DMLRY - Daimler AG

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Previous Close10.44
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's Range10.96 - 11.21
52 Week Range5.61 - 14.93
Avg. Volume415,565
Market Cap47.237B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.68
PE Ratio (TTM)4.49
EPS (TTM)2.47
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateApr 02, 2020
1y Target EstN/A
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  • Reuters

    German auto stimulus to boost VW's electric push

    Germany unveiled sweeping incentives for cheap electric cars and for hybrid vehicles, providing a boost to Volkswagen's electric push while staggered taxes for polluting combustion-engined cars will penalise sports utility vehicles. Buyer incentives for passenger cars, including a lowering of value added tax to 16% from 19% were included as part of a 130 billion euro ($145.74 billion) stimulus package to speed up Germany's recovery from the coronavirus. In addition to a staggered tax on vehicles emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), hitting sports utility vehicles, Germany included a 6,000 euro incentive for battery electric cars costing below 40,000 euros.

  • Reuters

    European shares inch lower ahead of ECB meeting, carmakers drag

    A European stock market rally paused on Thursday, with investors focussing on a European Central Bank meeting where policymakers are expected to provide more aid for the battered euro zone economy. The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.5% by 0708 GMT, but held near its early March highs, while eurozone stocks were down 0.6%. Equity markets have bounced strongly this week, with Wall Street's tech-heavy Nasdaq nearing record levels as signs of recovery from a coronavirus-forced recession, optimism over a COVID-19 vaccine and hopes of more stimulus boosted risk appetite.

  • Reuters

    German carmakers become more upbeat about exports, production - Ifo

    German carmakers became more optimistic about their prospects for production and exports in May, a survey by the Ifo economic institute showed on Wednesday, a ray of hope for the sector that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Reuters

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks set to gain as stimulus hopes support risk appetite

    Asian stocks were poised to follow the global rally on Wednesday as hopes of more government stimulus bolstered riskier assets and overshadowed a host of other worries from the coronavirus to Hong Kong and growing U.S. civil unrest. Gold is still up more than 18% from a low of $1,450.98 in March because of the economic damage from the pandemic and the massive amounts of money coming from central banks.

  • Moody's

    Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty. Ltd -- Moody's confirms Daimler's A3 ratings; Outlook negative

    Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") confirmed the A3 long term issuer rating of Daimler AG (Daimler); the outlook changed to negative from ratings under review. The confirmation of Daimler's ratings at the A3 level primarily reflects our expectation of the group's ability to recover financial metrics appropriate for its rating by 2022. The automotive downturn brought on by the coronavirus will cause a pronounced weakening in Daimler's credit metrics.

  • Reuters

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares cruise to three-month highs, dollar under protest pressure

    U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to use force to end violent protests and reports that China had ordered U.S. soybean purchases to be halted had caused a brief wobble in Wall Street futures, but Europe got shares back on track. The euro hit a two-and-a-half-month high too as the dollar struggled with its home-grown strains, and Italian and Spanish bonds were still being helped by a proposed 750 billion-euro EU stimulus plan and European Central Bank buying. "Even with these rising protests in the U.S. and the situation in Hong Kong at the moment, the market is pushing on and seeing room for optimism."

  • Reuters

    German coalition parties wrestle over cash incentives to buy new cars

    Germany's Social Democrats expect difficult talks with their coalition partners, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, on a stimulus package as they want cash incentives to buy a new car to exclude combustion engine vehicles, the SPD's co-leader said. "It will take a long time and probably will not end today," Norbert Walter-Borjans said after an SPD spokeswoman said that a final decision on the stimulus package would be postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday.

  • Reuters

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares cruise to three-month highs, dollar shows the strain

    U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to use force to end violent protests in American cities and reports that China had ordered U.S. soybean purchases to be halted had caused a brief wobble in Wall Street futures, but Europe got shares back on track. The euro hit a two-and-a-half-month high too as the dollar struggled with its home-grown strains, and Italian and Spanish bonds were still being helped by a proposed 750 billion-euro EU stimulus plan and European Central Bank buying. "Even with these rising protests in the U.S. and the situation in Hong Kong at the moment, the market is pushing on and seeing room for optimism."

  • Reuters

    European shares near 3-month high; Lufthansa lifts Germany

    European shares inched closer to a three-month high on Tuesday on optimism around a post-coronavirus economic recovery, with German stocks buoyed by a jump for Lufthansa. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 1% in early deals to hit its highest level since March 9. Lufthansa surged 7.5% as its supervisory board approved a 9 billion euro ($10 billion) government bailout for the airline, driving Frankfurt-listed shares up 2.6% to its peak since March 5.

