Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Giustizia, Unione Europea

VW. Iniziato il processo. Chiesti 9 miliardi di danni.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-09-22.

Musterverfahren gegen Volkswagen AG

«A crucial Dieselgate lawsuit against Volkswagen started on Monday morning in Braunschweig, a short drive from the carmaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg.»

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«In the vital test case, more than 2,000 shareholders – many of them powerful investment funds – claim that VW concealed risks associated with falsified emissions data, causing them to lose €9 billion ($10.4 billion) when the company’s stock price tanked»

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«The main plaintiff is Deka Investment, the asset management fund of Germany’s Sparkasse network of savings banks, with other shareholders co-suing as part of the same suit. Deka’s legal team is led by Andreas Tilp, who in the past has taken similar cases against Deutsche Telekom and the property bank Hypo Real Estate. He argues that the rot dates back to 2008, when VW discovered its diesel engines would not pass US environmental regulations, but chose to conceal this fact»

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«According to Mr. Tilp, that led VW down the path of falsification, namely building illegal “defeat device” software designed to convince testers that emissions were far lower than they really were»

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«VW says its management team did everything it could to correctly inform stockholders, given its knowledge at the time.»

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«VW points out that when the Dieselgate scandal broke, US environmental authorities had never fined any company more than $100 million, a relatively insignificant sum for a company with annual revenues of over €200 billion, and an amount considered too small to impact the share price.»

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«Once the extent of VW’s actions became clear, the US authorities radically changed the scale of their penalties, with the Environmental Protection Agency imposing a fine of $4.3 billion on the German company»

* * * * * * * *

Il processo è in corso e la sentenza dovrebbe poter arrivare per fine dell’anno prossimo venturo. I ricorsi sembrerebbero essere inevitabili.

A nostro sommesso parere, la difesa di VW è scarsamente attendibile.

Una cosa è avvisare gli azionisti dopo che sia scoppiato lo scandalo, quando i titoli erano già crollati, ed una totalmente diversa sarebbe stata l’averli avvisati prima che scoppiasse lo scandalo, prima che comprassero i pacchetti azionari.

Siamo molto interessati a vedere come disporranno i giudici.


Handelsblatt. 2018-09-10. Volkswagen shareholders get their day in court

A key lawsuit begins today as investors claim they were deceived over Dieselgate, giving rise to losses of €9 billion.

The carmaker insists they were fairly informed.

*

A crucial Dieselgate lawsuit against Volkswagen started on Monday morning in Braunschweig, a short drive from the carmaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. In the vital test case, more than 2,000 shareholders – many of them powerful investment funds – claim that VW concealed risks associated with falsified emissions data, causing them to lose €9 billion ($10.4 billion) when the company’s stock price tanked.

In 2015, VW’s elaborate cheating on emissions tests for diesels unraveled in the United States. The shareholders argue they bought shares earlier at what amounted to inflated prices, since the company knew about the falsification and the associated risks, but deliberately concealed them. The judgment of the court is binding on all litigants, but will not apply to other Dieselgate victims.

The main plaintiff is Deka Investment, the asset management fund of Germany’s Sparkasse network of savings banks, with other shareholders co-suing as part of the same suit. Deka’s legal team is led by Andreas Tilp, who in the past has taken similar cases against Deutsche Telekom and the property bank Hypo Real Estate. He argues that the rot dates back to 2008, when VW discovered its diesel engines would not pass US environmental regulations, but chose to conceal this fact.

The fatal decision

According to Mr. Tilp, that led VW down the path of falsification, namely building illegal “defeat device” software designed to convince testers that emissions were far lower than they really were. That facade began to crumble in 2014, when the International Council on Clean Transportation, an environmental nonprofit, reported that VW emissions were far higher than the company admitted.

Volkswagen frames the case differently. Its legal team wants to avoid the trial turning into a tribunal on the entire scandal and argues the suit addresses a single issue: whether the automotive giant abided by laws to report all relevant information to shareholders and the capital markets. VW says its management team did everything it could to correctly inform stockholders, given its knowledge at the time.

VW points out that when the Dieselgate scandal broke, US environmental authorities had never fined any company more than $100 million, a relatively insignificant sum for a company with annual revenues of over €200 billion, and an amount considered too small to impact the share price.

Punishments radically increased

Once the extent of VW’s actions became clear, the US authorities radically changed the scale of their penalties, with the Environmental Protection Agency imposing a fine of $4.3 billion on the German company. The company claims that when the new risk became clear, in September 2015, it communicated this appropriately to shareholders.

