DAI.DE - Daimler AG

XETRA - XETRA Delayed Price. Currency in EUR
46.24
-1.10 (-2.33%)
At close: 5:35PM CEST
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Previous Close47.35
Open47.05
Bid46.19 x 124500
Ask46.22 x 73800
Day's Range45.69 - 47.10
52 Week Range40.31 - 60.00
Volume4,426,046
Avg. Volume3,953,169
Market Cap49.468B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.15
PE Ratio (TTM)12.29
EPS (TTM)3.76
Earnings DateOct 24, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield3.25 (6.86%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-05-23
1y Target Est62.70
  • 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.

  • Reuters

    `Climate killer' protester rushes Merkel's stage at Frankfurt car show

    A climate change protester was bundled away by security staff on Thursday after he tried to rush across a stage where German Chancellor Angela Merkel was inspecting a new electric vehicle at Frankfurt's IAA car show. The exhibition, a staple of the global automotive calendar, has been the target of protests by environmentalist groups like Greenpeace and Sand in the Works because of the contribution Germany's vast car industry makes to climate change. A man in a T-shirt bearing Greenpeace's logo and the slogan "Climate Killer" was tackled to the floor by security guards as he attempted to cross the stage where Merkel stood listening to BMW chief Oliver Zipse present a new car.

  • Merkel Offers to Help Germany’s Carmakers With ‘Herculean Task’
    Bloomberg

    Merkel Offers to Help Germany’s Carmakers With ‘Herculean Task’

    (Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to help offset the higher costs of cleaner vehicles by putting a price on carbon-dioxide emissions, potentially offering a lift to Germany’s vital auto industry as it grapples with the high-risk transition away from the combustion engine.Germany and its automakers are facing a “Herculean task,” Merkel said Thursday at a ceremony opening the Frankfurt car show to the public. While short on specifics, the German leader backed efforts to encourage consumers to buy more environmentally friendly products such as battery-powered cars fueled by renewable power.“We want to direct the behavior of people in a certain direction,” she said. “The pricing of CO2 is the right way to make clear that all innovations should follow the goal of emitting less CO2. If we do this in a long-term and accountable way, there will be the incentives to move innovation in the right direction.”Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG are facing tough times. Pollution concerns -- intensified by VW’s 2015 diesel-cheating scandal -- have tarnished the industry’s image and triggered massive investment in electric vehicles. Those costs had already started squeezing earnings when almost a decade of uninterrupted industry growth led by China came to a halt. The consequence is Germany’s car production slumping to the lowest level since at least 2010.The looming end of the combustion-engine era and the dramatically-increasing importance of digital technologies in cars, pose an unprecedented threat to the industry’s traditional business model. A slew of profit warnings from manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler to parts makers like Continental AG provided fresh evidence that times have become rough.Merkel spoke after John Krafcik, the chief executive officer of Waymo. The Alphabet Inc. unit is widely regarded as the global leader in self-driving technology and represents a risk to the country’s car brands, which are largely focused on motoring thrills. Krafcik offered a cooperative tone, even though German manufacturers are wary of allowing the Google parent access to sensitive customer data.“It’s not about competing with car companies. It’s to enable, not disrupt companies in the automotive space,” said Krafcik. “Developing self-driving technology takes a lot of time. There are no shortcuts. We can’t do this on our own.”Germany is teetering on the brink of recession, and the auto industry is pivotal to the economy’s health. Carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW as well as parts suppliers like Robert Bosch GmbH and Continental employ about 830,000 people in the country and support everything from machine makers to advertising agencies and cleaning services.Germany’s auto industry is trying to respond. Electric cars, such as the flashy Porsche Taycan and more affordable VW ID.3, dominated media presentations this week at the Frankfurt trade fair and more models are in the pipeline.Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius backed Merkel’s CO2 pricing plan, saying at panel discussion in Frankfurt that there are costs related to fossil-fuels and it would make sense for a global plan to help fight climate change.For the auto industry, any signs of support would be welcome. Demand for electric cars has been sluggish, and Merkel had to surrender her goal to have 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020. Sales of hybrid and electric cars in the country last year totaled a mere 55,000 vehicles, or 1.6% of the market.In addition to boosting efficient technologies, the country needs to accelerate the roll-out of charging stations to ease consumer concerns, she said.“If one believes that climate protection is a task for mankind, and I believe it is, then we must pay this price because otherwise we will have to pay a totally different price,” Merkel said.(Adds comment from Daimler CEO in 10th paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.net;Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Chris Reiter, Raymond ColittFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    If Trump Wants New Iran Talks, He Needs New Goals Too