  • Bloomberg

    Why Is Beijing Bailing Out Car Inc.?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Famed investor Carl Icahn couldn’t save an American emblem, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. So why does a Beijing-backed enterprise think it can rescue China’s largest car rental company?   With its prospects for fresh capital dimming, Car Inc., which shares a chairman with scandal-hit Luckin Coffee Inc., says it’s selling a stake to Beijing Automotive Group Co., the Chinese joint venture partner for Daimler AG-owned Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai Motor Co. BAIC plans to buy up to 21.26%, or a maximum 450.8 million shares, the entire ownership of parent UCAR Inc. That would make the state-owned entity the second-largest shareholder behind Legend Holdings, parent of computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. Another agreement that was in the works between UCAR and a vehicle linked to private equity giant Warburg Pincus LLC will be terminated. Investors cheered Monday’s news, with the stocks and bonds rising from near rock-bottom. The sale would help sever ties between Car Inc. and Luckin and, in theory, reduce further fallout from the scandal engulfing the coffee chain and Chairman Charles Lu Zhengyao that has riled regulators. But the rescue doesn’t make much strategic or financial sense for either Car Inc. or BAIC.The last thing BAIC needs in the current auto market, which was sagging even before the pandemic, is the stress of a troubled rental company and all the strings attached. The auto giant’s first-quarter results showed that net profit declined 95% on year. The local Beijing brand posted a loss of 1.4 billion yuan ($196 million). Mercedes-Benz was better off because premium-segment demand has held up. Sales volume halved on the Hyundai side. BAIC is already playing rescuer elsewhere, bolstering dealerships with financial support like payable extensions, interest waivers and higher subsidies.What BAIC will —  or can — do for Car Inc. through such an arrangement is unclear. The company may end up being a sink for BAIC. The rental business relies heavily on financing and needs capital with high costs on vehicle acquisitions and other such operations. UCAR, the parent, has also been a source of revenue for Car Inc. through fleets; what happens to those relationships once ties are cut will be in doubt. Car Inc. has to deal with the residual value of its cars because in China, manufacturers don't offer guaranteed depreciation or repurchase programs. The company also has guaranteed subsidiary borrower loans onshore along with other shadow financing arrangements. It will be on the hook if there are any defaults. The rental company’s future, with or without a savior, was already up in the air. Moody’s Investors Services expects its leverage ratio to rise over the next 12 months as revenues and demand fall. The cancelled sale of the second tranche of shares to Warburg would have made the firm Car Inc.’s largest shareholder, and could have eased worries about governance and capital shortages, according to S&P Global Intelligence. UCAR sold the first portion — a 4.65% stake — in April to the U.S. firm.This raises several questions for Car Inc. bondholders should BAIC eventually buy the entire stake. UCAR had pledged the shares as collateral for some loans last June. Now, there’s the risk of a change of control event and accelerated debt repayments. Any modifications to the ownership, that is, if the cumulative stakes of major shareholders fall below a 35% threshold, would trigger the clause.There are other considerations. Does Daimler want a part of this? The German company owns 30% of BAIC’s Hong Kong-listed shares. The stake sale, if completed, could open it up to the risk of helping Car Inc. That may weigh on its Chinese partners’ financial standing domestically if Daimler is pushed to support the rental firm’s business.It’s one thing to bail out a good company with a bad balance sheet. But Beijing’s modus operandi of rescuing all companies and banks lands it just where it doesn’t want to be: holding the bag for many bad actors. Consider this: In March last year, UCAR took a 67% stake in an entity related to BAIC through a complicated transaction. It still hasn’t fully paid back the equity portion, according to local media reports. It also owes principal and interest payments. Perhaps this is the way in to get some money back? Either way, this bailout looks wrong. The imminent arrival of a white knight does little in the way of reorganizing or fixing this business; it just shifts around liabilities and a web of ties. Investors shouldn’t rejoice too soon.  This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal. For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    FEATURE-Workers nervously eye return to Lear's coronavirus-hit plant in Mexico

    Lear Corp is implementing costly safety measures that may hurt productivity at its operations in Mexico after suffering the deadliest known factory-related coronavirus outbreak in the Americas, but the U.S. auto parts maker still faces a battle to win back workers' trust. The northern Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez remains in the throes of the pandemic as it mourns the deaths of numerous factory workers, including 20 from Lear's Rio Bravo plant, which makes trim seat covers for Mercedes-Benz and Ford. "I don't think you'll find anyone who says they're not scared," Alma Sonia Trevizo, an employee at the Rio Bravo plant, told Reuters while on a break from safety training ahead of its planned June 1 partial restart.

