Ford's debt rating downgraded by Moody's: a strong sign (2019/09/22)

Junked Ford
In the midst of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Moody's announced that it was downgrading its credit rating on Ford Motor Company's debt from Baa3 to Ba1.
 
It thus removed bonds issued by Ford from the "investment grade" category and placed them in the "speculative" a/k/a "junk bond" category.
As asset management specialists explain, the risk is that prices will fall as some investors are not allowed to hold such securities, displaced to "non-investment grade" category: they are then required to get rid of them.
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The automated vehicle coming down, hard

Flying high
Hard drug users know this, after the euphoric or energizing effects of their favourite substances have ceased to appear, a difficult period begins when the bare reality recovers its rights: coming down, hard.
 
For the myth of the driverless vehicle that many in the automotive industry have been shooting up with in recent years, the coming down from the fix began in 2019 and the story telling of the five-levels road map, which only raised problems of tempo, is in a bad way.
The take-off no longer seems so inevitable. Fundraising will prove more difficult and the terror that the supporters of the autonomous revolution used to exert on central or local authorities may well calm down: the fields of experimentation and subsidies will be more difficult to find.
 
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Climate emergency, industrial emergency, social emergency: how to arrange the three-way race? (2019/09/15)

Bet your job
The state of emergency in which the automotive industry finds itself at the end of 2019 gives rise, in Frankfurt and elsewhere, to a complex interplay of influence in which everyone backs their words to a cause that is a priori legitimate to counter another stakeholder who invokes another one.
 
A year ago, the EU based its injunctions on the climate emergency. Car manufacturers and governments alike are sensitive to the financial imperative and would like SUV sales to be able to continue to generate cash to cover losses on EVs for the former, and to finance inventives for the latter     .
Trade unions, SMEs and regions that rely on automobile clusters to keep jobs are seeing factories weakened and the number of jobs destroyed in the automotive sector. They fear that those created by electrification will not be of much concern to them.
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ACEA changes feet and heads to push electrification (2019/09/08)

"Angels and Demons" party in Brussels
Toyota announced on August 28 that it would recruit 500 people at its Onnaing site. These new recruits will increase the workforce to 4,500 employees and correspond to the €300 million investment announced at the beginning of 2018 to increase the site's production capacity to 300,000 vehicles per year. Management indicates that the number of employees has increased from 2,938 in January 2018 to 3,150 today, with a target of 3,600 by the end of 2020.
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The worrying evolution of employment in [France's] automotive industry (2019/09/01)

To be continued...

Toyota announced on August 28 that it would recruit 500 people at its Onnaing site. These new recruits will increase the workforce to 4,500 employees and correspond to the €300 million investment announced at the beginning of 2018 to increase the site's production capacity to 300,000 vehicles per year. Management indicates that the number of employees has increased from 2,938 in January 2018 to 3,150 today, with a target of 3,600 by the end of 2020.
We can deduce that the number of fixed-term and temporary employees is 850 and will be 900 by the end of 2020. Quite the opposite, in April at PSA's Mulhouse site, we learned that about a thousand jobs, mainly temporary jobs, would be cut by the end of 2019, due to the shutdown of the small SUV Peugeot 2008 production at the site, which in mid-October will result in the termination of the night shift employing 960 people.
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Will the "Airbus of batteries" be able to encourage OEMs to get involved in the industry?

Airbus as the one stop shop reference...

The debate sparked by the Competition Commissioner rejecting the merger of Alstom and Siemens has had the merit of reviving an idea of the EU that has been somewhat forgotten since the Single Act more than 30 years ago: that creating the single market could also make it possible to conduct industrial and research policies that are equal to those designed and implemented elsewhere in the world.

This may mean that instead of considering that the short-term interest of consumers should be the only compass of European policies, there are cases where, for geostrategic reasons, it may be appropriate to protect themselves and hold industrial firms accountable for their responsibilities to the territories, employees and economies to which they belong. read more

The French administration supervising competition to help car bodyshops

L'assureur, ce carrossier (source : apres-vente-auto.com/a-la-une/69187-carrosserie-lessentiel-profits-va-a-lassureur)
On March 25, 2019, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy and Finance and Virginie Beaumeunier, Director of the ministry's higher authority for competition (DGCCRF: direction générale de la concurrence et de la répression des fraudes - not to be mistaken with the independent Autorité de la Concurrence, the highest autority which is independent from the government), presented the 2018 results of the DGCCRF.
 
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Le véhicule autonome en descente

Véhicule (non autonome) bientôt en descente, 1991.
Les usagers des drogues dures le savent, après que les effets euphorisants ou dynamisants de leurs substances favorites ont cessé de se manifester s’ouvre une période difficile où la nue réalité reprend ses droits : c’est la descente
 
Pour le mythe du véhicule sans conducteur auquel une bonne part de l’industrie automobile s’est shooté ces dernières années, cette descente est, en 2019, entamée et le "story telling" de la "road map" en 5 phases qui ne posait que des problèmes de tempo a du plomb dans l’aile.
L’envolée ne paraît plus du tout aussi inéluctable. Les levées de fonds vont s’avérer plus difficiles et la terreur qu’exerçaient sur les pouvoirs publics centraux ou locaux les tenants de la révolution de l’autonome risque bien de se calmer : les terrains d’expérimentation et les subventions vont être plus difficiles à trouver.
 
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Protected spare parts: are purchasing power problems soluble in the competition?

Gilets Jaunes handling spare parts
On March 5, after referring to the pope of liberalism Friedrich Hayek, the French PM Edouard Philippe, in the context of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the French Competition Authority, continued his speech as follows: "Competition is obviously not the solution to all problems. But it is one of the solutions to the purchasing power problem that our society is facing (wink Gilets Jaunes). While the State of course has the fiscal and budgetary levers to meet this challenge, we must also tackle another aspect: that of "constrained" spending. These expenses that we cannot do without and whose every unjustified increase is like a hidden tax. The time has come to absorb some of these "blind spots of purchasing power"." 
 
In fact, it will be recalled that in 2012, through a self-referral, the ADLC took an interest in the maintenance and repair markets and, on statistical bases whose fragility was demonstrated by the manufacturers and their lawyers at the time (1), claimed that "in a market of EUR 1,8-2,6 billion, the lifting of the protection of visible spare parts could generate an average gain for consumers of around EUR 200 million'.
 
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