credit line to face any contingencies, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador saidLine will likely range between $60 billion and $70 billionTrump said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “incapable of working on” prescription drug prices and the USMCA trade agreement with Mexico and Canada; Pelosi said Democrats want the deal “when it’s right”Mexico’s deputy finance minister Gabriel Yorio said U.S. impeachment process raises risks for USMCALopez Obrador said the replacement of 10 executives at the Petroleos Mexicanos arm that sets and monitors prices was an effort to end decades-long questionable practicesFinance Minister Arturo Herrera said Mexico is close to concluding Pemex’s refinancing in three partsNation’s January to August budget deficit totaled 118.1 billion pesos ($6 billion), down from 230.8 billion pesos in the same period last yearArgentina’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that cuts in income and VAT taxes can’t affect funds transferred from the national government to the provinces; Moody’s said ruling is credit positive for ProvincesEconomists cut their Argentina growth forecasts for this year and next, while they expect the peso to weaken even more than previously and inflation to remain highMatias Kulfas, an economic adviser to opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez, said Argentina needs voluntary debt talks and to avoid unilateral defaultFernandez said that the nation’s creditors are open to a debt reprofiling because they understand Argentina can’t currently payGovernment has used $1.9 billion since last Friday from an IMF loan approved in June 2018 in order to pay down debtVenezuela’s government is ready to resume negotiations with foreign investors on about $60 billion of defaulted debt, according to President Nicolas MaduroColombia’s central bank expects to see an acceleration in the pace of growth in the second half of 2019, according to the minutes of their last meetingFinance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla urged the central bank to act if the weaker peso has a strong pass-through effect on consumer pricesNation’s urban unemployment rose to 11.4% in AugustChile’s economic activity expanded at the fastest pace in 10 months, beating all estimates on the back of jumps in both the mining and non-mining sectorsEcuador’s President Lenin Moreno declared a state of emergency as protesters barricade roads across the country over fuel price hikes\--With assistance from Selcuk Gokoluk, Colleen Goko and Philip Sanders.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at yteso1@bloomberg.net;Netty Ismail in Dubai at nismail3@bloomberg.net;Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at aoyamada3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tomoko Yamazaki at tyamazaki@bloomberg.net, Karl Lester M. YapFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Mercedes-Benz offers subsidies to retrofit older diesel cars in Germany
    Reuters

    Mercedes-Benz offers subsidies to retrofit older diesel cars in Germany

    Daimler said on Tuesday Mercedes-Benz customers in Germany could apply for a 3,000 euro ($3,350) subsidy to upgrade the exhaust filters of older, polluting diesel vehicles, the latest effort among German carmakers to avoid inner-city bans. Carmakers have been forced to consider upgrading exhaust treatment systems on older cars after German cities started banning heavily polluting diesel vehicles to cut fine particulate matter and toxic nitrogen oxides. Daimler launched a website this week to process applications for financial support, as German motor authority KBA seeks to approve an after-market kit to upgrade the exhaust systems on various Mercedes diesel passenger vehicles.

  • Benzinga

    Market Leader Freightliner To Cut 900 Production Workers In North Carolina

    Daimler Trucks North America will cut 900 workers at two Freightliner plants in North Carolina as tepid orders for new heavy- and medium-duty trucks persist following a record ordering binge in 2018. Freightliner, which holds a commanding lead in market share over its competitors, is the fourth of six major truck makers to curtail production. "Following a red-hot North American truck market of record sales and production volumes over the last 12 months, the market is now clearly returning to normal market levels," DTNA said in a statement.