Even if the plaintiffs manage to show that VW informed shareholders inadequately or too late, they must also clear another hurdle – showing that senior management acted deliberately to conceal relevant information. This will raise the question of who knew what about the emission manipulation scandal, and when. However, it is not expected that senior VW figures will appear at the trial: Most would, in any case, invoke their right to refuse to testify.

It falls to Braunschweig’s Higher Regional Court to make sense of the competing claims. One thing all agree on is that a decision will not be quick, with judgment not expected to be handed down until next year.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Unione Europea

Gli immensi cimiteri della Volkswagen. 300,000 auto invendute.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-04-13.

2018-04-11__Volkswagen__001

Merkel. Dieselgate. Di masochismo si può anche morire.

Una cosa è produrre.

Un’altra cosa è produrre a prezzi concorrenziali.

Ma una cosa totalmente differente e vendere ciò che si sia prodotto.

«La Volkswagen AG ha immagazzinato in tutto circa 300.000 veicoli dopo aver pagato più di $ 7,4 miliardi (6 miliardi di euro) per riacquistare circa 350.000 veicoli diesel statunitensi»

E siamo solo agli inizi.

«I riacquisti di VW continueranno fino alla fine del 2019.»

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Ma non era stata Frau Merkel assieme al Suo sodale Mr Obama a mettere limiti di emissioni impossibili da mantenersi?

Fino a quanto potrà andare avanti la Volkswagen?


Gli immensi cimiteri di Volkswagen: dopo il “dieselgate” ce ne sono 37   [Video]

Ne esistono ben 37 in giro per gli Stati Uniti. Parcheggi immensi “riempiti” di auto Volkswagen dopo lo scandalo che ha colpito l’azienda tedesca nel 2015 per aver truccato le emissioni dei motori diesel. In questo video un drone sorvola il parcheggio antistante al Silverdome di Detroit, ex stadio costruito nel 1975 ed ora in disuso.

La Volkswagen AG ha immagazzinato in tutto circa 300.000 veicoli dopo aver pagato più di $ 7,4 miliardi (6 miliardi di euro) per riacquistare circa 350.000 veicoli diesel statunitensi.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Economia e Produzione Industriale

Giovanni P. Dieselgate. Braccio di ferro Usa – Germania. L’Italia latita.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-08-21.

Tribunale 010

«German state prosecutors have agreed to prolong the custody of an Audi technician following a U.S. governmental request for extradition in ongoing investigations of diesel emissions test cheating»

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«Authorities in Germany hereby responded to a plea made by the U.S. Department of Justice for the preliminary arrest of the Italian national Giovanni P. to enable his extradition at a later stage»

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«Giovanni P. has been held in police custody for over a month as the only suspect to have been arrested in Germany in the course of the “dieselgate” emission cheating scandal»

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«The news of judicial cooperation between Berlin and Washington to instead pro-long Giovanni P.’s police custody comes only two days after his defense council filed a complaint against their client’s detention»

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«They argued that granting the U.S. request became a necessity under international law in order to prevent Giovanni P. from leaving the country following the lodging of a complaint against his arrest»

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«If the suspect were to travel to his native Italy, for example, the U.S. Department of Justice would be unable to continue its extradition process»

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«Giovanni P. is one of 50 suspects in the “dieselgate” scandal currently under investigation in Germany, including prominent figures such former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn»

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Cerchiamo di ragionare.

– Un’operazione quale quella di manipolare i test sulle emissioni dei motori sembrerebbe essere di troppo ampia portata per essere imputabile ad un’unica persona.

– Sembrerebbe essere del tutto inverosimile che Herr Martin Winterkorn, Ceo di Volkswagen, fosse completamente all’oscuro di quanto stava accadendo: non risulta essere il prototipo di Biancaneve.

– Altrettanto inverosimile sembrerebbe essere la situazione per cui su cinquanta sospetti solo uno sia stato incarcerato, per di più con allungamento dei termini della detenzione preventiva, specie poi in una Germania iper garantista.

– Da un punto di vista giuridico la situazione sembrerebbe essere notevolmente aggrovigliata. Giovanni P. sembrerebbe essere di nazionalità italiana: ci si domanda quindi perché gli Stati Uniti ne reclamino l’estradizione alla Germania mentre non potrebbero farlo se Giovanni P. fosse in Italia. Infine, a qual diritto?

– Si resta pensierosi del fatto che ne dia notizia un’agenzia cinese a fronte del silenzio dei media occidentali.