  • Naomi Osaka overtakes Serena Williams as the highest paid female athlete in the world

    Naomi Osaka overtakes Serena Williams as the highest paid female athlete in the world

    Roger Federer is the highest paid athlete in the world for the first time, with over $106 million in earnings this year, according to Forbes’s annual list.

  • Merkel Is Seizing Her Chance to Revolutionize Germany’s Economy

    Merkel Is Seizing Her Chance to Revolutionize Germany’s Economy

    (Bloomberg) -- On a gloomy Friday in March, with the devastation of the coronavirus becoming clear, senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government realized that extraordinary measures were needed to shore up Europe’s largest economy.At breakneck speed, aides based at the Economy Ministry’s former Prussian estate on the Spree river in Berlin pulled together a rescue program totaling 600 billion euros ($660 billion) to prevent a collapse.With infection rates surging and stringent restrictions on people and businesses, there was little time for debate and no serious opposition. Yet behind the feverish crisis management was a deeper strategy that had been months in the making.It had already been rejected as too radical for the political and business establishment when first proposed last year. But with the crisis as a catalyst, the package passed cabinet the following Monday and was law by the end of the week. It puts Merkel in charge of the most dramatic re-engineering of the German economy since post-war reconstruction.By the time she’s finished, the chancellor will have installed a kind of state capitalism in Germany that borrows heavily from France and is even informed by China’s success. It will give officials in Berlin new powers to intervene in the economy: they’ll be picking winners and losers, seeding new industries and grooming national champions. Buying stakes in companies is no longer taboo, and the touchstone balanced-budget policy has been jettisoned to unleash the full power of the German balance sheet.In other words, this week’s landmark 9 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) bailout of Deutsche Lufthansa AG — including the government’s 20% stake and the right to block unwanted takeovers — is only the beginning. More than just securing Germany’s air links to the outside world, the deal sets down a marker for how the Merkel administration intends the economy to be run in the post-pandemic era.The package was approved by Germany’s brand new WSF Economic Stability Fund, which includes 100 billion euros of taxpayer money to directly invest in and even buy out companies. The fund was created during that hectic weekend in March, but its origins and the broader strategy behind it were sketched out more than a year ago by Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.Spurred by leading German executives’ alarm about the country’s struggles against foreign competition, Merkel’s former chief of staff took it into his own hands to craft a response. Writing some of the passages himself, he presented the resulting policy paper in February 2019 — long before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19.His industrial strategy called for enhanced government authority to invest in technology such as artificial intelligence, battery cells and clean energy. He wanted closer ties with industry to nurture homegrown global players.The country will go “from a bystander of a process that’s already in full swing in the U.S. and China into a shaper,” he said at the presentation.The effort was buried in an avalanche of criticism.Germany’s powerful Mittelstand of family-owned manufacturers attacked it as a paean to big business, while lawmakers from Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union made it clear that they weren’t ready to give the government that much power. European partners also fretted about the protectionist, Germany First undertones.Altmaier was forced to back down and in November presented a watered-down version — called “Made in Germany: Industriestrategie 2030.” The initiative was dead, until the coronavirus changed the game.The new approach shows a country that is ready to make bold bets on its economic future, but true to Germany’s frugal traditions. In the Lufthansa deal, the administration —  still battling with the European Commission for approval — is paying less than one-third the market price for its stake, which can be raised to 25% plus one share if the airline doesn’t pay a guaranteed dividend on the bulk of the funding.“We have sent a convincing signal of support for the free-market economy. But this is also a signal that the German government is willing to defend the technological and economic sovereignty of this country,” Altmaier said after announcing the bailout.Contours of the strategy will become more visible in early June, when Merkel’s administration unveils a much-anticipated economic stimulus plan.Read more: Merkel’s Stimulus Sequel May Total as Much as 100 Billion EurosAnother sign of the government’s determination to change things up is the one industry that will come up short: autos.Germany’s powerful carmakers were the main beneficiaries of stimulus spending after the financial crisis. There will likely be some incentives for car purchases this time, but Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG won’t get another sweeping cash-for-clunkers program that bolsters profitable conventional vehicles alongside electrics.In fact, Merkel canceled a meeting with leading representatives of Germany’s car industry scheduled for next Tuesday due to disagreements over the package. She has bristled at auto executives’ demands for the taxpayer to come to their rescue — a surprising snub from the so-called “auto chancellor.”When she announced an end to stringent restrictions on the public earlier this month, she told the car companies they would have to pitch for funds like everyone else, making them sound more like startups rather than the titans of the German economy.“It’s not like you can only talk about a restart of the economy if the state gives more money,” she said. “We will indeed need a stimulus program, but the initiative must come from the companies.”The spending plan is only one piece of the puzzle. Strategic programs are either already under way or in the works, including measures to protect companies against foreign competition, to reduce dependence on overseas supply chains and to prop up local industry.Key Pillars of Merkel’s Activist Strategy100 billion-euro fund to buy stakes in companies, to be increased if needed; German states encouraged to set up similar funds to safeguard local champions Takeover controls are being extended to give the government authority to block foreign purchases for “potential interference” Seeding burgeoning industries like artificial intelligence, battery-cell production and clean energy; promoting local suppliers to reduce reliance on companies outside the EUIt’s a unique opportunity for Merkel to atone for past mistakes. Even before the pandemic hit, Germany was stumbling. A reliance on carbon-intensive technologies, a spotty national digital network and a plodding bureaucracy revealed cracks in the chancellor’s management of the country’s export machine.After the financial crisis, her strategy had been simply to steady the ship and get out of the way. But the world has changed significantly since then.The transatlantic partnership with the U.S. has frayed under President Donald Trump, and China is targeting Germany’s position as the world leader in advanced manufacturing. Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative — an infrastructure program that ends at the inland port of Duisburg in Germany’s industrial Ruhr Valley — seeks to extend the country’s influence deep into Europe.The Asian power has also been buying up German businesses including industrial-robot maker Kuka AG, and Chinese billionaire Li Shufu is the biggest shareholder in Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler. The concerns have caused Merkel to clash with European Union, demanding takeover law be changed to reflect global competition rather than focusing on the impact within the bloc. And they have inspired the more protectionist provisions in Altmaier’s plan.Read More: Merkel Says EU Antitrust Rules Are Naive About Threat of ChinaEchoes of the activist strategy were there too in the proposal presented by Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to backstop a European Union recovery fund. That plan included policies for an ambitious overhaul of the bloc’s economy as well as looser state-aid rules to help foster the creation of larger and greener companies.“We have seen that others, whether the United States of America, South Korea, Japan or China, have relied very heavily on global champions,” Merkel said. “I believe that this approach is the necessary answer.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Mitsubishi Fuso Ending Truck Sales In US And Canada