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump seems to be setting the stage for renewed talks with Iran over its nuclear program, raising the prospect of easing U.S. sanctions in exchange for a meeting with the Iranian president. Unless he reconsiders his goals for these negotiations, he’s going to make a serious mistake.After abrogating the nuclear deal that his predecessor signed with Iran in 2015, Trump has stated his basic conditions for a new one: “no nuclear weapons, no ballistic missiles and a longer period of time.” That last phrase is the problem. It refers to the “sunset provisions” included in the previous agreement that defined exactly when some of its key terms would expire, thus allowing Iran to resume enriching uranium to high levels.Almost as soon as the deal was signed, critics warned that these provisions would only defer Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons until 2030, when they were set to expire. President Barack Obama’s administration contended that, even if Iran were so inclined, it would take a year — what nuclear scientists call “breakout time” — to make a bomb. This, the Obama team thought, would be time enough for the world to pressure leaders in Tehran to desist.That timeline was hopelessly optimistic, as events have since shown. It has taken Iran mere weeks this summer to blow past the agreed-to limits on its stockpile of enriched uranium. It is now threatening to deploy more advanced centrifuges, greatly shrinking the time required to reach weapons-grade.Nor is there any doubt that Iran wants nuclear weapons. Abundant in oil and gas, it has no other rational reason for a nuclear program. A previous covert effort to make such weapons ended only when the regime was caught red-handed operating a secret uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy-water facility in Arak.Perhaps the biggest drawback of the sunset provisions was that they were shortsighted. By the time they kicked in, Iran would’ve had 15 years to collect hundreds of billions of dollars in oil revenue, build up its military strength, and boost its support for proxies like Hezbollah. The regime would be in a far stronger position to resist international sanctions, and a future American president would find it far harder to rally support, at home or abroad, for a punitive military operation.Iran would also be more deeply integrated into the world economy, greatly raising the cost to all nations of trying to rein it in. It’s hard to imagine Europe — by then used to selling Iran billions of dollars’ worth of Airbus passenger jets, Mirage fighters and Mercedes sedans — going along with any renewed sanctions, let alone a military campaign.It was for these reasons that Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first secretary of state, characterized the 2015 deal as “kicking the can down the road again for someone in the future to have to deal with.” Kicking it a little further, as Trump now proposes, would not make the deal stronger; it would give Iran still more time to build up a war chest and yet more leeway to make a breakout for nuclear weapons.In contrast, Iran right now is the weakest it has been in decades, and manifestly wilting under Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Rather than push for an extended sunset, Trump should hold out for a complete termination of Iran’s nuclear activities and an end to its other threatening behavior — such as its ballistic-missile program and its support for terrorist groups across the Middle East — in exchange for readmission into the world economy.This chance may never come again.\--Editors: Bobby Ghosh, Timothy Lavin.To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .Editorials are written by the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Electric Cars Are Here. Now How About Selling Them
    Bloomberg

