|Bid||N/A x N/A|
|Ask||N/A x N/A|
|Day's Range||131.38 - 134.62|
|52 Week Range||79.38 - 187.74|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Oct. 30, 2018|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||198.76|
The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Anchorage, Alaska, was a victory for Utah's Salt Lake County and Florida's Hillsborough County. The counties sued VW for causing excess diesel emissions harmful to the environment and could in theory seek billions of dollars in damages. Volkswagen settled U.S. criminal and civil actions prompted by the cheating scandal for more than $20 billion, but that did not shield it from liability from local and state governments, the 9th Circuit noted.
Nissan (NSANY) incurs fiscal 2019 loss of 671.2 billion yen, which marks the worst in two decades. Meanwhile, AutoZone (AZO) tops fiscal Q3 earnings estimates despite coronavirus woes.
Audi has created a new business unit called Artemis to bring electric vehicles equipped with highly automated driving systems and other tech to market faster — the latest bid by the German automaker to become more agile and competitive. The first project under Artemis will be to "develop a pioneering model for Audi quickly and unbureaucratically," Audi AG CEO Markus Duesmann said in a statement Friday. The unit is aiming to design and produce what Audi describes as a "highly efficient electric car" as early as 2024.
(Bloomberg) -- The extent of the devastation wrought on the European car industry by the coronavirus pandemic came into sharp focus on Friday when a sampling of major vehicle and parts manufacturers from France to Sweden revealed plans for at least 35,000 job cuts.Renault SA said it will eliminate about 14,600 workers worldwide and lower production capacity by almost a fifth as part of a sweeping three-year overhaul. The cuts in France were unveiled just as Stockholm-based Autoliv Inc., the world’s largest supplier of seat belts and airbags, said it’s also culling workers. And in Germany, BMW AG chimed in with sweetened incentives to get 5,000 workers to leave, while supplier ZF Friedrichshafen laid plans to eliminate as many as 15,000 positions.The thinning-out come as the continent’s auto sector emerges from a double blow dealt by the health crisis, which first snarled manufacturers’ supply chains that were reliant on parts from China, where the outbreak began. Then strict lockdowns in countries like France, Germany and the U.K. shut factories and dealerships overnight, leaving consumers at home and car inventories to pile up. As people around the world begin to emerge from self-isolation, there’s no telling when the public will start shelling out to buy new cars again.“This adverse economic situation has shown the limits of our business model, which was betting on unprecedented growth in emerging markets and in sales volumes,” acting Renault Chief Executive Officer Clotilde Delbos said as she provided details about how the bloated company would proceed with a deep and painful downsizing following years of expansion.The measures by the European companies herald a tricky time for politicians and top management. Governments extended unprecedented financial aid to keep businesses afloat and workers employed, and now companies are facing the necessity to re-size their industrial footprint to reflect shrinking demand.Renault’s plan includes the politically delicate task of trimming 4,600 positions in France, or about 10% of the carmaker’s total in its home country, through voluntary retirement and retraining. More than 10,000 further jobs will be scrapped in the rest of the world, pruning a global workforce of about 180,000 people.The measures round off a decisive week for the French company and its Japanese partners Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., drawing a line under a two-decade era of aggressive expansion under the alliance’s former leader, Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested in late 2018.The European car industry is particularly hard hit by the pandemic crisis because of overcapacity before the virus hit. Fiat is asking for a $6.9 billion state-backed loan to save its Italian operations and Volkswagen AG is facing pressure from German labor groups worried about job cuts at home. In Spain, Renault’s partner Nissan is contending with angry workers protesting a plan to close a plant in Barcelona, while French unions have called for a strike at a plant in the north of the country.In Germany, BMW is treading carefully around head-count reduction, negotiating with unions about giving more incentives to workers to persuade them to leave. It has been unable to meet its staffing reduction goal with existing measures, Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter said in an internal posting confirmed by the company. Those have included placing employees on unpaid leave and reducing working hours for those on shorter contracts.Parts MakersZF, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of brakes and other automotive parts, will pare back by between 12,000 and 15,000 jobs, according to people familiar with the matter, or 10% of its global workforce.At Autoliv, Chief Executive Officer Mikael Bratt said the company’s largest markets in the Americas and Europe were at a virtually stand still in April and a slow and volatile restart is leading to job cuts in the three months through June.“With our largest markets Americas and Europe virtually standing still in April, the challenges we are managing in the second quarter are unprecedented,” Bratt said.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.
Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) will invest 2.1 billion euros ($2.34 billion) in two electric-vehicle-related companies in China as it prepares to capture a substantial share of growing electric-vehicle sales in the world's largest new-vehicle market, the company announced Friday. VW said that it will invest 1 billion euros in the government-owned parent company of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (often referred to as JAC Motors), in exchange for a 50% stake. VW will also take control of an ongoing joint venture with JAC under the deal, boosting its ownership of the electric-vehicle venture (called JAC Volkswagen) from 50% to 75%.
(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG is seeking a 50% stake in Chinese electric-vehicle partner Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holdings Ltd., expanding its footprint as the world’s largest car market gradually recovers.The deal is expected to be finalized by July 31, Jianghuai’s listed unit said in a stock exchange filing Friday, without disclosing value. Shares of JAC Motor, as the company is known, have almost doubled over the past month, giving it a market value of about 17 billion yuan ($2.4 billion). The stock rose 10% as of 10:33 a.m. in Shanghai.VW is doubling down in a market that’s showing signs of revival from a slump exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, while vehicle demand in Europe and the U.S. continues to slump. The German company is also among the first global manufacturers to take advantage of China’s looser foreign-ownership rules for carmakers.VW’s push follows BMW AG’s move to take control of its joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. China’s government is following through on a pledge to open up the economy to foreign ownership, lifting a 50:50 joint-venture rule in 2018 that restricted global brands’ access to the market for decades.JAC Motor is VW’s smallest partner in China. The German company has bigger collaborations in the country with SAIC Motor Corp. and China FAW Group Co.The local government of Anhui province will hold the other half of the Chinese company after the deal, according to the filing. The province also works with NIO Inc., backing the electric-car maker’s $1 billion fundraising this year.After the deal with Jianghuai, Volkswagen is set to boost its holding in the companies’ joint venture to 75%, according to the filing. The venture targets annual production capacity of as many as 400,000 vehicles in 2029.(Updates with ownership rules in fourth 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.
Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> plans to boost its electric push in China, the world's biggest auto market, by pumping 2.1 billion euros (1.9 billion pounds) in two Chinese electric vehicle players. The deals come as global rivals such as General Motors <GM.N>, Toyota <7203.T> and Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> seek to expand electric sales in the Chinese car market. Volkswagen said it will invest 1 billion euros to take a 50% stake in the state-owned parent of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors) <600418.SS>, also taking full management control of the its existing electric vehicle joint venture with JAC by raising its stake to 75% from 50%.
Germany's biggest labour union criticised Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> on Thursday for a recent advert deemed racist and other "errors", saying management had damaged the carmaker's reputation and put jobs at risk. The IG Metall union, in an open letter to the carmaker's management and supervisory boards, said it was shocked by the advert for Golf cars, calling it "one example of a whole chain of management errors". Last week Volkswagen withdrew an advert posted on its official Instagram page for its Golf cars that it admitted was racist and insulting, saying it would investigate how it came about and draw consequences.
Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> said on Thursday its supervisory board had approved several projects in a multibillion-dollar alliance with Ford Motor <F.N> that was first announced last July. Among the shared projects specified by VW are a midsize pickup to be developed by Ford; a city delivery van to be developed by VW; a larger commercial van to be developed by Ford, and a new electric vehicle for Ford of Europe, to be built on VW's electric vehicle architecture. Regarding official approval of the agreements, a Ford spokesman on Thursday said, "We look forward to jointly providing an update soon."