    Mitsubishi Fuso Ending Truck Sales In US And Canada

    Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) will stop selling Class 4-5 medium-duty trucks in the U.S. and Canada when it runs out of inventory, but it will continue providing parts and service for customers through at least 2028.Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. (MFTBC), which manufactures commercial vehicles in Asia, announced the move Wednesday after making the decision on Tuesday. MFTBC is a brand of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler Trucks."The decision itself was sudden," Bryan Allen, MFTA marketing manager, told FreightWaves.Mitsubishi Fuso accounts for less than 5% of the U.S.-Canada medium-duty truck market, Allen said. It sold a total of 1,400 gas and diesel trucks in the U.S. and Canada in 2019, according to IHS Markit.MFTA will keep most of its 74 Logan Township, New Jersey-based corporate employees in the near term, as well as its headquarters and parts distribution and technical training centers. The fate of 137 sales locations is up to their independent franchisees, Some will convert to parts and service stores, Allen said. Mitsubishi Fuso has 52 stand-alone service outlets.Though its reporting structure is through Daimler Trucks Asia, Mitsubishi Fuso's electric eCanter was included in the Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) electric truck portfolio that includes the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 medium-duty straight truck. Globally, about 150 eCanter trucks are in operation under short-term leases, Allen said."We will continue to support those customers until the leases end," he said.The remaining inventory consists of Fuso FE Gas trucks introduced in 2019 specifically for the U.S. and Canada following the discontinuation of a diesel model after the 2018 model year. A few diesel models remain for sale."It's a very competitive market," Allen said. "MFTBC found it nonviable to invest in products specific to the U.S. and Canada."The timing of the decision surprised IHS analyst Antti Lindstrom."I don't quite understand why now because the COVID thing doesn't seem to have anything to do with it," Lindstrom told FreightWaves. "Maybe it's got something to do with Daimler's own branding. It's a little odd that they would have this small brand in this large market that doesn't have a lot of success."Mitsubishi Fuso faced new competition from medium-duty electric truck makers like BYD and Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS). DTNA's Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) unit unveiled its MT50 electric chassis for production this year."Everybody is looking at that delivery segment from the distribution center to the final consumer," Lindstrom said. "Others have much larger volumes."Photo: Misubishi FusoSee more from Benzinga * A Tale Of Two Cities And How They're Welcoming Trucking Facilities * Getting Crews On And Off Ships And Airplanes * US Rail Volumes Rise On A Week-To-Week Basis(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Costly Electric Vehicles Confront a Harsh Coronavirus Reality