  • Peru President Boosted in Battle With Congress as VP Quits
    Bloomberg

    Peru President Boosted in Battle With Congress as VP Quits

    (Bloomberg) -- Peru’s Vice President Mercedes Araoz resigned one day after being sworn in by lawmakers as the country’s interim president, strengthening President Martin Vizcarra’s hand against a Congress that’s resisting its dissolution.Araoz said she was unable to exercise the position of interim president after the Organization of American States called for Peru’s Constitutional Court to determine the legality of the dissolution, according to a letter she posted on her Twitter account late Tuesday.Vizcarra dissolved Peru’s opposition-controlled Congress on Monday and called a parliamentary election in a bid to end the political gridlock over his plans to stamp out corruption in the Andean country. Lawmakers said the move was unconstitutional and voted to suspend him and swear in Araoz.Peru Shuts Congress, Triggers a Constitutional Crisis: QuickTakeNow, Araoz’s decision to quit deals a blow to the opposition, and opens a path for the country’s highest court to resolve Peru’s worst political crisis in decades. It also strengthens Vizcarra’s high-stakes move to shut Congress. Though elected by popular vote, the legislature is currently held in low regard with an 87% disapproval rating.“Reality is starting to sink in,” said Andres Calderon, a professor of politics at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima. The opposition lacks the support of any Peruvian institution with any weight, the Armed Forces support the president and any street protests have been in favor of dissolution, he said. Crucially, the Organization of American States has said it’s up to the constitutional court to determine the legality of the president’s decision.“It looks like the executive won and Congress lost and that creates a more predictable environment for the coming months,” Calderon said Wednesday.Peru’s sol rose 0.1% to 3.388 per U.S. dollar at the close of trading in Lima.One of the most stable economies in Latin America, Peru has been gripped by political turmoil since the general election of 2016 when Pedro Pablo Kuczynski scraped through a runoff vote for the presidency while his opponent, Keiko Fujimori, won a majority in Congress. A former vice president, Vizcarra took office roughly 18 months ago when Kuczynski resigned on the eve of an impeachment vote. He repeatedly clashed with lawmakers over plans to clean up public life.Read More: Peru Bondholders Keep Faith as Political Chaos Sweeps NationAraoz said she was quitting as vice president because there had been a rupture in the constitutional order. She said she hoped the move would allow Peru to hold a general election “for the good of the country.”Speaking in an interview with Lima-based Canal N network Tuesday, Vizcarra’s cabinet chief, Vicente Zeballos, said a general election was out of the question since a parliamentary election had already been called for Jan. 26. He also ruled out the president resigning to make way for a general election.Zeballos said the president, who hasn’t commented publicly on the situation since announcing Congress’s dissolution, would name a new cabinet within the next two days. That will include a new Finance Minister to replace Carlos Oliva, who’s among several ministers who decided to leave government. Zeballos pledged continuity in economic policy.Vote of ConfidenceWhile Latin American history is rife with examples of leaders clinging to power and closing legislatures -- including Peru in 1992 under Alberto Fujimori -- Vizcarra had been pushing for the exact opposite. As his proposals to fight corruption in the political and judiciary systems made no progress in Congress, he then suggested early presidential and parliamentary elections for 2020, saying he wanted to give the country a fresh start.As lawmakers rejected that idea as well, Vizcarra made a bold move, holding a vote of confidence in his cabinet. Peru’s constitution entitles the president to dissolve the unicameral Congress if lawmakers vote against two cabinets. In September 2017, then cabinet chief Fernando Zavala lost a confidence vote.But lawmakers rebuffed his request once more and instead proceeded with the election of justices to the country’s top court -- in a process that Vizcarra had denounced as lacking legitimacy and transparency.The decision to elect the first of six new justices Monday was a de facto rejection of the cabinet’s confidence motion, Vizcarra said in a televised address, adding that he was using his constitutional right to dissolve Congress. He called the measure a “democratic solution” to Peru’s political gridlock.Opposition parties have dragged their feet on government reforms designed to stamp out corruption. Championing the corruption fight buoyed Vizcarra’s popularity at a time when many political parties and their leaders are implicated in a continent-wide bribery scandal uncovered by the so-called Carwash probe.In a Sept. 25 interview with Bloomberg News, Vizcarra said closing congress was an extreme scenario, and said the best option was for the opposition to back his proposal for an early general election next year, one in which he wouldn’t stand as a candidate. Lawmakers voted down the bill last week.(Adds analyst’s comment in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, ;Walter Brandimarte at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Peru President Dissolves Congress as Opposition Cries Foul
    Bloomberg