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s interest in acquiring a self-driving car pioneer is the prime example (pun intended) of how expectations for driverless vehicles have been recalibrated.The e-commerce giant is in advanced talks to buy Zoox Inc. for less than the $3.2 billion at which it was valued in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Given the California-based startup’s approach to autonomous cars, its fate is particularly instructive.In a very crowded field, Zoox was practically alone in aiming to build a whole new kind of electric-powered vehicle, and to operate the fleet itself. Peers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, General Motors Co.’s Cruise unit, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG’s joint venture Argo AI, and Aurora Innovations Inc. have focused solely on developing the self-driving technology that could subsequently be fitted into vehicles.Zoox wanted to be Tesla Inc., Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc. all rolled into one.Back in 2015, that seemed like an attractive proposition. If the triple threat to the automotive industry was autonomous technology, electric drivetrains and ride-hailing, why not embrace all three? After all, there were expectations that by 2020 robotaxis would ferry you around the world’s metropolises. Capital flowed into self-driving car startups, typified by the $1 billion GM spent acquiring Cruise in 2016.Those dreams, needless to say, have failed to materialize. Companies that had aimed to jump straight to the fourth of five levels of autonomy have quietly downshifted. (The first level of self-driving encompasses driver-assistance functions such as cruise control, and the fifth is full automation.) Bloomberg New Energy Finance doesn’t expect vehicles with Level Four automation to start gaining traction until 2034. Even then, they will likely represent just 831,000 of the 95 million-unit global car market that year.What’s more, the expense of developing, building and operating a fleet of self-driving cars would be considerable. Even deep-pocketed Alphabet and GM have sought outside investment for their efforts. Established carmakers are meanwhile focusing their capital on electric cars, a more imminent threat. And owning and operating a fleet is expensive too. Zoox had a tough sell to investors: In 15 years’ time, it might have been an attractive business.Which brings us to Amazon. Even if robotaxis aren’t coming any time soon, there are alternative applications for autonomous technology that fall squarely in the Seattle-based firm’s wheelhouse, namely, logistics. Given Amazon’s shipping costs are set to hit $90 billion a year, tech from Zoox could help save $20 billion in shipping costs, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. Its solutions could be used across warehousing and distribution. Buying Zoox could take Amazon's other moves in this field — an existing investment in Aurora and experiments with self-driving truck specialist Embark and electric vanmaker Rivian — to a whole new level.Amazon has become the fantasy acquirer for any number of companies seeking a soft landing: theater chains, brick-and-mortar retailers, food deliverers, mobile carriers, real estate brokers, dental suppliers, film studios and plenty more besides.Sometimes, just sometimes, those deals make sense. Zoox is one of them.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(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.
Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> is in final talks to seal its largest investment deals with Chinese electric vehicle (EV) firms, two sources said, as the German automaker accelerates its push into the world's largest market for environmentally friendlier cars. The firm is poised to buy 50% of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holding, the parent of EV partner JAC Motors, for at least 3.5 billion yuan (397 million pounds), the people said on condition of anonymity as the matter was private. Volkswagen declined to comment on the deals, details of which are reported here for the first time.
As Volkswagen (VWAGY) loses the landmark Dieselgate case in its home country, the court rules that the claimants are entitled to return their vehicles for partial reimbursement of the purchase price.
Five years after Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal first hit the airwaves, a German court has finally ruled that the automaker will be forced to pay out €750 million in buybacks
Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> withdrew on Wednesday an advert posted on its official Instagram page for its Golf cars that it admitted was racist and insulting, saying it would investigate how it came about and draw consequences. The German car company, which has seen its reputation tarnished in the last five years after it admitted cheating diesel emissions tests, said it did not tolerate any form of racism. German television noted that the hand could be interpreted as making a "white power" gesture, while letters that appear on the screen afterwards briefly spell out a racist slur in German.
As Americans plan for life after pandemic lockdowns, many want to avoid public transport and use a car instead, straining already underfunded transit systems and risking an increase in road congestion and pollution. Similar dynamics have played out in China, where transit ridership in large cities remains down about 35% two months after lockdown restrictions were lifted while car purchases increase. Ford Motor Co Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley said the company has seen an uptick in Chinese demand for higher-priced utility vehicles fueled by upscale office workers who used to take public transport.