    Costly Electric Vehicles Confront a Harsh Coronavirus Reality

    (Bloomberg) -- At a factory near Germany’s border with the Czech Republic, Volkswagen AG’s ambitious strategy to become the global leader in electric vehicles is coming up against the reality of manufacturing during a pandemic.The Zwickau assembly lines, which produce the soon-to-be released ID.3 electric hatchback, are the centerpiece of a plan by the world’s biggest automaker to spend 33 billion euros ($36 billion) by 2024 developing and building EVs. At the site, where an East German automaker built the diminutive Trabant during the Cold War, VW eventually wants to churn out as many as 330,000 cars annually. That would make Zwickau one of Europe’s largest electric-car factories—and help the company overtake Tesla Inc. in selling next-generation vehicles.But Covid-19 is putting VW’s and other automakers’ electric ambitions at risk. The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic has pushed the auto industry, among others, to near-collapse, emptying showrooms and shutting factories. As job losses mount, big-ticket purchases are firmly out of reach—in the U.S., where Tesla is cutting prices, more than 36 million people have filed for unemployment since mid-March. Also, the plunge in oil prices is making gasoline-powered vehicles more attractive, and some cash-strapped governments are less able to offer subsidies to promote new technologies.Even before the crisis, automakers had to contend with an extended downturn in China, the world’s biggest auto market, where about half of all passenger EVs are sold. Total auto sales in China declined the past two years amid a slowing economy, escalating trade tensions, and stricter emission regulations. EV sales are forecast to fall to 932,000 this year, down 14% from 2019, according to BloombergNEF. The drop-off is expected to stretch into a third year as China's leaders have abandoned their traditional practice of setting an annual target for economic growth, citing uncertainties. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect just 1.8% GDP growth this year.The global market contraction raises the prospect of casualties. French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has warned that Renault SA, an early adopter of electric cars with models like the Zoe,  could “disappear” without state aid. Even Toyota Motor Corp., a hybrid pioneer when it first introduced the Prius hatchback in 1997, is under pressure. The Japanese manufacturer expects profits to tumble to the lowest level in almost a decade.Automakers who for years have invested heavily in a shift to a high-tech future—including autonomous vehicles and other alternative energy-based forms of transportation such as hydrogen—now face a grim test. Do their pre-pandemic plans to build and sell electric cars at a profit have any chance of succeeding in a vastly changed economic climate? Even as Covid-19 has obliterated demand, for the car makers most committed to electric, there’s no turning back.“We all have a historic task to accomplish,” Thomas Ulbrich, who runs Volkswagen’s EV business, said when assembly lines restarted on April 23, “to protect the health of our employees—and at the same time get business back on track responsibly.”Volkswagen Pushes AheadGlobal EV sales will shrink this year, falling 18% to about 1.7 million units, according to BloombergNEF, although they’re likely to return to growth over the next four years, topping 6.9 million by 2024. “The general trend toward electric vehicles is set to continue, but the economic conditions of the next two to three years will be tough,” said Marcus Berret, managing director at consultancy Roland Berger.Volkswagen’s Zwickau facility became the first auto plant in Germany to resume production after a nationwide lockdown started in March. Before restarting, the company crafted a detailed list of about 100 safety measures for employees, requiring them to, among other things, wear masks and protective gear if they can’t adhere to social-distancing rules.The cautious approach has reduced capacity—50 cars per day initially rolled off the Zwickau assembly line, roughly a third of what the plant manufactured before the coronavirus crisis. (VW said Wednesday that daily output had  risen to 150 vehicles, with a plan to reach 225 next month.) Persistent software problems also have plagued development of the ID.3, one of 70 new electric models VW group is looking to bring to market in the coming years. Still, Ulbrich and VW CEO Herbert Diess over the past three months have reaffirmed Volkswagen’s commitment to electrification. “My new working week starts together with Thomas Ulbrich at the wheel of a Volkswagen ID.3 - our most important project to meet the European CO2-targets in 2020 and 2021,” Diess wrote in a post on LinkedIn in April. “We are fighting hard to keep our timeline for the launches to come.”Diess has described the ID.3 as “an electric car for the people that will move electric mobility from niche to mainstream.” Pre-Covid, the company had anticipated that 2020 would be the year it would prove its massive investments and years of planning for electric and hybrid models would start to pay off.A more pressing worry that could hamper VW’s ability to scale up production is its existing inventory of unsold vehicles. The cars need to move to make room for new releases, but sales are down as consumers are tightening their spending. One response has been to offer improved financing in Germany, including optional rate protection should buyers lose their jobs. VW also has adopted new sales strategies first used by its Chinese operations, such as delivering disinfected cars to customer homes for test drives, and expanding online commerce.Other German automakers are similarly pushing ahead with EV plans. Daimler AG is sticking to a plan to flank an electric SUV with a battery-powered van and a compact later this year. BMW AG plans to introduce the SUV-size iNEXT in 2021 as well as the i4, a sedan seeking to challenge Tesla’s best-selling Model 3.A potential obstacle for all these companies—apart from still patchy charging infrastructure in many markets—is the availability of batteries. Supply bottlenecks appear inevitable given that the number of electric car projects across the industry outstrip global battery production capacity. And boosting cell manufacturing is a complicated task.China's (Weakened) EV Dominance For VW and others, the first big test of EVs’ appeal in a Covid-19 world will come in China. Diess has referred to China as “the engine of success for Volkswagen AG.” VW group deliveries returned to growth year-on-year last month in China, while all other major markets declined.Not long