    Peru President Dissolves Congress as Opposition Cries Foul

    (Bloomberg) -- President Martin Vizcarra dissolved Peru’s opposition-controlled Congress and called a parliamentary election in a bid to end the political gridlock over his plans to stamp out corruption in the Andean country.The move was generally well received by a population tired of graft scandals gripping the political class, with Congress being among the country’s most discredited institutions. Yet lawmakers called it a “coup,” suspended the president and swore in Vice President Mercedes Araoz as the new leader. Crucially, the heads of Peru’s armed forces and the police pledged their support for Vizcarra.The looming constitutional crisis could further weigh on an economy that’s suffering from political uncertainty and trade tensions, with analysts recently cutting growth forecasts for this year and next. Local markets at least for now seemed able to weather the crisis -- government bonds dropped in price but still paid one of the lowest yields among Latin American peers. While Latin America is rife with past experiences of leaders clinging on to power and shutting down legislatures, Vizcarra had been pushing for the exact opposite. As his proposals to fight corruption in the political and judiciary systems made no progress in Congress, he then suggested early presidential and parliamentary elections for 2020, saying he wanted to give the country a fresh start.Vote of ConfidenceAs lawmakers didn’t support that idea either, Vizcarra made a bold move, calling a vote of confidence on his cabinet. Peru’s constitution entitles the president to dissolve the unicameral Congress if lawmakers vote against two cabinets. In September 2017, then cabinet chief Fernando Zavala lost a confidence vote.But lawmakers postponed his request for a confidence vote and instead proceeded with the election of justices to the country’s top court -- in a process that Vizcarra had denounced as lacking legitimacy and transparency.The decision to elect the first of six new justices Monday was a defacto rejection of the cabinet’s confidence motion, Vizcarra said in a televised address, adding that he was using his constitutional right to dissolve Congress. He called the measure a “democratic solution” to Peru’s political gridlock.Police officers surrounded Congress on Tuesday, while nearby a crowd of people jeered lawmakers seeking entry to the building. Only members of 27-strong standing committee were allowed in by police.Karina Beteta, one of three vice presidents of Congress, said lawmakers will appeal to the constitutional court and the Organization of American States. “Congress isn’t dissolved because what’s happened is a coup. We were democratically elected at the polls and that has to be respected,” she told reporters.The OAS secretary general’s office said the constitutional court should make a pronouncement on the legality and legitimacy of the decisions made by the executive and legislative branches. The decision to call parliamentary elections is a “constructive step” that will allow the Peruvian people to have final say, according to a statement on Twitter.Still fresh in the minds of many Peruvians is Alberto Fujimori’s decision to dissolve Congress in 1992, in what became known as an auto-coup. Back then, the former president assumed all legislative powers and suspended much of the constitution. Lawmakers were arrested and tanks were stationed outside parliament and the headquarters of the judiciary. He was convicted in 2009 for his role in two massacres and remains in jail.Bribery ScandalsPeru has been gripped by political turmoil since the general election of 2016 when Pedro Pablo Kuczynski scraped through a runoff vote for the presidency while his opponent, Keiko Fujimori, daughter of Peru’s former autocrat, won a majority in Congress. A former vice president, Vizcarra took office roughly 18 months ago when Kuczynski resigned on the eve of an impeachment vote.Opposition parties have dragged their feet on government reforms designed to stamp out corruption. Championing the corruption fight buoyed Vizcarra’s popularity at a time when many political parties and their leaders are implicated in a continent-wide bribery scandal uncovered by the so-called Carwash probe.“Congress really deserved this dissolution,” said Carlos Rivera, director of the Legal Defense Institute, a Lima-based rights group. “It’s an irreversible decision politically. It’s an act that should mark the close of one era in our country and open a new, less contaminated one.”ANDEAN INSIGHT: Prolonged Growth Weakness Raises Regional RisksThe political standoff is unlikely to prevent economic growth from recovering next year, even if it derails fiscal reform or budget plans, Quinn Markwith, an analyst at Capital Economics, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients.Vizcarra called for a new congress to be elected on Jan. 26, with a standing committee of lawmakers fulfilling legislative duties until the vote.In a Sept. 25 interview with Bloomberg News, Vizcarra said closing congress was an extreme scenario, and said the best option was for the opposition to back his proposal for an early general election next year, one in which he wouldn’t stand as a candidate. Lawmakers voted down the bill last week.Vizcarra swore in his former justice minister, Vicente Zeballos, as cabinet chief to replace Salvador del Solar after he lost the confidence vote on Monday. Finance Minister Carlos Oliva and Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio won’t form part of the new cabinet, according to Gloria Montenegro, a lawmaker who was Vizcarra’s minister for women. The cabinet unanimously backed the president’s decision to dissolve Congress, she told Canal N.The network broadcast video showing Luis Carranza, a former finance minister who heads the Latin American development bank CAF, entering the government palace.(Adds lawmaker’s comment in ninth paragraph, minister in 16th)To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, ;Walter Brandimarte at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Further reading

    Elsewhere on Tuesday... -- How you struggle on... ...$350,000 -- Daimler melts ICE -- Saving the planet, one busted union at a time More from the Financial Times FCA eyes liquidity reforms to avert replay ...

  • Volocopter eyes launch of its electric helicopter taxis in Singapore
    Reuters

    Volocopter eyes launch of its electric helicopter taxis in Singapore

    German startup Volocopter said Singapore is emerging as one of the most likely destinations for the commercial launch of its electric helicopters, where it hopes to offer short-hop flights for the price of a limousine ride. The co-founder of the company, which is working with Singapore regulators to conduct a public test flight in coming months, said the city-state, Dubai and Germany were the markets most open to its air taxis. A number of firms are trying to bring so-called air taxis to mass market but a lack of regulation and infrastructure, and safety concerns have proved barriers.

