|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||17.39 - 17.52|
|52 Week Range||14.97 - 18.49|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.78|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||5.72|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.54 (3.13%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
BMW's engine development and purchasing expert, Markus Duesmann, is set to become the CEO of Volkswagen's Audi premium brand, after BMW dropped its opposition to his early departure, a German newspaper reported on Saturday. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited a person with knowledge of the appointment as saying Duesmann will start as Audi chief on April 1.
(Bloomberg) -- Michael Bennet, who didn’t make the cut for Thursday’s Democratic debate in Houston, is taking to the airwaves in Iowa with his first media buy of the campaign.The presidential candidate and Colorado senator reserved at least $32,891 in the Des Moines and Ceder Rapids markets, according to Advertising Analytics, which tracks political advertising. The ads are slated to air starting Tuesday.Bennet failed to meet either requirement set by the Democratic National Committee for making the debate stages. The 10 candidates who participated had at least 130,000 unique donors and reached 2% in four national polls. Bennet will need to reach those marks by Oct. 1 to make the cut for the next round, scheduled to begin Oct. 15 in Westerville, Ohio.Spending on ads can boost a candidate’s standing in the polls, but they’re expensive. Billionaire Tom Steyer, who qualified for the October debate after entering the race in July, has spent about $14.3 million on broadcast and cable spots. That’s four times the amount Bennet’s campaign has raised.Democrats Set Next Debate for Oct. 15 in Ohio (2:36 p.m.)The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that the fourth debate of presidential candidates will take place Oct. 15, possibly with a second night on Oct. 16, depending on how many candidates qualify.The forum at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, will be co-hosted by the New York Times and CNN. Eleven candidates have already met the criteria: the 10 who participated in the third debate on Thursday, along with billionaire Tom Steyer, who only qualified recently.To qualify for the debate, candidates must receive at least 2% support in four approved polls conducted nationally or in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. They must also raise money from a minimum of 130,000 unique donors, including 400 contributors in each of at least 20 states by Oct. 1.The October debate will be moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and Marc Lacey from the Times. The format has not yet been announced. -- Ryan Teague BeckwithHarris Asks for Inquiry into Probe of Carmakers (11:44 a.m.)Senator Kamala Harris asked the Justice Department’s internal watchdog to investigate the legal underpinnings of an antitrust probe into four automakers that agreed to meet compromise tailpipe emissions targets offered by California regulators.In a letter to the department’s inspector general released Friday by her office, the California Democrat and presidential candidate said the antitrust inquiry “raises serious concerns about whether federal law enforcement is being used to coerce” the companies into abandoning efforts to produce lower-emitting vehicles. The probe also raises questions about whether the Justice Department is being used for political purposes, she wrote.At issue is a July agreement by Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG to meet future vehicle greenhouse gas emissions targets offered by California regulators that are more stringent than under a rollback proposed by the Trump administration but easier than rules adopted by the Obama administration in effect today.Harris’ request comes after other congressional Democrats have vowed to scrutinize the probe, revealed last week. The House Judiciary committee on Monday said it planned to hold hearings and request documents from the White House and Justice Department related to the antitrust probe. -- Ryan BeeneCastro Denies Slap at Biden’s Memory Was Unfair (8:02 a.m.)Julian Castro said he has no regrets about questioning former Vice President Joe Biden’s memory during the 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Houston on Thursday -- a moment that drew boos from the crowd.“I wouldn’t do it differently,“ the former Housing and Urban Development secretary told CNN in an interview early Friday. “That was not a personal attack, this was about a disagreement over what the vice president said regarding health-care policy.“Castro, a former Obama administration colleague of Biden’s, argued during the debate that his health-care proposal was better than Biden’s because people who qualified would automatically be enrolled, rather than having to opt in to Biden’s Medicare plan.