A German court said on Wednesday it was ending proceedings against the chairman and chief executive of Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> after the carmaker agreed to pay a fine of 9 million euros over the diesel emissions scandal. CEO Herbert Diess and non-executive Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch were accused of stock market manipulation for a delay in informing investors about the diesel scandal when it first came to light in 2015, and were each fined 4.5 million euros. VW in September 2015 admitted using illegal software to cheat U.S. diesel engine tests, battering its share price.
Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> has agreed to pay 9 million euros (8 million pounds) in a deal with a German court to end legal proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of holding back market-moving information on rigged emissions tests. The court in Braunschweig was hearing charges of stock market manipulation against CEO Herbert Diess, as well as non-executive Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch. VW in September 2015 admitted using illegal software to cheat U.S. diesel engine tests, battering its share price.
(Bloomberg) -- European car sales virtually stopped in April, dropping the most on record after the coronavirus halted production and closed dealerships from Spain to Germany.Passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and the U.K. fell 78% year-over-year. Companies sold just 292,182 cars -- the lowest number since data-gathering began in 1990, and a further drop from March, itself a month of plummeting sales, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Tuesday.Carmakers from Ford Motor Co. to Volkswagen AG have warned they’ll lose money because of the pandemic, which has shuttered factories and showrooms for weeks. European governments are slowly relaxing lockdown rules and factories are firing up again, fueling hopes that April will mark the trough.While visibility remains low, auto sales rebounded in China last month, an encouraging sign for the rest of the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday proposed a recovery fund that would soften the region’s economic blow.Nevertheless, European consumer behavior remains uncertain because of shaky investor confidence and concerns that restrictions could be tightened again in the event of a second wave of infections.Sales have dropped about 40% during the first four months of the year, in a sign that a full recovery will take some time. European car sales are forecast to decline as much as 20% in 2020, according to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Michael Dean.The Stoxx 600 Automotive & Parts index was little changed as of 8:30 a.m. in London on Tuesday after gaining 8% a day earlier.Clean SweepEvery single European nation reported falling registrations last month, from a 61% drop in Germany, the region’s largest market, to a 97% plunge in Spain, where just over 4,100 cars were sold. The U.K., Italy and France posted similar declines.Manufacturers have also increased spending on electric vehicles required to meet tougher emissions regulations, investments funded by profits from conventional cars.The pandemic’s effects on the economy is forecast to give electric vehicles a boost in China, Europe and other countries that have prioritized a transition to batter-powered cars, according to a report released Tuesday by BloombergNEF. Overall, however global auto sales aren’t expected to recover for five years.PSA Group’s Citroen will make adjustments to its car-launch schedule over the next 18 months, said unit chief executive officer Vincent Cobee.“The last two months and maybe the next three or four are extremely challenging from a balance sheet point of view,” he said Tuesday at a conference organized by BloombergNEF.To counter the slump, Volkswagen has held back on a decision to build a new factory in Turkey, is temporarily idling some assembly lines at its largest factory in Wolfsburg and is offering customers improved financing conditions and protected rates should buyers lose their jobs.Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is negotiating a state-backed credit line of as much as 6.3 billion euros ($6.9 billion) to help shore up its balance sheet, the company said Saturday.Governments in Europe are debating how much help the auto industry should get -- while ensuring not to neglect other sectors facing similar problems. Merkel this month dashed the powerful German car industry’s hopes for immediate auto purchasing subsidies, with her government deferring a decision until June. French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire said his country would come up with support measures by the end of next month.Hope -- and a possible glimpse into Europe’s near future -- is coming from China, where authorities have controlled the pandemic and new consumer trends are emerging.Demand in the world’s largest auto market is recovering as many first-time buyers look for new ways to get around while staying off buses and trains that could expose them to the virus, Volkswagen’s China chief said earlier this month.(Updates with auto executive comment from 11th 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.