    The Electric Cars Are Here. Now How About Selling Them

    (Bloomberg) -- It only took a decade for traditional automakers to take electric cars seriously and offer more than a smattering of test-the-water models.Now comes the hard part: Getting consumers to buy them.At Frankfurt’s 2019 car show, Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess laid it on thick, calling on governments to give up coal-fired power as he unveiled the electric ID.3 car-for-the-masses. At the Mercedes-Benz stand, where the Daimler AG brand was showing the prototype of an electric S-Class sibling, real beech trees framed massive screens displaying schools of digital fish.The message to environmentally conscious consumers: we’re with you. But a marketing blitz alone won’t wash away the deep uncertainties facing electric cars -- obstacles little changed since carmakers’ initial forays with models like the Nissan Leaf and BMW AG i3. Customers don’t like paying up for new technology they’re unsure about, and they’re worried they won’t reliably get to where they want to go.“The next big thing is not going to be about the cars, because they will come,” Carlos Tavares, president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and CEO of Groupe PSA, said Wednesday. “The next big thing is about affordable mobility. The next big thing is about how we make this work for the biggest number of people.”So far, electric cars have only proliferated in countries with significant sweeteners. Once they go, sales of battery models crater. Demand in China, the world’s biggest electric car market, fell 16% in August -- its second straight decline -- after the government scaled back subsidies. Carmakers can reduce prices, but then only cut into profitability that in most cases has been nonexistent.Consumers are similarly sensitive elsewhere. Demand in Denmark collapsed when the government phased out tax breaks in 2016.“We’ve been talking about EVs for years, but this year the real production cars showed up,” Max Warburton, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, wrote in a note. “Should we be celebrating these cars, given the poor margins that most will have?”Across Europe, sales of new plug-in hybrids and fully-electric cars last year made up 2% of total registrations. That’s a tiny market to tussle over for the likes of VW’s ID.3, with a price point below 30,000 euros ($33,009), Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 and Mercedes’s gleaming lineup of plug-ins. Yet carmakers have little choice but to boost their offering to keep pace with regulation, or face fines.Consumer demand “can’t be mandated,” Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said at the show. Mercedes-Benz is adding at least 10 purely battery-powered cars through 2022 at a cost of more than 10 billion euros, starting with last year’s EQC SUV, so the carmaker’s lineup can to meet stricter emission limits.A lot of factors are moving in the right direction. The ID.3’s price point and basic range of 330 kilometers (205 miles) sets the car apart from previous efforts that needed meticulous pre-planning for longer trips. At the top end, there’s now the $185,000 Porsche Taycan Turbo S, and a mid-range that’s rapidly filling out from SUVs like the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron.Patchy charging infrastructure is improving too. Ionity, a consortium of Daimler, VW, Ford Motor Co., BMW and now Hyundai Motor Co., is on track to finish building a network of 400 European fast-charging stations by next year to make long-distance travel easier.Lean YearsFor carmakers, this will mean some lean years -- at least to 2025 when battery prices are expected to come down -- during which lucrative conventional SUVs must subsidize poor returns from their electric cousins. VW will need “patience” until the ID.3 brings significant profit “joy,” Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said.To bridge the gap, the industry is lobbying hard for governments to step up incentives to get to the oft-cited tipping point where driving without a combustion engine becomes normal. In Germany, home to VW, Mercedes and BMW as well as world-leading suppliers like Continental AG, the government sits down next week to discuss broad climate measures. Carmakers are hoping for a bigger slice of subsidies than they got so far.The ACEA on Wednesday called on national governments to boost charging points in Europe to 2.8 million by 2030, a 20-fold increase from 2018.“We need strong support, because if we don’t do it,” simply offering electric cars won’t be enough for sales to take off, PSA’s Tavares said.\--With assistance from Richard Weiss.To contact the reporters on this story: Oliver Sachgau in Munich at osachgau@bloomberg.net;Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Elisabeth BehrmannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Daimler Self-Driving Truck Seen in Virginia
    Market Realist

    Daimler Self-Driving Truck Seen in Virginia

    Daimler (DDAIF) Trucks, along with Torc Robotics, has tested its SAE level 4 self-driving trucks, which it's planning to launch commercially.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-China out in force at Frankfurt car show, led by battery builders

    Chinese suppliers and manufacturers have stepped up their presence at the Frankfurt auto show, capitalising on a strong position in electric technologies forced on European carmakers by regulators seeking to curb pollution. Europe's automakers face multibillion-euro investments to develop electric and autonomous cars, forcing them to rely on Chinese companies for key technologies such as lithium ion battery cell production, an area where Asian suppliers dominate.

  • Daimler to source battery cells from Farasis Energy
    Reuters

    Daimler to source battery cells from Farasis Energy

    Daimler has struck a deal to buy lithium ion battery cells from Farasis Energy, a Chinese-American supplier that is building a factory in east Germany to help Mercedes-Benz ramp up electric vehicle production, it said on Tuesday. Farasis is constructing the plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt region, Markus Schaefer, Daimler's board member responsible for research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development, said at the Frankfurt car show. "It will be a multiple gigawatt facility and it will supply cells for our battery plants in Kamenz, Bruehl and Sindelfingen," Schaefer said, adding that the energy needed to produce the battery cells will come from renewable sources.