“They wouldn’t have a buy in,” Castro said during the debate.When Biden shot back, “They do not have to buy in,” Castro pounced. “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” he said. “You’re forgetting that?”Castro defended his comments in his CNN interview, saying it’s necessary to highlight the policy differences between Democratic presidential contenders. “The vice president has been around for a long time,“ he said. “When we’re up there, we’re up there to debate.“ -- Kathleen MillerCOMING UPElizabeth Warren will appear Saturday at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention in Springfield.Biden will speak Sunday at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, to commemorate the 56th anniversary of a bombing that killed four girls and injured 22 other people.On Monday, Biden, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg and Bill DeBlasio will attend the Galivants Ferry Stump in South Carolina.Also on Monday, Warren will speak at a rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park.Many candidates will appear at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday. Contenders who have confirmed they will attend are: Biden, Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Warren and Marianne Williamson.\--With assistance from Kathleen Miller, Ryan Beene and Ryan Teague Beckwith.To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Allison in Washington DC at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Volkswagen has abandoned its decades-old obsession with empire building and no-expense-spared engineering to free up resources for the development and mass production of electric cars, its CEO Herbert Diess told Reuters. A global clampdown on toxic exhaust fumes has triggered a new wave of consolidation in the auto industry as carmakers look for ways to slash development costs for low-emission and self-driving technologies. While rivals such as FiatChrysler and Renault explore a $35 billion deal to bulk up, Volkswagen is taking the opposite approach: slimming down.
Hours before the Frankfurt Motor Show flung open its doors to the press on Tuesday, the chief executive of Volkswagen was locked in debate with Tina Velo, a well-known environmental activist. “Demonising the car is not going to help,” Herbert Diess said during the robust hour-long exchange. The new electric cars on display, from the Porsche Taycan to the Opel Corsa-e, drew crowds — but they will also need to attract a significant number of buyers if manufacturers are to avoid punitive fines.
(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 email@example.com;Arne Delfs in Berlin at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Chris Reiter, Raymond ColittFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org;Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elisabeth BehrmannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Ford (NYSE:F) stock went into reverse as its bonds were labelled "junk" by a ratings agency. The decision by Moody's to downgrade Ford's credit rating is comparable to what happens to a car buyer whose credit score drops.Source: FotograFFF / Shutterstock.com That's just what happened.As Ford's second-quarter earnings report made clear, in June it had almost $91 billion in long-term Ford Credit loans meant to help buyers pay for Ford cars. $50.5 billion of Ford Credit debt, presumably dealer loans, will mature within one year.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut the Moody's report attacked the business for weak cash generation as it pursues a costly restructuring program.What's really going on? Is it the Cars or the Buyers?The "tell" here is that Moody's also called Ford's outlook "stable," noting it has $23 billion in cash and under $12 billion in "automotive debt" taken out for the company. Rather than operate a separate loan operation, Ford carries Ford Credit, based in Omaha, as a subsidiary. Banks expect some loans to go bad, holding reserves against which losses are charged off. Ford Credit isn't operating that way. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September In 2002, Ford sold its Brazilian loan portfolio to a local bank for $430 million. That bank then issued more loans to buyers on its own account to boost Ford's market share. Handing loans to buyers as debt is controversial. If the portfolio isn't properly managed it can generate huge losses in an economic downturn. A recession would be a double whammy for Ford's balance sheet.But Ford Credit also provides valuable data to its parent company. One-third of its profit now comes from data, up from one-fourth just two years ago. Ford recently bought a small electric scooter startup, Spin, mainly for the data. The Reinvention of FordMeanwhile, the reinvention of Ford continues.Most reporters highlight the $11.1 billion investment Ford is making in electric and self-driving cars. But that also means it's retreating from its traditional business. About 10% of Ford's white-collar office staff was recently let go. Job cuts are coming in Europe, South America and Russia.Ford is focusing its internal combustion efforts on big trucks and SUVs, which continue to sell in the U.S., while pushing EVs in Europe. The company hopes to get half its European sales from hybrids and EVs within three years.Ford is working closely with Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) on electric vehicles. Volkswagen in turn is pushing the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform, building its first MEB-based factory in China. This is a single platform that works across all car models and lowers costs. Sharing that development expense with other car companies cuts costs further.Ford isn't putting all its eggs in Volkswagen's basket. It has also invested in Rivian, an electric truck startup. The company has also invested in Argo AI for autonomous car technology. Its latest Michigan factory is expected to produce semi-autonomous vehicles within two years. The Bottom Line on Ford StockAs a stock, Ford is strictly for income investors. The 15 cent per share dividend yields over 6.3% at a time when long-term U.S. bonds yield just 2.3%.As a company, however, Ford is currently highly speculative. It's trying to figure out the new worlds of electric and self-driving cars while acknowledging the sunset of its old business models. Profits are expected to come from new directions and its winding up its old ways of doing business.Electric and self-driving cars filled with data excite Ford. They scare Moody's.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the mystery thriller, The Reluctant Detective Finds Her Family, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned no shares in companies mentioned in this article. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post What's the Deal With Ford's 'Junk' Bond Rating From Moody's? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Europe's carmakers are telling governments they must help build electric car charging points and provide consumer subsidies to boost sales of battery-powered vehicles and assist the industry in meeting stringent new emissions rules. German carmakers are accelerating plans to launch electric vehicles, under pressure from a European Union mandate to deliver a 37.5% cut in carbon dioxide emissions between 2021 and 2030, on top of a 40% cut in emissions between 2007 and 2021. Industry executives warned at this week's Frankfurt auto show that the EU rules could be disastrous for profits and jobs because mainstream customers were not buying electric vehicles.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Volkswagen AG and other carmakers warned that trade tensions risk dragging the global economy into a recession as the fallout starts to hit consumers.The gloom of the U.S. and China’s tit-for-tat tariffs cast a shadow over the Frankfurt Auto Show this week, where carmakers were seeking to whip up interest in critical new electric models. The geopolitical volatility adds another layer of uncertainty to an industry in the midst of a radical overhaul as the end of combustion-engine era looms.“We come now into a situation where this trade war is really influencing the mood of the customers, and it has the chance to really disrupt the world economy,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “China is basically a healthy market, but because of the trade war, the car market is basically in a recession. So that’s a new situation. That’s scary for us.”Concerns about global trade have reached nearly 10 times the peaks seen in previous decades and could shave about 0.75 percentage points off world economic growth this year, according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund. The auto industry is particularly exposed because of its global network of assembly plants and parts suppliers. Daimler AG, for instance, makes many of its Mercedes-Benz’s SUVs in Alabama and exports them to China and other markets.“What will happen in 2020 will very much depend on what happens with the U.S. and China in the coming weeks,” BMW AG Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Frankfurt show, Germany’s premier auto exhibition. The German manufacturer assembles most of its sport utility vehicles in South Carolina.After months of talks, the tensions between the U.S. and China remain high. Ted McKinney, the top trade official in U.S. President Donald Trump’s Agriculture Department, called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “communist zealot” in the mold of Mao Zedong. After a summer of bombast and tariff escalation, the two sides have agreed to hold face-to-face working-level staff talks in the coming weeks and a ministerial meeting in Washington in early October.