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Un malpensante potrebbe anche accarezzare l’idea che questo tipo di indagine potrebbe essere inquinato da istanze politiche.


Xinhua Net. 2017-08-21. Germany considers extraditing Audi technician of Italian national to U.S.: report

BERLIN, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — German state prosecutors have agreed to prolong the custody of an Audi technician following a U.S. governmental request for extradition in ongoing investigations of diesel emissions test cheating, the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports on Friday.

Authorities in Germany hereby responded to a plea made by the U.S. Department of Justice for the preliminary arrest of the Italian national Giovanni P. to enable his extradition at a later stage.

Giovanni P. has been held in police custody for over a month as the only suspect to have been arrested in Germany in the course of the “dieselgate” emission cheating scandal.

Questioned by Munich state prosecutors ten times over his alleged involvement in defrauding tens of thousands of diesel car owners, he has raised serious allegations against senior Audi managers. The defendant has also presented authorities with a folder of extensive evidence in the hopes of being released.

The news of judicial cooperation between Berlin and Washington to instead pro-long Giovanni P.’s police custody comes only two days after his defense council filed a complaint against their client’s detention.

Giovanni P.’s attorney Walter Lechner reacted with dismay to the development and accused Munich state prosecutors of employing the U.S. plea as an opportunistic means to keep the suspect under arrest. The state prosecutor had consequently made itself a “minion of the U.S. judiciary”, Lechner complained.

German justice authorities defended the move as standard judicial procedure. They argued that granting the U.S. request became a necessity under international law in order to prevent Giovanni P. from leaving the country following the lodging of a complaint against his arrest. If the suspect were to travel to his native Italy, for example, the U.S. Department of Justice would be unable to continue its extradition process.

Giovanni P. is one of 50 suspects in the “dieselgate” scandal currently under investigation in Germany, including prominent figures such former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn.

The Munich state prosecutors responsible for Giovanni P.’s case believe he was a crucial actor in Audi’s installation of illicit software to falsify diesel vehicles’ emissions levels. In stark contrast, the suspect’s defense claims that their client was a victim of scheming executives for whom the low-level technician has become a “pawn sacrifice”.

Giovanni P.’s attorneys also rejected the notion that he was a flight risk and stressed that the suspect was keen to remain in Germany and continue to cooperate with authorities there.

The U.S. request for the technician’s preliminary arrest raises serious accusations such as conspiracy to commit fraud and breaches of environmental regulations.

Pubblicato in: Criminalità Organizzata

Der Spiegel prospetta ‘associazione per delinquere’ per le automobili tedesche.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-07-29.

 Mafia 011

Il Der Spiegel usa parole inusitatamente dure per denunciare il cartello formatosi de facto tra tutte le principali aziende produttrici di mezzi di locomozione a motore a combustione della Germania.

«The diesel scandal is not a failure on the part of individual companies, but rather the result of collusion among German automakers that lasted for years. Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Porsche coordinated their activities in more than a thousand meetings. The exposure of a cartel.»

Sotto la condizione che quanto riportato corrisponda al vero, emergerebbe una collusione tra i Governi tedeschi degli ultimi dieci anni e l’industria automotive.

Il cartello tra le industrie produttrici di automobili sarebbe in essere da troppo tempo ed avrebbe avuto una portata così ampia da rendere impossibile il fatto che il Governo tedesco non ne fosse a conoscenza.

Situazione che in italiano corretto sarebbe da definirsi come “associazione per delinquere”.

*

Data la portata della denuncia, riportiamo senza commenti l’articolo.


Der Spiegel. 2017-07-27. Das Auto-Syndikat [Testo originale tedesco]


Der Spiegel. 2017-07-27. Collusion Between Germany’s Biggest Carmakers [Testo originale inglese]

The diesel scandal is not a failure on the part of individual companies, but rather the result of collusion among German automakers that lasted for years. Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Porsche coordinated their activities in more than a thousand meetings. The exposure of a cartel.

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Sometimes big things are hidden behind much smaller things. For instance, one of the biggest secrets of the German automotive industry lies behind the mechanism that opens and closes a convertible top at the push of a button.

Daimler, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen are engaged in cutthroat competition to produce the best cars. At least that’s the story often told by auto company CEOs, economists and politicians. It’s a narrative about the beneficial effect of the market economy, which is based on competition among companies. But the narrative is wrong, and this is reflected in the convertible top.

Daimler, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen did not in fact compete over which company could offer its customers the best top. On the contrary, experts with the five automakers coordinated their actions in numerous meetings. For instance, they determined the maximum speed at which a driver could open or close the top.