  • An Industrial Crisis Is Brewing in Germany
    Bloomberg

    An Industrial Crisis Is Brewing in Germany

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- In the darkest days of the 2009 recession, Germany’s industrial output was collapsing at an annual rate of more than 20%. An unfathomable implosion but one that thankfully ended almost as quickly as it started.Some 10 years on, a crisis is brewing once again in the country’s industrial heartlands. The pain could prove more enduring this time.So far the problems aren’t nearly as acute as in 2009; industrial production fell by a comparatively modest 4.2% in July. The worry, though, is that demand is being sapped by a mix of both cyclical and longer-lasting structural factors such as the demise of diesel and the shift to electrical vehicles. Trump’s trade wars and Brexit aren’t helping. Germany’s industrial sector contributes more than one-fifth of GDP and is usually a huge asset. Right now this export engine is pulling the economy down. Signs of distress are everywhere. German manufacturing activity is at a decade low, according to IHS Markit’s purchasing manager’s index. The Ifo Institute estimates that more than 5% of manufacturing companies have cut working hours and about 12% expect to do so during the next three months. German machinery orders declined 9% in the first six months of the year, according to the VDMA association, which represents the country’s engineers. In chemicals and pharmaceuticals, domestic production fell 6.5% in the first half of the year, while domestic car output has fallen 12% this year. Auto exports have dropped 14%. ThyssenKrupp AG, a former industrial jewel that makes everything from steel to submarines to car parts, is in crisis. It’s burning cash, weighed down by debt and has parted company with two chief executives in the space of 14 months. The chemicals giant BASF is cutting 6,000 jobs and has warned on profits.Meanwhile, the German carmakers BMW AG and Daimler AG have issued profit warnings as tighter emission rules oblige them to keep spending heavily. Their suppliers are the ones really hurting though. At least three — Eisenmann, Weber Automotive and a subsidiary of Avir Guss — have filed for insolvency in recent weeks and investors are betting the pain will spread more widely.The list of manufacturing heartache goes on. Debt-laden wiring and cable company Leoni AG is among the Germany’s most shorted stocks. The shares have lost two-thirds of their value over the past year and this is hardly unique.The company that best illustrates this slow-burn crisis is Continental AG. Last week the tire and car parts titan announced a massive restructuring, which it said would affect 20,000 jobs over the next decade, or some 8% of the workforce. Explaining its decision, the manufacturer warned of an “emerging crisis in the automotive industry.” Demand is weak and technological requirements are shifting fast. In future it will need more software engineers but fewer people building components for gasoline and diesel engines.Conti’s great rival Robert Bosch GMBH has a big diesel technology business and is preparing for upheaval too. Its chief executive officer Volkmar Denner told Sueddeutsche Zeitung last month that he expects autos production to stagnate. “That’s different from the past when it almost always went up. The tailwind is gone,” he said.With luck these grim warnings will compel the government to reconsider its demand-sapping commitment to a balanced budget. Last week the head of the BDI industry lobby group urged Berlin to consider additional borrowing to fund public investment — a once unthinkable heresy but one that’s common sense when even 30-year German debt yields nothing.However, unlike in 2009 when a domestic car scrappage scheme boosted demand, Germany can’t easily buy itself out of trouble this time. Tens of thousands of well-paid industrial jobs face obsolescence because of the demise of the combustion engine. Electric vehicle drivetrains have far fewer parts and the process is less labor intensive.Germany’s economic power was built on the back of its excellent gasoline and diesel cars. Their inevitable demise puts the country’s position as the “engine of Europe” under threat.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Big Reads on Economics Show Battle Lines Drawn on Climate Action
    Bloomberg

