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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Carlos Tavares nostalgic for a bygone era + ex post clarifications

Raison sur le fond, tort sur la forme?

Carlos Tavares' interview in Le Figaro was apparently intended to alert politicians and citizens to the dangers facing our economies and industries by letting the European authorities set a target for the automotive industry to reduce CO2 emissions by -37.5% for the period 2021-2030. read more

Valeo or the narrow door between long-term industrial strategy and shareholder impatience

Your money or your life!

Last week's exercise by Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo's CEO, was quite emblematic of the difficulty that top managers in the automotive industry will face in the coming months. With a stagnant market at best and strong regulatory pressures, financial results will almost inevitably fall short of the promises made in the major strategic plans that each had developed. Analysts and financial markets will not appreciate and will drive down share prices.
 
CEOs will then have to stand firm and defend their long-term strategies and the investments that embody them against strong shareholder pressure.
 
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Despite their good results, French automakers are imposing wage moderation

French automakers now imposing wage moderation...

February in corporate France is both the month of the presentation of financial results and the month in which management and trade union organisations must close the so-called Négociations Annuelles Obligatoires ("mandatory annual negotiations").
 
Led in the midst of the "yellow vests" social movement in a context where PSA is doing very well and Renault is doing well, one might have expected that after having imposed years of hardship, manufacturers would have given up a little in France and granted the wage increases requested by the unions for 2019.
Indeed, while management is quite happy to grant bonuses that have the great merit of being able to be awarded or not from one year to the next depending on the company's results, and are also exempt from social security contributions, they are reluctant to accept general salary increases.
Conversely, trade unions would like to obtain wage increases that are irreversible and involve an increase in contributions and, therefore, in unemployment or pension rights later.
 
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2019: a year of fundamental decisions for carmakers

Disruptive profit strategy : could Detroit mix oil and vinegar ?

The weekly column of Bernard Jullien , former director of Gerpisa, lecturer in economics (University of Bordeaux) and scientific advisor to the Essca Group's Chair of Network Management.

The season of financial results is on this February and most of the world's major automakers are indicating, one after the other, that 2019, as we reckon the years to come, will disappoint shareholders.
 
Only a handful of automakers, such as FCA or GM, have succeeded in improving their results over the year 2018.
FCA nevertheless expects a less promising 2019 financial year. GM has already undertaken a plan to maintain its profit rate in the United States in November, cutting 11,000 jobs. Most of the car manufacturers, like Daimler or Ford, have already seen their results drop in 2018. Ford hopes to do better in 2019 thanks to a fairly drastic restructuring plan for all its activities.
Daimler announced this week that achieving a margin target in the 8 to 10% bracket could not be expected until 2021.
 
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Hard Brexit and the car industry

Hard Brexit, take your bets : 7 weeks to go...

The weekly column of Bernard Jullien , former director of Gerpisa, lecturer in economics (University of Bordeaux) and scientific advisor to the Essca Group's Chair of Network Management.

No one had wanted to believe in Brexit and it came. No one wanted to believe in a "no deal" and this is the scenario that is now emerging.
 
It was clear that it was politically important for Brussels to flex muscles and to indicate that opting out would have a cost. 
It was clear that Brexit supporters, on the other hand, were keen on showing that they did not intend to let themselves be reimposed on Brussels standards as part of a deal.
However, it was thought on both sides that reason would eventually prevail and that well-understood interests on both sides of the Channel would lead to a Norwegian-style free-trade agreement. 
The anti-Theresa May vote on 15 January shattered these hopes, which were a reason not to be very actively preparing for a "no-deal". In the automotive industry, as elsewhere, we must take up our calculatoragain and try to understand very quickly what is likely to happen.
 
To this end, a number of statistical realities should be recalled with respect to British motor vehicle foreign trade. 
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