  • Mercedes Unveils an Electric Sibling for Flagship S-Class
    Bloomberg

    Mercedes Unveils an Electric Sibling for Flagship S-Class

    (Bloomberg) -- Mercedes-Benz gave car buyers a glimpse of the top-end of its electric model plans, showing off a sleek silver battery-powered concept version to complement the flagship S-Class sedan.So far luxury cruisers have remained a mainstay for traditional combustion-era heroes, with only plug-in hybrids available for the likes of BMW 7-Series or the recently revamped Audi A8.Mercedes-maker Daimler AG’s plans for at least 10 purely battery-powered cars through 2022 will give the manufacturer the right lineup to meet stricter European emissions rules, Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius told reporters in Frankfurt. However, meeting the targets was a “substantial challenge” because consumer demand “can’t be mandated.”The world’s bestselling luxury-car maker introduced the EQC electric sport utility vehicle last year, its first model to challenge U.S. electric-car market leader Tesla Inc. It followed up with a battery-powered version of the V-Class minivan this year and has shown a prototype EQA compact.The S-Class, favored by wealthy managers and politicians the world over, has for decades delivered premium profits to Mercedes. The future for stellar returns on powerful and heavy sedans is darkening with the need to cut fleet emissions, with heavy fines looming in Europe.Mercedes didn’t say when the car will be on sale, but outlined a real-world driving range of 700 kilometers (435 miles), and a battery that can charge to 80% in less than 20 minutes. The car also offers highly-automated driving on highways.The interior features traditional and new materials, like white microfiber made from plastic bottles combined with maple. The roof material is a textile created with recycled ocean waste.Daimler was one of the first manufacturers to warn of the growing headwinds triggered by the U.S.-Chinese trade spat. Homegrown problems have also beset the world’s biggest luxury carmaker, like production hiccups of the popular GLE SUV alongside growing regulatory scrutiny over its diesel emissions that have torpedoed the company’s earnings forecasts.(Updates with CEO comment in third paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Elisabeth Behrmann, Andrew BlackmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Daimler enlists computer game designers to encourage efficient driving
    Reuters

    Daimler enlists computer game designers to encourage efficient driving

    Daimler is hiring computer programmers to create games that encourage electric and hybrid vehicle owners to drive more efficiently, the company's research chief Markus Schaefer said on Tuesday. Mercedes vehicles have enough graphics processing power from their use of stereo cameras to also power sophisticated graphics, he said at the Frankfurt autoshow. "We have lots of employees from the gaming industry working on user interfaces," Schaefer said.

  • Reuters

    Automakers turn on style to try to switch SUV fans to electric

    Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are showcasing curvaceous, high-end electric sports cars at the Frankfurt auto show as part of an industry effort to counter Tesla, avert billions in European pollution fines and defuse complaints from climate activists. Germany's premium automakers are now marketing electric cars as their flagship models, a strategy which Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW hope will lure customers away from gas-guzzling SUVs that could soon land them with hefty fines under new EU emissions rules. “We have moved on from treating the electric car mainly as an engineering challenge.

  • Benzinga

    Daimler Trucks Begins Level 4 Autonomous Testing On Public Roads

    Daimler Trucks is testing high-automation trucks on public roads in Virginia, following through on a pledge to make Level 4 automation a reality this year. The subsidiary of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG accelerated its testing efforts through the purchase of 13-year-old software provider Torc Robotics in March. Daimler plans to commercially produce heavy-duty trucks that can drive themselves in most situations within the decade.