ago, China appeared to be leading the world toward an electric future. As part of President Xi Jinping’s goal to make the country an industrial superpower by 2025, the government implemented policies that would boost sales of EVs and help domestic automakers become globally competitive, not just in electric passenger cars but buses, too.With the outbreak seemingly under control in much of the country, China is seeing some buyers return to the showrooms, but demand for passenger cars is likely to fall for the third year in a row, putting startups like NIO Inc.  at risk and hurting more-established players like Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co., which suffered from a 40% year-on-year vehicle sales decline in the first four months of 2020.The Chinese auto market may shrink as much as 25% this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, which before the pandemic had been expecting a 2% decline. EV sales fell by more than one-third in the second half of 2019.NIO, the Shanghai-based startup that raised about $1 billion from a New York Stock Exchange initial public offering in 2018 but lost more than 11 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) last year, was thrown a much-needed lifeline when a group of investors, including a local government in China’s Anhui Province, offered 7 billion yuan last month.Other Chinese manufacturers are counting on support from the government, too, including tax breaks and an extension to 2022 of subsidies, originally scheduled to end this year, to make EVs more affordable.For now, the government will also look to help makers of internal combustion engine vehicles, at least during the worst of the crisis, said Jing Yang, director of corporate research in Shanghai with Fitch Ratings. But, she said, “over the medium-to-long term, the focus will still be on the EV side.”America is Tesla CountryCompanies can’t count on that same level of support from President Donald Trump in the U.S., where consumers who love their SUVs and pickup trucks have largely steered clear of electric vehicles other than Tesla’s.The U.S. lags China and Europe in promoting the production and sale of EVs, and that gap may widen now that Americans can buy gas for less than $2 a gallon.“When you’re digging out of this crisis, you’re not going to try to do that with unprofitable and low-volume products, which are EVs,” said Kevin Tynan, a senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.Weeks after announcing plans to launch EVs for each of its brands, General Motors Co. delayed the unveiling of the Cadillac Lyriq EV originally planned for April. Then on April 29, the company said it would put off the scheduled May introduction of a new Hummer EV. The models are part of CEO Mary Barra’s strategy to spend $20 billion on electrification and autonomous driving by 2025, to try to close the gap with Tesla.In another move aimed at winning over Tesla buyers, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its electric Mustang Mach-E last November at a splashy event ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The highly anticipated model had been scheduled to debut this year. Ford has not officially postponed the release, but the company has said all launches will be delayed by about two months, potentially pushing the Mach-E into 2021.Elon Musk, whose cars dominate the U.S. electric market, cut prices by thousands of dollars overnight. The Model 3 is now $2,000 cheaper, starting at $37,990. The Model S and Model X each dropped $5,000.Musk engaged in a high-profile fight with California officials this month over Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, which had been closed by shutdown orders Musk slammed as “fascist.”  In a May 11 tweet, he said the company was reopening the plant in defiance of county policy. On May 16, Tesla told employees it had received official approval.During most of the shutdown in California, the company managed to keep producing some cars thanks to better relations with local officials regulating its other factory, in Shanghai. That plant closed as the virus spread from Wuhan in late January, but the local government helped it reopen a few weeks later in early February.First Zwickau, Then the WorldThe ID.3’s new electric underpinning, dubbed MEB, is key to VW’s strategy to sell battery-powered cars on a global scale at prices that will be competitive with similar combustion-engine vehicles. Automakers typically rely on such platforms to achieve economies of scale and, ultimately, profits. MEB will be applied to purely electric vehicles across all of the company’s mass-market brands, including Skoda and Seat.VW said it spent $7 billion developing MEB after Ford last year agreed to use the technology for one of its European models. Separately, the group’s Audi and Porsche brands are built on a dedicated EV platform for luxury cars that the company says will be vital in narrowing the gap with Tesla.VW plans to escalate its electric-car push by adding two factories, near Shanghai and Shenzhen, that it says could eventually roll out 600,000 cars annually, more cars than Tesla delivered globally last year.While China is the initial goal, making a dent in Europe and the U.S. is the long-term one. Like China, Europe had been tightening emissions regulations significantly before the pandemic. New rules to reduce fleet emissions will gradually start to take effect this year, effectively forcing most manufacturers to sell plug-in hybrids and purely electric cars to avoid steep fines.Because of the mandates, Europe’s commitment to electrification isn’t going away, said Aakash Arora, a managing director with Boston Consulting Group. “In the long term, we don’t see any relaxation in regulation,” he said.For VW, this crisis wouldn’t be the first time it started a new chapter in difficult times. Diess saw an opportunity coming off the manufacturer’s years-long diesel emissions scandal that cost the company more than $33 billion to win approval for the industry’s most aggressive push into EVs. When VW unveiled the ID.3, officials compared its historic role to the iconic Beetle and the Golf, not knowing that this might hold in unintended ways: The Beetle arose from the ashes of World War II, and the Golf was greeted by the oil-price shock in the 1970s.“We have a clear commitment to become CO2 neutral by 2050,” VW strategy chief Michael Jost said, “and there is no alternative to our electric-car strategy to achieve this.”(Updates with Tesla price cut starting in the third paragraph. An earlier version corrected the spelling of Berret in the ninth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Renault and Nissan rebuild their alliance to ride out the coronavirus storm