“Everyone is affected by the industry downturn, everyone is suffering,” Continental AG CEO Elmar Degenhart told reporters Tuesday in Frankfurt. Europe’s second-largest auto supplier plans to finalize a review of its sprawling global manufacturing network by the end of this year and doesn’t rule out factory closures or layoffs as part sweeping restructuring plans.Outside the car show, other German industry leaders voiced their concerns about trade risks. Siemens AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser urged the European Union to assert its voice in the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, saying the specter of a “decoupling” of political and economic systems would break with decades of integration and ultimately risk a global slowdown.“Europe would be well advised to avoid this bilateral decoupling, but it can only achieve this when it is heard as a third force in the world, and that’s not the case at the moment,” Kaeser told journalists in Berlin. There’s a sense that the world is reorganizing into new economic spheres, making it harder for export-oriented companies to do business and creating the risk of “having to decide between friend and foe,” said the executive, who recently returned from a trip to China with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.‘Good Sense’ BrexitOn top of the U.S.-China spat and Trump’s recurring threat to impose levies on European car imports, the industry is bracing for the potential of the U.K. crashing out of the EU without a deal in a few weeks. BMW, which owns the British-based Mini and Rolls-Royce car brands, has set up a 300 million-euro ($330 million) fund to deal with a possible hard Brexit and would reduce output at its plant in Oxford, England, by eliminating a work shift if that happens, CFO Peter said.“We’d have to increase prices, and we have to curtail production to react to such a development,” Peter said on BMW’s contingency preparations for a crash British exit. “The plans are in the drawer.”In a Bloomberg TV interview, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares called the prospect “not acceptable” on ethical grounds and appealed to European and British leaders to show “good sense” and avoid a no-deal Brexit.Ralf Speth, the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, laid out the complexity of an abrupt disruption to trade flows, saying the British manufacturer needs as many 25 million parts a day to be delivered on time and requires six to eight weeks to decide on ordering components. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31 “do or die,” the auto industry is facing its Brexit crunch time now.“Free and fair trade is best for society. Currently we’re falling back on that,” said Speth, who unveiled a resurrected version of the Land Rover Defender offroader in Frankfurt. “It’s so critical to prepare in the very best way for alternatives. But in the end, no one really knows.For the auto industry, the trade squeeze clouds efforts to show off slick new models like the Porsche Taycan and VW ID.3 as German brands ramp up electric offerings to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations. Demand disruptions threaten to squeeze profits needed to fund the high-risk rollout.“We hope there won’t be any recession in the mid term or long term, because it would be a self-made recession,” Diess said.(Adds comments from Jaguar Land Rover CEO in third-to-last paragraph.)\--With assistance from Matthew Miller, Benedikt Kammel and Elisabeth Behrmann.To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Oliver Sachgau in Frankfurt at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris Reiter, Chad ThomasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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.
(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG is unwrapping not just new models at the Frankfurt auto show, but a tweaked logo as the world’s biggest carmaker ushers in the electric era.Little-changed since World War II, the new VW emblem was uncovered atop its headquarters in Wolfsburg on Monday. And in Frankfurt, the manufacturer showed the VW brand’s battery-powered ID.3, the first model in an unprecedented $33 billion push to make electric vehicles for the masses.The twin steps -- both heavy with symbolism -- reflect the high stakes involved in Volkswagen’s ambitions to become the world’s electric-car leader just four years after the diesel-cheating scandal plunged it into the worst crisis in its history. The carmaker aims for the ID.3 hatchback, priced under 30,000 euros ($33,200) to become a trendsetter and take on similar status as its iconic Beetle.