  • BMW & Co Are Losing Their Allure, and That’s Got Germany Worried
    Bloomberg

    BMW & Co Are Losing Their Allure, and That’s Got Germany Worried

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Germany is at a crossroads, and nowhere will that be more evident than at the Frankfurt auto show this week.Despite sleek new electric models like the Porsche Taycan, the traditional showcase of German automotive excellence risks becoming a platform for protest rather than preening, drawing attention to a generation of young consumers more likely to demonstrate against the car’s role in global warming than shop for a new VW, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.Autos have made Germany into a global manufacturing powerhouse, but pollution concerns -- intensified by Volkswagen AG’s 2015 diesel-cheating scandal -- have sullied the reputation of a product that once embodied individual freedom. More recently, trade woes and slowing economies have hit demand. The consequence is Germany’s car production slumping to the lowest level since at least 2010.“Investors have been fearful about the industry’s prospects for a number of years, and the list of things to worry about doesn’t seem to be getting shorter,” said Max Warburton, a London-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “There is a general sense that things are about to get worse.”The end of the combustion-engine era and car buyers more interested in data connectivity than horsepower threaten Germany’s spot at the top of the automotive pecking order. Signs of trouble abound. In addition to numerous profit warnings this year, Mercedes maker Daimler AG delayed a plan to expand capacity at a Hungarian factory, parts giant Continental AG has started talks to cut jobs, and automotive supplier Eisenmann filed for insolvency.The car’s fragile standing was evident in the reaction to a deadly accident in Berlin on Friday evening when a Porsche SUV crashed into a group of pedestrians. Stephan von Dassel, the mayor of the district where the incident took place, said on Twitter that “such tank-like vehicles” should be banned in the city.Germany is teetering on the brink of recession, and the auto industry is pivotal to the economy’s health. Carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW AG as well as parts suppliers like Robert Bosch GmbH and Continental employ about 830,000 people in the country and support everything from machine makers to advertising agencies and cleaning services. With factories from Portugal to Poland, the importance of the sector radiates across Europe as well.With emissions regulations set to tighten starting next year, concerns are mounting that companies across the country’s industrial landscape are ill-equipped to deal with the technology transition resulting from climate change and increasing levels of digitalization. IG Metall organized a demonstration in June, with more than 50,000 people rallying in Berlin, to draw attention to the risk of widespread layoffs from what Germany’s biggest industrial union calls “the transformation.”“Far too many companies stick their heads in the sand and rest on their laurels,” IG Metall Chairman Joerg Hofmann said. “If companies continue to act so defensively, they’re playing roulette with the futures of their workers.”The concern is that the future of Germany’s car towns could look something like Ruesselsheim. The home of the Opel brand, which once rivaled VW as the German leader, has faded along with the carmaker’s performance. After years of losses, it was sold in 2017 by General Motors Co. to France’s PSA Group, which is slashing the Opel’s 20,000-strong German workforce by nearly a fifth.“Everybody in Ruesselsheim is worried,” said Servet Ibrahimoglu, owner of a kebab restaurant down the street from Opel’s factory, adding that his business has dropped by a third. “Before at lunchtime, this place was full. Now there’s no one.”The auto industry’s efforts to adapt to the risks will be on display in Frankfurt, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for models like the VW ID.3. The battery-powered hatchback is the auto giant’s first effort in an aggressive push into electric cars, which will make its debut at the Germany’s premier auto exhibition.Under bright lights and blaring music, the show is a throwback to the auto industry’s glory days, but it’s fading as public interest in old-school car show wanes. Toyota, Volvo and Ferrari are among the 30 brands skipping the show. For those still there, the displays will predominantly feature traditional gas guzzlers and other cash cows. Land Rover will unveil a resurrected version of the Defender, the British brand’s iconic offroader.“Instead of presenting new mobility concepts for the future, we’ll see lots of SUVs on stands that have become few and far between,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Center for Automotive Research. “The recession in the global auto business is forcing savings cuts for car manufacturers and suppliers, along with a rapid loss of attractiveness of the classic ‘analog’ car shows.”Make or BreakWhere German brands once tried to outdo one another with outlandish displays like indoor tracks and multistory exhibition spaces, the main drama may take place outside Frankfurt’s sprawling fairgrounds. Greenpeace and Germany’s BUND have called for a mass march on the site on Saturday, joined by groups of cyclists setting off from around Frankfurt to underscore their call for the end of the combustion engine. Organizers are expecting at least 10,000 people. “We’re in the middle of a climate crisis,” said Marion Thiemann, transport-policy expert at Greenpeace. “The biggest problem is the automobile industry.”Despite doubts from environmentalists, automakers have gotten the message that they’re facing a make-or-break moment. The industry is spending billions of euros to develop cleaner vehicles and counter the emergence of ride-sharing services like Uber Technologies Inc., which has a market value equivalent to Daimler, the inventor of the automobile.“I’m absolutely convinced that carmakers will adapt to the situation,” BMW’s labor head Manfred Schoch said during a testy panel discussion with activists in Berlin last week. “Those that don’t will go out of business.”(Adds comment from activist in third-to-last paragraph)\--With assistance from Kristie Pladson, Andrew Blackman and William Wilkes.To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at crauwald@bloomberg.net;Carolynn Look in Frankfurt at clook4@bloomberg.net;Elisabeth Behrmann in Munich at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Christoph Rauwald, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Hyundai Motor joins European electric car charging venture Ionity

    Ionity, the European electric vehicle charging joint venture of Volkswagen, BMW , Daimler and Ford, said on Monday that South Korea's Hyundai Motor had joined as a shareholder. Ionity aims to install 400 high-speed charging stations across Europe by the end of next year in a bid to combat concerns about the range of electric vehicles, which is still considered a key factor limiting demand.

  • Geely to bring air taxis to China in tie-up with Daimler-backed Volocopter
    Reuters

    Geely to bring air taxis to China in tie-up with Daimler-backed Volocopter

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    Yahoo Finance

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