    When Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp announced the last strategy plan for their Alliance in September 2017, the goal was to become the world's biggest automaker by 2022. On Wednesday, the Alliance partners will outline a new plan with a less lofty objective: survival. The three carmakers are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic which engulfed them just as they were trying to rework their partnership after the arrest in 2018 and subsequent ouster of its chairman and chief architect, Carlos Ghosn.

  • Daimler to invest in Chinese EV battery maker Farasis' $480 million IPO: sources

    Daimler to invest in Chinese EV battery maker Farasis' $480 million IPO: sources

    Daimler AG plans to invest in Farasis Energy's planned $480 million IPO, aiming to ensure a stable supply of batteries from the Chinese firm as it ramps up electric vehicle production, three people familiar with the matter said. The two firms struck a deal last year for Farasis to supply Daimler with lithium-ion battery cells and Farasis is building a factory in Germany. Daimler and Farasis declined to comment on the potential IPO investment.

  • Reuters

    Toyota, Nissan and Honda gear up for Mexico reboot after COVID-19 lockdowns

    Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda said they are gradually restarting in Mexico as the nation's automotive industry reboots in line with a broader economic reopening, despite still-high numbers of new coronavirus cases. Mexican officials in mid-May said the automotive industry could exit the coronavirus lockdown before June 1 if approved safety measures were in place. Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd told Reuters on Monday that they were preparing to gradually resume operations, and Honda Motor Co Ltd last Friday said it had begun a gradual return to operations.

  • China's Geely to explore deeper cooperation with Daimler: chairman

    China's Geely to explore deeper cooperation with Daimler: chairman

    China's Geely will explore the possibility of deeper cooperation with German luxury automaker Daimler AG <DAIGn.DE>, its Chairman Li Shufu said on Friday. Geely built a 9.69% stake in Stuttgart-based Daimler in 2018. Geely would also "launch several new products and services to our markets around the world" this year, Li said in a statement to Reuters.