“This evening is a decisive moment for us,” Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said from the podium. The ID.3 is meant to “take the electric car from being a niche product to the mainstream, making it accessible for everyone.”VW is pulling out all the stops as it seeks to reshape its image. In Frankfurt, the gathered crowd was treated to vegan sliders with green buns and herbal concoctions garnished with thyme.Diess called for the end of coal-generated electricity, among other planet-saving measures. “How can we save the world for our children?” read a query emblazoned on an entryway wall.If things work out as planned, the ID.3’s technical underpinnings, dubbed MEB, will emerge as a new industrial standard for battery-powered cars, giving Volkswagen economies of scale that rivals would struggle to match. U.S. peer Ford Motor Co. has already agreed to use the technology for a high-volume car in Europe and is considering adding a second model. Diess sees nearly 50% of the group’s sales in Europe and China being electric in 10 years.But if consumers remain on the fence about the cars because of range, charging and cost concerns, VW could find itself stuck with sunk costs, redundant factories and excess workers.“VW’s bold electric vehicle plans scare this analyst given their huge near-term costs and uncertain demand,” Max Warburton, a London-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a note. Former patriarch Ferdinand Piech, who died two weeks ago, “would have argued that expensive investments in new technology tend to pay off in the very long run.”The time for VW’s effort to reinvent itself is hardly favorable. A decade of almost uninterrupted growth for the industry -- fueled mainly by China -- has come to a grinding halt. Global demand for new vehicles contracted last year, and the trade war between the U.S. and China and uncertainty over Brexit is serving up yet more challenges.“We really now come into situation where the trade situation starts to influence the mood of customers, and that could disrupt the market,” Diess said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We hope there won’t be a recession.”VW is tapping the brakes already, even as it still generates vast amounts of cash and profits. The manufacturer has scaled back production plans by some 450,000 cars for this year and has pledged to lower output further if necessary. VW’s cut roughly equals the annual output of one its 122 factories worldwide and exceeds Tesla Inc.’s delivery target for 2019 of between 360,000 and 400,000 cars.Separately, the German giant has started to make gradual progress toward untangling its unwieldy corporate structure. It regrouped its car brands to focus on luxury cars and mass-market vehicles, and after some back-and-forth eventually completed a public listing of trucks unit Traton SE earlier this year.In May, VW announced plans to review strategic options -- including a possible sale -- for the industrial machinery units Renk AG and MAN Energy Solutions. Analysts have urged VW to consider deeper changes including an initial public offering of the high-margin Porsche brand to unlock value. The sports-car unit, which is VW group’s most profitable division, will show off its electric Taycan model at the Frankfurt show after unveiling it last week.Despite these efforts, investors are doubting VW and other carmakers’ ability to master the technological shift toward electric and self-driving cars. Diess has stressed the importance of reviving VW’s weak market value to help bolster the company’s case for acquisitions and partnerships.(Updates with price in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Matthew Miller.To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Craig TrudellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
PARIS/FRANKFURT, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Time is running out for European carmakers, which have waited until the last minute to try to meet ambitious EU emissions targets and face billions in fines if they fail to comply. Manufacturers from PSA Group to Volkswagen are using this week's Frankfurt auto show to reveal the new models and strategies they hope can slash carbon dioxide emissions within months. By next year, CO2 must be cut to 95 grammes per kilometre for 95% of cars from the current 120.5g average - a figure that has risen of late as consumers spurn fuel-efficient diesels and embrace SUVs.
Volkswagen introduced Monday the ID.3, the first model in its new all-electric ID brand and the beginning of the automaker's ambitious plan to sell 1 million EVs annually by 2025. The ID.3 debut, which is ahead of the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, is an important milestone for Volkswagen. Now, four years later, VW is starting to show more than just concept vehicles for its newly imagined electric, connected and carbon-neutral brand.