    Big Reads on Economics Show Battle Lines Drawn on Climate Action

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Warring visions of how to handle the deleterious effects of climate change on the global economy are being cast in sharper relief, adding to a basket of growing challenges that are dividing policy makers.The climate debate was front-and-center in New York this week, where world leaders weren’t exactly “united” as they gathered for the United Nations General Assembly. “Patriot” forces lined up against “globalist” proponents, drawing more battle lines about how to revive the global economy.German manufacturing, South Korea exports, and U.S. consumer confidence were among the weak data reported -- adding urgency to debates over what roles governments and central banks should take on in efforts to avert the next economic downturn.To get a better sense of what’s going on, here is a collection of this week’s analysis and enterprise from Bloomberg Economics:Scared Central Banks Face Up to Threats From Climate ChangeThe Cold Calculus Behind Putin’s Lukewarm Embrace of Paris PactClimate change has spooked central bankers who already have a lot on their plates these days. Jill Ward writes about how it’s been a long time coming for Bank of England chief Mark Carney, who warned of a “tragedy of the horizon” four years ago as he argued that policy makers were underestimating the climate risks to global financial stability. Natasha Doff, Ilya Arkhipov and Yuliya Fedorinova track how Russian President Vladimir Putin has come around to climate action while remaining a staunch skeptic on the science.Draghi’s Helicopter Money View Shows How Europe Is a No-Fly ZoneA Long-Despised and Risky Economic Doctrine Is Now a Hot IdeaIn an old phrase turned new again, variations of “helicopter money” are making a comeback as policy makers dust off the stimulus playbooks. Enda Curran and Ben Holland write this week that proposals from the likes of billionaire Ray Dalio and monetary policy maven Stanley Fischer share a vision of central bankers taking a more junior role alongside more collaborative governments. We’re already seeing how Mario Draghi’s favoritism of helicopter money-like policies is spurring intense debate across Europe.Trump’s Expanding Global Trade War Hits Close to Home in AlabamaShawn Donnan takes a deeper look at the state of Alabama, where businesses fear that a collapse in grain exports on the sidelines of the U.S.-China trade war is only the start of their local troubles emanating from stop-start negotiations between Washington and Beijing. With tensions also brewing between the U.S. and European Union, Alabama -- which counts the EU as its largest foreign investor -- stands to lose further.Fear of Debt Slows China’s Response to Latest Economic TroublesChina’s not rushing to slash interest rates or pump out fiscal stimulus to recharge its economic growth, making it an outlier among the three biggest economies, Kevin Hamlin writes. Whereas the Communist Party has traditionally been quite aggressive in protecting its growth forecasts, this time it’s managing a slowdown that elevates stability over stimulus -- especially with a fear of debt repercussions.What Do You Do With 24 Tons of Beetroot Stockpiled for Brexit?Masses of stranded crates holding the superfood are emblematic of the mess many businesses are in as they await more certainty around Brexit, as Lucy Meakin explains from London. Firms are unlikely to hoard as much leading up to the Oct. 31 deadline as they did ahead of the March delay -- lending less of a temporary boost to GDP figures.Repo Market’s Liquidity Crisis Has Been a Decade in the MakingRepo Turmoil Spawns Doubt Fed Is Targeting Right Interest RateThe shock in the repo market last week -- and the Federal Reserve’s unusual efforts to stabilize the short-term money markets -- was a decade in the making, Liz Capo McCormick, Matthew Boesler and Craig Torres explain. There’s reason we should all pay more attention to the repurchase agreements, Rich Miller shows: It’s a more-than-trillion-dollar market that’s been overshadowed by the much smaller federal funds market, which holds claim to the Fed’s benchmark interest rate.Vietnam’s $5 Billion Plan to Neutralize Trump’s Tariff ThreatsU.S. Tariffs Spur China Interest in Thai Manufacturing Sites Colombia Looks to Asia to Diversify Its Exports Amid Trade WarVietnam is looking to defuse Trump’s ire around its trade-war gains with a $5 billion plan around buying American. In another angle on how supply chains are being reworked across Asia, the Bangkok bureau measured growing Chinese interest in Thai manufacturing sites. And Colombia is looking to boost trade with Asian countries as it seeks to protect itself amid ongoing tariff tensions, President Ivan Duque told us in an interview.Chinese Economy Weakens Across the Board, Early Indicators ShowIndia’s Animal Spirits Hushed as Consumer Demand Remains ElusiveGlum Germans Join Lower End of Bloomberg’s Trade TrackerA range of Bloomberg-created graphics are lending caution to the economic outlook for China, India, and global trade. Chinese early indicators are on the cooler end of the scale for a fifth month amid worsening in trade, factory prices and small business confidence. India’s growth looks to be little revived from a six-year low. And German business expectations are the latest gauge to turn south on our Trade Tracker.To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Jamrisko in Singapore at mjamrisko@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at skennedy4@bloomberg.net, Zoe SchneeweissFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    3D Printing Evolves From Fad To Standard Process In Truck Making

    Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is no longer a fad in truck manufacturing. Layering tiny particles of plastic, metal and composites to make objects from three-dimensional math data "is a tool in the toolbox," said Eric Starks, chief executive of FTR Transportation Intelligence. "When we started five or six years ago, we did have a lot of non-believers," said Adam Crowder, manager of advanced manufacturing technologies at Volvo's New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia.