  • Class 8 Orders Went Negative In April

    Class 8 Orders Went Negative In April

    April already was the worst month for Class 8 truck orders in a quarter-century. A late pullback of 10,000 bookings by one manufacturer dropped the month into negative territory with little improvement expected in May and no significant recovery until 2022.That was the conclusion of industry experts Tuesday at the 13th annual Wolfe Research Global Transportation & Industrials Conference conducted online because of the coronavirus pandemic.Tepid projectionsACT Research lowered its estimates for heavy-duty trucks five times in March before settling on a 2020 prediction of 117,000 units. It started at 225,000 trucks, well below 2019's record production of 345,000 trucks.The current ACT production estimate for 2021 calls for 191,000 units because so many orders will be deferred. "There are a lot of young trucks out there," said Kenny Vieth, ACT president and senior analyst. "The private fleets are swimming in capacity."With practically no new truck production in March and April because of stay-at-home orders, bloated inventories are falling as a smattering of business resumes.The removal of 10,000 units from expected production in the next 12-14 months took April's anemic orders of 4,300 closer to a negative 6,000, Vieth said. If the orders come back into the system, they won't count as new orders."Arguably, you could have made the case that instead of 2,800 cancellations, there should have been 12,800 cancellations," Vieth said, adding that May to August typically is the industry's weakest order period.Daimler downtimeDaimler Trucks North America (DTNA), the industry leader in on-highway truck sales, tried to resume U.S. production earlier in May but supply chain issues prevented the restart, said Brian Cota, vice president of sales for the Freightliner brand. The lack of progress against COVID-19 in Mexico is keeping Daimler plants there shuttered."We're waiting for the Mexican government to give the green light to go back to work," Cota said. "The hope is with the supply chain that we can get things started again June 1."Lost production in March and April combined with an expected 30% drop in production in 2020 means DTNA production could fall more than 40% below 2019, Cota said.Daimler has seen fewer order cancellations than it expected, but a significant number of orders scheduled for April delivery are being pushed out as far as August."I would expect [May] to be similar to April from an order intake perspective," Cota said. "I think it's a function of building confidence. We're just not quite there yet. We've still got to get the country turned on."Retail retrenchmentSales to retail customers are showing small signs of improvement, said William "Rusty" Rush, CEO of Rush Enterprises, the nation's largest network of new truck dealerships."In the last 10 days, there's been some slight uptake," he said. "I can look at miles driven for 100,000 trucks for the last four months by week and [see] how it's slightly come back, 8% to 10%, But a week does not make a trend line. We'll continue to see flickers."Rush said the longer-term effects of the pandemic, such as delinquencies and bankruptcies, are not yet visible."You don't realize how many extensions and deferrals have been done on payments," he said. "You might be in double-digit delinquencies right now if you didn't have some of these extensions and deferrals across the board with financial institutions that have been going on with people in trouble."So far, late loan and lease payments are running 3% to 5%. Rush expected them to be 10% or higher. The number of financial institutions working behind the scenes to help people is unknown, he said."If we get a second wave of this thing and shut down again, look out," Rush said. "There would be some tough decisions made."Photo: Jim Allen, FreightwavesSee more from Benzinga * Samsara Lays Off 18% Of Workforce * Intermodal Volumes Will Take Months To Improve, Panel Predicts * Today's Pickup: More Trucks Continue To Cross US-Canada Border(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Daimler AG, Tesla, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Daimler AG, Tesla, Toyota, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler

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  • Bosch's lifesaving ESC made its debut on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class 25 years ago

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    Bosch introduced its first electronic stability control system (ESC) in 1995 after spending over a decade designing the technology. It was 1983 when Bosch engineers began examining ways to prevent a car from skidding out of control. Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler carried out similar research during the second half of the 1980s, and it joined forces with Bosch — one of its historic partners — in 1992.

  • Reuters

    REFILE-Germany's builders prop up economy as it slides into recession

    As workers across Germany downed tools during the coronavirus crisis and the economy slipped into recession, Berlin-based K. Rogge Spezialbau kept its builders busy at work. The specialist in interiors and facade renovations is one of Germany's many construction firms that has kept the nation moving even when much of Europe's biggest economy ground to a halt. "Our company and the construction sector in general are definitely doing far better in this coronavirus crisis than companies in other sectors," said Klaus-Dieter Mueller, a managing partner at the firm which employs 170 people.

  • Reuters

    RPT-An easing of coronavirus prevention measures helps China's auto plants rev up

    YUYAO, China/SHANGHAI, May 19 (Reuters) - In the eastern Chinese city of Yuyao, a group of five face-masked workers at a Geely auto plant, stood almost shoulder to shoulder behind an SUV as they conducted paint and other quality checks. China's daily new coronavirus cases have recently dropped to single digits. The most significant rule to be relaxed - in line with an easing of guidelines by local governments - has been the requirement that production line workers stand at least 1 metre apart.