(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 email@example.com;Carolynn Look in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Elisabeth Behrmann in Munich at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Christoph Rauwald, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The sad degradation of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division continues. An agency charged with upholding the nation’s antitrust laws, without fear or favor, has become just another tool President Donald Trump uses to reward his friends and punish his enemies in corporate America.I don’t know how else you can characterize the news, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, that the DOJ is investigating four major automakers that agreed to abide by California’s stringent tailpipe-emissions standards -- and chose to ignore less onerous rules the Trump administration has proposed.Wrote the Journal: “The Justice Department’s antitrust division is acting on its own accord and without direction from or coordination with the White House, according to one of the people familiar with the investigation.”Sure.And the division didn’t consult with the White House when it tried to block the AT&T Inc.--Time Warner deal in 2017. It was just pure coincidence that Time Warner owned the news network Trump loathed more than any other, CNN. Nor did it consult the White House when it let the Walt Disney Co.--21st Century Fox Inc. deal sail through with only minor changes. Who could possibly have known that Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch was the closest ally the president has in the media?It could well be true that the White House wasn’t consulted before the antitrust division acted. Before he was the named the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim was the deputy counsel for the Trump White House. Maybe he doesn’t have to talk to the White House to intuit what Trump wants. He knows who butters his bread.Here’s a little thought exercise. Suppose the four companies -- Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG -- had jointly decided to sign onto Trump’s lower emissions plan. Do you think Delrahim’s antitrust minions would be launching an antitrust investigation? I don’t either.The very idea that an automaker can violate antitrust laws by adhering to higher emissions standards is ludicrous. The theory is that the four companies may have talked to each other and then approached California with a proposal. This is apparently evidenced by the fact that the state agreed to lower its emissions standards by a small amount. I have no doubt that the companies consulted with each other before talking to California. No company wants to go up against Trump alone; it makes perfect sense that they would want to band together. It also makes sense that they would negotiate with the state, just as any regulated industry might. That behavior is hardly an antitrust violation.The Journal story also said that the Justice Department fears the deal would limit competition. But for decades, federal and state emissions regulations have kept automakers from courting buyers by competing on emissions standards -- at least on lower ones. The competition that has existed has long been to produce cars that exceed the emissions standards. That kind of competition will remain robust only if automakers wind up abiding by California’s standards.The truth, of course, is that Trump is at war with California, and has been since he took office. California voted overwhelming for Hillary Clinton. California is a blue state. California is in the vanguard of the resistance. (In May, California filed its 50th lawsuit against the Trump administration.)Battling emissions standards is part of that war. It is widely expected that the administration will soon attempt to revoke California’s ability to set its own emissions standards, and declare that they are “preempted” by federal law. This will undoubtedly lead to a court fight, though as my colleague Noah Feldman has pointed out, California’s waiver was built into the Clean Air Act by Congress. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency really doesn’t have the legal right to withdraw the waiver, but that reality has rarely stopped Trump before.Automakers are now in an awful spot. They’d all made their peace with higher emissions standards, which also allows them to be good corporate citizens. They are technologically capable of meeting the standards. They can satisfy environmentally--conscious car buyers. Because the California standards are followed by 15 other states, automakers have largely used its standards for the entire country. It’s really a nonissue.Or it was until Trump decided to roll back the higher standards the Obama administration had proposed. The California standards offer predictability and certainty. The Trump plan creates uncertainty. It is exactly what companies don’t need, and don’t want.The Justice Department’s decision to scrutinize the agreement between California and the four car companies injects another kind of uncertainty -- a more menacing kind. It suggests that Trump will use the power of the state to bend companies to his will. That’s what happens in places like Russia, or China. It’s not supposed to happen in the U.S.Companies need to know that they can count on the rule of law. There is hardly anything more important. That’s the scariest part of what the antitrust division appears to be doing. Investigating companies for seemingly political reasons makes a mockery of the fundamental idea that the U.S. has a government of laws, not thugs.