  • Moody's

    Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc -- Moody's changes Aston Martin Lagonda's outlook to negative; assigns B3 to new secured notes

    Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today changed the outlook to negative from stable for Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc (Aston Martin Lagonda, company or AML) and Aston Martin Capital Holdings Limited. Concurrently, Moody's assigned a B3 instrument rating to Aston Martin Capital Holdings Limited's new $150 million senior secured notes. Moody's also affirmed the B3 corporate family rating (CFR) and B3-PD probability of default rating (PDR) of AML as well as the B3 ratings on the existing secured rated notes issued by Aston Martin Capital Holdings Limited.

  • NIO Is More China's WeWork Than Its Tesla Killer
    Bloomberg

    NIO Is More China's WeWork Than Its Tesla Killer

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Haven’t we seen this play before?NIO Inc., a Chinese electric-vehicle maker that was talked up as a potential Tesla Inc.-killer before its $1.15 billion initial public offering last year, is falling apart before our eyes.The stock fell 20% in the U.S. on Tuesday after the company reported a 3.29 billion yuan ($462 million) net loss in the second quarter on a gross margin of minus 33%. Those sorts of figures make Elon Musk’s company look like a staid and sensible investment.What’s most striking is that NIO is racking up these massive losses in spite of a business model that in theory ought to be far more efficient than conventional carmaking. In that sense, the better comparison isn’t Tesla, but WeWork – a company that pitched itself as a radically different technology play, only to be brought down to earth by the humdrum nature of operating in the real world.One thing that makes NIO unusual is that, as my colleague Anjani Trivedi has explained, it doesn’t actually make cars. Instead it takes 45,000 yuan deposits from customers, provides a drive-train, and contracts out the rest of the build process to Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp. On top of that, it doesn’t have a dealership network, instead selling cars through an app and a web of slick WeWork-style clubs, known as NIO Houses.In principle, that could result in efficient deployment of capital, but things start to look dicey when theory comes up against the reality of NIO’s spending habits. If you compare revenue over the past year to NIO’s tangible fixed assets, it has some of the worst capital efficiency in the global car industry. For a company that doesn’t own assembly plants, that’s a heroically bad performance.What’s going wrong? For starters, contract manufacturing isn’t as efficient as you might think. Even excluding the costs associated with recalling almost a fifth of the cars NIO has sold due to battery fires and overheating, the gross margin on vehicles was minus 4% in the second quarter.The real problems show up below the gross profit level, though. Given retail prices of around 450,000 yuan for the flagship ES8, the numbers are astonishing. Per-car R&D came to an additional 366,000 yuan; sales, general & administrative costs were 400,000 yuan on top of that. Together with its cost of sales, NIO is shelling out around 1.27 million yuan each for a vehicle that sells for barely a third as much.If anything, that situation is likely to get worse in the months ahead. NIO’s answer to the Tesla Model 3 – a car aimed at a more mass-market audience, with a lower price that erodes what little margin its costlier predecessors could claim – went on sale in June in the form of the ES6, with prices starting at 360,000 yuan. Government subsidies that amounted to 67,500 yuan per car last year have been staged down to 11,520 yuan. The result is that an ES6 bought now is only marginally cheaper than a fancier ES8 purchased last year.How can NIO turn this around? R&D should be treated as a down payment on future sales, so it’s to be expected that it makes up an oversize share of costs at the startup stage. The same can’t be said of SG&A, though. You could buy a very nice car for the roughly $57,000 of overhead on each vehicle sold in the second quarter. Based on 2018’s annual results only about a fifth of that is going on marketing (another expense that might be abnormally high at the startup stage). Eye-watering staff costs are a standout. NIO spent 4.11 billion yuan last year paying a workforce that reached 9,900 people in January. That averages out at compensation of 415,000 yuan per employee, more than three times the average white-collar salary in China’s tier-one cities. Plans to cut headcount to a target of 7,800 next week look like moving around the deckchairs on the Titanic.NIO’s unique selling point has always been that it could provide luxury electric vehicles in China at a price well below foreign SUV competitors. The problem is, the discount doesn’t appear to come from operational efficiencies, but from losing money on every car.The overhead is so immense that even were NIO to slash costs far more drastically than it’s anticipating and increase volumes dramatically – a bold bet, given the weakness in China’s car market and the reputational hit from its battery recall – there’s no clear path to profit. In the meantime, premium electric SUVs such as Daimler AG’s EQC and Volkswagen AG’s Audi e-tron will come to the market within months.Like WeWork, NIO was never really the capital-efficient technology company it purported to be. Instead, it was a brief attempt to carve out a space in the middle of the market by the very old-fashioned technique of selling at a loss. The crash could now be coming sooner rather than later. To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at dfickling@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Daimler Fined $960 Million to Settle Rigged Diesel-Car Probe

