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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Appel à communication / Call for Papers - Revue Flux - ''Déclin et survie des mobilités automobiles ?''

17 December, 2018 - 12:00

Revue FLUX

Type of event: 
Call for paper
18 December, 2018 - 17:00

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Renault face aux instabilités des marchés et des taux de change ou les aléas de l’intercontinentalisation

Marché émergent pour amateurs de sensations fortes
Renault a annoncé le 22 octobre un chiffre d’affaires trimestriel global en recul de 6% (de 12,2 à 11,5 milliards d’euros) avec une légère augmentation du côté du financement (+ 190 millions) qui ne parvient pas à compenser les 917 millions perdus du côté des ventes d’automobiles. Ces 917 millions de baisse (- 8,4%) sont associés à une légère augmentation (2,9%) du nombre de véhicules vendus si l’on intègre les utilitaires chinois Jinbei & Huasong comme Renault le fait désormais et à une légère baisse (- 1,7%) si l’on s’en tient au périmètre qui était celui de 2017. Comme la traditionnelle "analyse de la variance" proposée aux analystes le montre, les trois variables explicatives qui ont pesé les plus lourd sont, par ordre d’importance croissante, les volumes perdus, la baisse des ventes aux partenaires et surtout les variations de taux de change. Ces dernières ont fait perdre au groupe 444 millions soit 48,4% des 917 millions.
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Le développement d’une entrée de gamme électrique impose quelques révisions déchirantes

Trois fois moins lourde... dix fois moins chère.

La semaine passée aura été marquée dans l’automobile par la présentation au Mondial de Paris de la K-ZE (à prononcer "kaïzi") par Carlos Ghosn lundi 1er et par le vote du Parlement Européen mercredi 3 de dispositions qui fixent un cap de réduction des émissions sur la période 2021-2030 à – 40% avec un jalon intermédiaire à – 20% en 2025 et définissent des quotas d’immatriculations de véhicules à faible émission (moins de 50gr de CO2 au km) de 20% puis de 35%. 
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BMW's very meaningful profit warning

During an interview on France Inter on Saturday, PSA's CEO Carlos Tavares mentioned BMW's "profit warning" as a sign of weakening of the entire sector by regulatory requirements. The obligation for car manufacturers to carry out forced electrification of their commercial ranges - whereas though customers seem reluctant to take the plunge - can only erode margins.

Indeed, in the case of BMW, the management is justifying the  impossibility of meeting 2018 profit targets by both the trade war between the US and China - which hinders the sales in China of vehicles (X3, X4, X5, X6) assembled in the American plant in Spartanburg - and by the transition to the new WLTP procedure which "causes strong price pressure". read more

Electrification: divided car-manufacturers with mixed feelings

For months now, we have been struck by the widening gap between the ever-repeated intentions in favour of "electrification" and a commercial reality that fails to comply with it. On May 22, France's "Comité Stratégique de Filière" (a government initiative to have the industry's stakeholders work together defining common objectives) set a target for 2022 of 150,000 electric vehicles sold in 2022 in France, which should correspond, on the basis of 2017 registrations (25,000), to an annual growth rate of 43%. This had only been 14.5% in 2017 and, over the first 8 months of 2018, the increase was 7.4%. While P-HEV are growing by 49.5%, on such a narrow basis that this is not really significant.
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France's bicycle promotion plan: good news for the car industry

The future of the car?
On Friday in Angers, France's government presented its "cycling plan" (1), which aims to ensure that the "modal share" of this means of transport will triple in the coming years: 3% of journeys are now made by bicycle; the public authorities consider that, like some of our neighbours and some French cities, it would be possible to reach 9% by 2024.
Indeed, as indicated by the FUB (Fédération Française des Usages de la Bicyclette) on its website:
"France, with its 2 to 3% share of bicycle modal share, is pale compared to our neighbours. For example, in the Netherlands, 29% of urban travel is by bicycle. And in Germany, 10%. Despite a much harsher climate than ours, Danes appreciate this mode so much that in Copenhagen, some 50% of commuting is by bicycle. In Amsterdam, it is more than 40%, in Basel, 25%, in Bologna and Florence (as in Tokyo and Munich), 20%! (2)
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Assouplissement des normes d’émission : l’Europe doit-elle emboiter le pas des Etats- Unis ?

Performance moyenne des véhicules vendus par les Big 3 : 24,5 MPG. On n'y est donc pas encore.
Scott Pruitt, patron de l’E.P.A. et ancien Procureur Général de l’Oklahoma nommé par Trump en 2016 à la tête de l’Agence dont il avait combattu comme Procureur bien des décisions, a annoncé le lundi 2 avril que les normes d’émission – le fameux CAFE pour Corporate Average Fuel Economy c’est à dire moyenne des économies de carburant réalisées par entreprise - qui avaient été fixées à l’industrie automobile opérant sur le marché américain en 2011 pour 2025 seraient réexaminées. Plus précisément, il a fait valoir que l’accord initial incluait une procédure d’évaluation de la pertinence des normes appliquées à mi-parcours et argué que l’évaluation conduite par l’administration Obama avait été conduite trop tôt et trop hâtivement (1). Son administration a donc refait, en 2018, ce travail et conclut que l’administration Obama “avait fait des hypothèses pour définir les normes qui ne cadrent pas avec la réalité et qui l’ont amenée à choisir des normes excessivement exigeantes ” (2).
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