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the decision of four automakers in July to reach a voluntary agreement with California to adopt state emissions standards violated antitrust law, people briefed on the matter said on Friday. The antitrust division's chief, Makan Delrahim, sent Aug. 28 letters to the four automakers saying the government was concerned the agreement "may violate federal antitrust laws" but adding it had "reached no conclusions," according to documents seen by Reuters. The disclosure comes as the Trump administration has ramped up its opposition to automakers seeking to sidestep it on rolling back Obama era fuel-efficiency rules.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that Germany remained open to business even as her government raises barriers to investments in sensitive areas.Germany’s tightened investment rules are meant to vet outside investors in strategic sectors, Merkel told reporters at a joint press conference with her Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Friday at the start of a two-day visit to China. Li pledged that China would further open its economy.“Not every assessment means that every investment is blocked, rather in strategic or sensitive areas that have to be looked after -- still, Chinese investors are welcome,” Merkel said. She also urged an end to the China-U.S. trade war to return calm to global markets.The chancellor faces a delicate set of policy objectives during the visit, in which she’s being accompanied by a delegation of some 25 business leaders, including executives from Volkswagen AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Siemens AG. The German leader is seeking to maintain a tougher stance with Beijing while urging a resolution of the trade war and continuing to press for reciprocal access to China’s lucrative market.Germany is toughening its policy toward China on matters such as investment and intellectual property, joining governments from Japan to Canada and Australia taking a harder line on China as President Donald Trump steps up his trade war. But it’s an especially high-risk strategy for Berlin at a time when its export-dependent economy is flirting with recession.The German leader said her goal is for trade relations with China to be an example for multilateral trade amid tensions in the global order. She cited the “urgency” of clenching an investment accord by the second half of 2020. That’s when Germany plans to host a an EU-Chinese leaders’ summit.Indicative of Merkel’s balancing act is her approach to the unrest in Hong Kong. While her administration urged Beijing to engage in dialog and respect the rule of law, Merkel has declined an invitation to meet with protesters.Hong Kong citizens’ “rights and freedoms must of course be guaranteed,” Merkel said alongside Li on Friday.The visit got off to a bumpy start when Chinese authorities initially blocked German media based in Beijing from attending the Merkel-Li press conference, a government spokeswoman in Berlin confirmed. Only after the German government intervened were four local journalists allowed in, she said. Adding to the awkwardness was the protocol during the military ceremony in front of the Great Hall of the People. While Merkel sat during the playing of the Chinese anthem, Li rose from his seat.After a series of shivering fits during the summer, Merkel has resorted to sitting during military parades. All other leaders she has received since then, including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, had also remained seated.Chinese state media advocated more open markets between Germany and China, stressing opportunities for cooperation ahead of Merkel’s visit, including areas such as climate change and trade.“There is an urgent need for Germany and China to safeguard an open global economy and ensure that normal international trade should not be disrupted by protectionist tariffs,” the official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary.Merkel later met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who hosted a dinner for the German leader. Xi told Merkel that China would continue to open its economy in sectors including manufacturing, services and finance, according to Xinhua.(Adds German spokesman in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jihye Lee.To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at email@example.com;Dandan Li in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org;Arne Delfs in Berlin at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, Raymond ColittFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Sales of new cars in Russia fell 1.3% year-on-year in August to 145,545 units, after a 2.4% decline in the previous month, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Friday. "August showed no significant change in the overall market situation, as market sales continue to underperform vs. the robust level established in the prior year," Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, was quoted as saying in a statement.