    (Bloomberg) -- German prosecutors fined Daimler AG 870 million euros ($960 million) for “negligent violation of supervisory duties” to settle a probe into selling rigged diesel cars.Prosecutors found the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars sold about 684,000 vehicles that didn’t completely comply with regulations on emissions of nitrogen oxides, according to statements from Stuttgart authorities and Daimler. The company agreed not to contest the verdict and confirmed its financial guidance.The fine is the latest fallout from heightened scrutiny in the aftermath of Volkswagen AG’s diesel-cheating scandal, which continues to reverberate across the German auto industry four years later. Volkswagen’s Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess and Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch on Tuesday were charged with market manipulation in Germany over allegations they failed to inform investors early enough about the rigged engines.Authorities in Stuttgart, Daimler’s hometown, opened proceedings earlier this year. Volkswagen’s Porsche unit in May settled for 535 million euros, and parts supplier Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to pay 90 million euros.Daimler, which has projected a “significant” decline in 2019 operating earnings, said the fine isn’t expected to result in a “relevant” drag on third-quarter earnings. In a profit warning in July, the company set aside about 1.6 billion euros to deal with diesel-related court proceedings. The provision came weeks after Ola Kallenius took over as chief executive officer.Daimler shares declined 0.7% to 45.94 euros at 3:26 p.m. in Frankfurt. (Adds additional details, share price)To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Reiter in Berlin at creiter2@bloomberg.net;Oliver Sachgau in Munich at osachgau@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Iain RogersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • German prosecutors fine Daimler almost $1 billion for breaking diesel rules
    Reuters

    German prosecutors fine Daimler almost $1 billion for breaking diesel rules

    Daimler will pay a fine of 870 million euros ($957 million) for breaking diesel emissions regulations, German prosecutors said on Tuesday. The maker of Mercedes-Benz cars said it would not appeal against the penalty and that it was keeping its earnings forecast unchanged. Prosecutors and regulators around the world have been investigating carmakers since Volkswagen's admission in 2015 that it cheated U.S. diesel pollution tests, which led to revelations of rule breaches by a number of manufacturers.

  • MarketWatch

    Daimler fined 870 million euros over emissions violations

    Daimler said it was fined 870 million euros ($957 million) by the Stuttgart public prosecutor in connection with deviations from regulatory requirements in certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Daimler said it was maintaining its earnings forecast. Der Spiegel had previously reported that Daimler was facing a fine of up to 1 billion euros for diesel emission-related violations. Daimler shares slipped 0.7% in Frankfurt trade.

  • Reuters

    Billions of euros, millions of jobs: Europe's carmakers warn on no-deal Brexit

    A month before Britain is due to quit the European Union, the bloc's car-makers have joined forces to warn of billions of euros in losses in the event of a no-deal Brexit with production stoppages costing 50,000 pounds a minute in Britain alone. Britain is scheduled to quit the EU on October 31 but businesses have grown increasingly concerned at Prime Minister Boris Johnson's apparent lack of progress towards a new withdrawal deal to replace the proposals of his predecessor Theresa May, which the British parliament rejected three times. In a statement, groups including the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and 17 national groups warned of the impact of "no-deal" on an industry which employs 13.8 million people in the European Union including Britain, or 6.1% of the workforce.

  • Reuters

    Germany to raise incentives for buying electric cars - climate policy document

    The German government will raise incentives for buying electric cars under its new climate plan, as well as raising road tolls for trucks from 2023 and pumping money into rail operator Deutsche Bahn, a climate policy document seen by Reuters showed.