(Bloomberg) -- The former Tesla Inc. worker who founded electric-car charger maker Wallbox Chargers is betting commuters will skip crowded buses and trains when lockdowns end.Initial trends out of China show that the pandemic led to “a rejection of public transport as a means to get to work, and an increase of demand for using private cars,” said Chief Executive Officer Enric Asuncion. This trend complements green policies in Europe and China already in place before the pandemic, he said.The auto industry has been particularly damaged by the pandemic, with lockdowns shutting dealerships and factories and crimping supply chains. Several large automakers threw out forecasts for the year, unsure of how long the impact would last. Still, as drivers return to work in China, road traffic is up and subway use is down in major cities, according to BloombergNEF. Demand for electric cars in the country is likely to follow, recovering in the second quarter, BNEF analysts said in a forecast.Read More: The Car Is Staging a Comeback, Spurring Oil’s RecoveryIberdrola SA, Spain’s largest utility, and local venture capital firm Seaya Ventures took part in an expanded 23 million-euro ($25 million) funding round for Wallbox last month. The company’s going to use the funds to hire about 100 workers, increasing staff numbers by 50%, to expand in China and to break into the U.S., Asuncion said.Asuncion was working at Tesla in 2015, overseeing charging installations in Europe, when he and fellow engineer Eduard Castaneda decided to found Wallbox.“I realized everybody -- carmakers, utilities and suppliers -- were focused on chargers for public spaces. But nobody seemed to be thinking about residential chargers,” Asuncion said. “We are seeking to fill that niche.”Read More: German Venture Capital Firm Redstone Raising $217 Million FundWhat makes Wallbox unique is that it has developed a bi-directional charger, able to send excess power from a battery to a residential circuit, making the company particularly attractive to utilities. A fully charged Nissan Leaf can power a house for almost a week, he said.Wallbox works with major carmakers including Nissan Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG. About 80% of sales come from outside Spain, in countries ranging from Germany to Norway, its largest market. The company also has a joint venture in China with Changchun Fawsn Group.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.
(Bloomberg) -- China is allowing executives from some foreign companies to enter the country despite a coronavirus travel ban as it seeks to restart the economy, according to people familiar with the matter.The Ministry of Commerce told some key foreign companies they can apply for exemptions to the entry ban if they want to get executives back into China, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. They would still serve a mandatory quarantine, one of the people said.The move is the latest sign that China, which has banned almost all foreigners from entering since late March, is taking steps to reopen its borders for business. China has had some success in containing the outbreak, which first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, and businesses such as Shanghai Disneyland reopened on Monday, with health checks and social-distancing measures.“China will establish fast-track channels for business, logistics, production and technical services professionals from some countries to travel to China under the premise that safe epidemic prevention is ensured,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in response to Bloomberg News query.After first-quarter gross domestic product had its worst slump since the 1970s, officials are focusing on normalizing the economy. Rising unemployment and a collapse in global demand mean the risk of a second quarter of contraction persists.China and South Korea agreed to simplify entry for essential business travelers from the start of May. The “fast-track” arrangement allows South Korean businesspeople to travel to 10 Chinese provinces and cities after their visas are approved. Health-screenings and quarantine procedures remain in place, though the length of quarantine in China is up to two days, compared with the standard 14 days. Chinese travelers to South Korea need to apply for quarantine exemptions and pass health tests.The goal of the agreement is to expedite entry for people urgently needed for the resumption of essential work and production, while keeping supply chains between the two countries stable and unimpeded, China Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news briefing on April 30. China would like to establish fast-track agreements with other countries, he said, without elaborating.Some German companies are awaiting feedback after applying for exemptions, one of the people said. One person who got in was Volkswagen AG’s executive vice president for research and development, Thomas Muller, who entered China from Germany recently, according to Volkswagen.There are still some uncertainties about the fast-track process and logistical complications. Foreign travelers would need to show they aren’t infected before making their trips, which would include getting tested at approved centers, some of the people said. There are restrictions within China too, with some provinces and cities requiring quarantine for people who have traveled from places designated as more at risk to the virus.There are potholes along the path to recovery though. The city of Shulan in northeast China’s Jilin province is under lockdown after an increase in coronavirus cases over the weekend, while new infections have emerged in Wuhan for the first time in over a month. In total, China has reported 82,919 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths from the virus.(Updates with ministry comment in fourth 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.
According to the China Passenger Car Association, Tesla only sold 3,635 Model 3 vehicles in China last month, down 64% from sales in March. Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick joins Seana Smith to discuss.
GM has put in a litany of protocols to keep workers safe as they return to manufacturing plants later in May.