In honor of the just-released Porsche Taycan, here's a pop quiz: How long does it take for an electric sportscar to go from 0 to 90 miles per hour and back again?If you remember a few years back, electric motors weren't exactly known for speed. The first mass-market example was in Toyota Motor's (NYSE:TM) Prius, and to this day, everyone loves poking fun at the Prius hybrid. You can still find plenty of Prius jokes online.Well, we've come a long way. Wednesday afternoon, Porsche (OTCMKTS:POAHY) released the Taycan - which is fully electric, by the way - and is promoting its new model with a spectacular video of a test run aboard an aircraft carrier.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBelow you see the Porsche Taycan gearing up (so to speak) on the USS Hornet's flight deck. In the video, which you can watch here, the car goes from 0 to 90 mph and then back to 0 mph in just 10.7 seconds.Source: Porsche.comI haven't had a car in a decade - having lived in big cities most of my life - and I'm normally a Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S fan. But if I was in the market, I'd want this one! * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market Porsche seems to have overcome most of the worst stereotypes about electric vehicles (EVs):The 0-90-0 test run proves it can get up and go - the Porsche Taycan has a top speed of roughly 155 mph, comparable to the Model S in "Ludicrous" mode.Plus, Porsche says it can produce an impressive 40,000 Taycans in a year. That's comparable to Porsche's sedan, the Panamera… and it's about double Tesla's first-year production of the Model S! It's also double what Porsche originally had planned for the Taycan. But EVs are clearly in high demand.And, of course, the Taycan has Porsche's classic styling:Source: Porsche.comThe next hurdle to clear is range.The company is advertising a roughly 270-mile range for the Porsche Taycan. That doesn't quite measure up to, say, the Porsche 911 Carrera, which can get over 400 miles on a tank.The internal-combustion engine may be 100-year-old technology, but so far EVs have struggled to compete on range. That's largely due to severe limitations with the current batteries. Batteries 101Right now, EVs rely on the same technology first developed for Sony camcorders in the 1980s: the lithium-ion battery.It's the same battery you'll find in your smartphone and laptop, too. But to power something on the level of a Porsche Taycan, the lithium-ion battery becomes incredibly bulky.That bulk just amplifies one of the other problems with lithium-ion: It has a liquid electrolyte inside that is flammable.Remember the problems with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7? If you tried to bring the phone on an airplane, the flight attendants would confiscate it because the lithium-ion batteries had started catching fire. In early 2018, HP had to recall 50,000 laptops for a similar reason.But electric cars are the future - and, all over the world, regulators are "laying down the law" to get people to make the switch: from California to Germany and even China (which struggles with pollution).So, naturally, carmakers are revving up their search for an alternative battery.Porsche and other German automakers like Audi (OTCMKTS:AUDVF) and Mercedes all want next-generation batteries in their fleets as soon as possible. The German government is providing a $1 billion grant for battery research. Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) and BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY) have applied for their slice of that funding.In Japan, a "battery cartel" of sorts has sprung up. The Japanese government, too, is working with researchers - plus major names like Toyota and Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) - to get this particular new technology to market. Toyota is pulling out all the stops to deploy it for mass production by summer 2020, when the Olympics come to Tokyo.Why? Well, with this battery, you could get DOUBLE the range after just 15 minutes of charging.Plus, you don't need the liquid electrolyte, so these batteries aren't flammable. In one memorable test, a startup called Ionic Materials shot its battery with a Remington .22. It took three bullets, did not catch fire, and kept working!As an investor, this technology is ideal for a pure play on the battery revolution. Invest Where "Big Auto" Is Dropping Major CashI often talk about "picks and shovels" investing. And that's because if you look back at the 1849 Gold Rush, it was the folks supplying the picks and shovels who ultimately got rich.Therefore, at Investment Opportunities, I'm recommending companies that supply this new technology -- nicknamed the "Jesus Battery."Any competitors that have it will CRUSH Tesla, which may as well flush all the money it's spending on lithium-ion batteries down the toilet. Find out exactly what makes this battery so miraculous here.If you ever wanted to invest in the coming electric car revolution, but weren't sure how, THIS is your chance.I know I do.So I found a company that holds key patents.Automakers like Toyota are relying on this tiny company for its electric cars. Yet the company is totally off the radar.That makes now the right time to get in… before everyone else. I've got a full presentation on the investment opportunity in this "Jesus Battery," which you can view for free by clicking here.Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors -- by getting them into the world's biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being "first" gave Matt's readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Deeply Discounted Energy Stocks to Buy * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market * 10 Stocks to Buy to Ride China's Emerging Wealth The post Porsche Taycan: Do We Finally Have a "Tesla Killer"? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Turkey is increasingly confident German carmaker Volkswagen will build a production plant in the country after an "extremely positive" meeting between a senior company official and President Tayyip Erdogan this week, three Turkish sources said. Reuters reported last week that the two sides had been holding talks over Turkey's vehicle tax regime to conclude the 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) investment. The carmaker, which has also considered making the investment in Bulgaria, has not announced a final decision, but sources have said Volkswagen is positive about investing in Turkey.