  • Bloomberg

    Germany is Having an Existential Crisis About Cars

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- America’s automakers hit rock bottom in the eyes of the public when their executives went to Washington in 2008 to beg for a bailout — in corporate jets.Now it’s the German car industry’s turn to suffer an image crisis and, as with General Motors Co. and Chrysler a decade ago, it couldn’t be happening at a less auspicious moment. Amid trade wars and plunging China sales, the number of cars rolling off Germany’s production lines has dropped by 12% this year and exports by 14%. European auto sales fell 3% in the first eight months of 2019.(1) With demand expected to remain weak for a couple of years, the German parts supplier Continental AG isn’t ruling out cuts to working hours and jobs.It’s a bad time to be having a public relations nightmare too, but that is what’s happening in the country that invented the internal combustion engine. This month’s Frankfurt Motor Show was meant to give Germany’s mighty auto industry a platform to show off its expensive plans to build more electric vehicles.Instead, many international carmakers chose to stay away (some to save money) and Karl-Thomas Neumann, the ex-boss of Opel/Vauxhall, declared the event a “huge fail.” Compounding the misery, Daimler AG’s Mercedes, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG were upstaged by climate protesters who accused them of not doing enough to end their addiction to diesel and gasoline engines.Things had already got off to an ugly start. On the eve of the show four pedestrians were struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle in Berlin, prompting a fierce debate about the “social utility” of these gas-guzzling, tank-like cars. Featuring a picture of a Porsche SUV on its cover this week, Der Spiegel magazine declared a “new object of hate.” I’ve written before about the industry’s dependence on very profitable SUVs and the risk of a backlash.Meanwhile, the organization that one might usually expect to defend the German car giants — the VDA lobby group — was preoccupied with the abrupt resignation of its president, Bernhard Mattes. This fueled speculation that the industry was unhappy about its loss of political influence and increasing stigmatization.The German car industry provides more than 800,000 jobs in the country and it accounts for a big chunk of its manufacturing production and exports. Past governments fought hard to protect their industry crown jewel from troublesome regulations. That’s no longer always the case.First, the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal made it unwise for politicians to go easy on companies that put profits above public health. And second, Germans have become alarmed by climate change and the industry’s role in that. The average emissions of new vehicles sold(3) climbed for the second year in a row last year, in part because of SUV sales. That’s one reason why Germany is set to miss its 2020 carbon pollution reduction targets. Passenger cars account for about 11% of its greenhouse gas emissions.(2)Stringent European Union emission targets, and massive fines for non-compliance, have been put in place already. A German federal government led by the Greens (not unimaginable given the party’s poll surge) would be tougher still. After the deadly accident in Berlin, there were calls to ban SUVs from cities.The average age of a new car buyer in Germany has climbed to 53, suggesting that the industry may be looking at a difficult future. Yet claims that Germans have fallen out of love with the automobile feel overblown. They still bought about 3.4 million new vehicles last year, pretty decent by historic standards. About 95% of them had a combustion engine. More than one-quarter were SUVs. Nor does the government have any desire to kill its golden goose. Earlier this year officials rejected attempts by campaigners to mandate a speed limit on the autobahn.With this contradiction between the public’s anxiety about climate change and its fondness for big vehicles, it’s not surprising that the government and carmakers are struggling to keep everyone happy. Riding a bike and car-sharing have become a genuine alternative in cities such as Berlin. But for those who still feel they need a car, electric vehicles tend to be more expensive and their driving range can be limited (for now, at least). The climate package the German government is due to announce on Friday will doubtless try to address this by including more incentives for electric vehicles and infrastructure.As the industry wrestles with such epochal challenges, it helps that Germany’s automakers have all recently appointed new bosses. They’re far from united, however, on how aggressively to abandon the combustion engine. Volkswagen is going “all-in” on battery cars (it’s targeting 40% of electric sales by 2030), while BMW is more cautious. The latter thinks hydrogen fuel-cells might have a future, though VW isn’t a fan.Yet even VW plans to use the profit from selling large SUVs such as its three-row “Atlas” to fund investments in green alternatives.At last week’s show in Frankfurt, electric vehicles like the Porsche Taycan and Volkswagen ID3 sat alongside gas-guzzling monsters like the BMW X6 and Mercedes AMG GLE Coupe. With the climate crisis intensifying, the industry’s split personality is getting more incongruous and indefensible by the day.(1) It's not all bad - the German market has actually expanded slightly so far this year.(2) In terms of grams of CO2 per km(3) See hereTo contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Daimler Will Buy Electric Truck Battery Modules From Chinese Supplier CATL

    The Daimler Trucks & Buses unit of Daimler AG (DDAIF) will buy lithium-ion battery technology for its Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner and Fuso commercial electric trucks from Chinese supplier Contemporary ...

  • Reuters

    Germany gambles on green with carbon cap plan

    The German government is set to present a new climate-change policy on Friday that will likely include a carbon-pricing initiative to cap the use of fossil fuels in Europe's largest economy, where the Greens party is enjoying a surge in support. The plan - the world's largest experiment so far in capping carbon emissions from buildings and transportation - would require fossil fuel suppliers to buy certificates to trade, pushing up their costs, three sources familiar with the plan said.