“No arms race when it comes to speeds,” read the minutes of a meeting in Bad Kissingen. Arguments against an arms race, according to the minutes, were “costs, weight, increasing technological risk and crash relevance.” The result of that meeting is that the soft tops on the convertibles sold by Daimler, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen can only be opened and closed at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour.

It was an agreement that suspended both competition and the market economy. It was reached by the “working group for mechanical attachments.” There were many, many other working groups involving the five German automakers, including working groups for braking control systems, seating systems, air suspensions, clutches, gasoline engines and diesel engines. The major issues were discussed and arranged in these groups.

Reporting by DER SPIEGEL into the anti-cartel authorities in Brussels and Bonn, and automakers in Stuttgart, Munich and Wolfsburg, and conversations with current and former executives, provide a previously unknown image of Germany’s most important industry. The conclusion is that Daimler, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen often no longer compete with one another. Instead, they secretly cooperate, very closely, in fact, in the same way one would normally expect of the subsidiaries of a single company to work together, as something like a “German Cars Inc.” — or a cartel.

Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have already admitted as much to the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office. In a brief dated July 4, 2016, Volkswagen issued what amounts to a voluntary declaration of its “participation in suspected cartel infringements.” According to the VW statement, Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have coordinated matters relating to the development of their vehicles, costs, suppliers and markets “for many years — at least since the 1990s and to this day.”

It is not just a matter of the establishment of an exclusive club of the five German automakers with the goal of attaining economic advantages over the competition. The secret agreements are also detrimental to customers, who buy German vehicles because, among other things, they expect to be getting the best possible products from a technical standpoint. But how can a company produce the best if competition is curbed, and if the engineers stop doing their utmost to outdo the engineers working for other brands?

And then there are the millions of owners of diesel cars. In an almost bizarre way, they too are victims of the German auto cartel. For the first time, there is proof that it was agreements among these five automakers that ultimately ensured that emissions from diesel vehicles were not cleaned as effectively as would have been technically possible. This all began with the cartel of the five automakers.

Diesel buyers are now left with the damage. They face the prospect of no longer being allowed to drive their cars in cities, and of suffering significant losses when selling the vehicles. Shareholders are also among the victims. Penalties for cartel violations weaken the companies in which they hold shares and can lead to declining share prices. Suppliers are also adversely affected, as is almost always the case with cartel agreements. If the five German automakers agree to buy from only one company, others stand no chance of securing orders.

The agreements among the German automakers likely constitute one of the biggest cartel cases in German industrial history. They began in the 1990s and were expanded to include more and more issues, probably in part because industry executives long viewed violations of competition law as harmless rule violations, on a par with parking tickets.

It is only in recent years that the European Commission has begun imposing drastic penalties on companies that secretly collude on pricing or the technology they use. In 2012, manufacturers of cathode ray tubes were ordered to pay 1.5 billion euros in fines. In 2016, a 2.9-billion-euro penalty was imposed on commercial truck manufacturers.

The cartel of German automakers could also face fines in the billions. And the industry’s image, which has already suffered considerably from the diesel scandal, will be damaged even further.

The exposure of the club of five strikes the companies at a time when they need all of their strength and financial assets for other things: the transition to electric cars and their transformation into mobility service providers. It is also a time when they are being challenged by new competitors from Silicon Valley and China.

But now VW, Audi, Porsche, Daimler and BMW must first address a problem in their most recent past. It is a painstaking process, because the agreements extend across such a long time period and so many managers were involved.

The development experts at the German auto companies met “regularly several times a year.” They met in Stuttgart, Munich, Ingolstadt and Wolfsburg, and at the major auto shows in Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris. There is “the suspicion,” as Volkswagen stated in its brief, also speaking on behalf of subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, that there was “behavior in violation of cartel law.”

When a car company itself voices the “suspicion” that it may have violated laws, the evidence must be very clear. And it is.

Sometimes the cooperation among Daimler, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen worked more effectively than cooperation among various departments within a company. The automakers’ experts were assigned to working groups and sub-working groups, classified according to the following development areas: “engine,” “car body,” “chassis,” “electric/electronic” and “total vehicle.” Because five brands were involved, the groups were known internally as the “groups of five.”

The VW Group’s self-incrimination offers a new look at the diesel scandal and its evolution. It also provides a surprising answer to the question of why the German auto industry was only able to comply with emission limits for diesel cars with tricks and deception, and why VW, Audi and Porsche even used fraud as a tool: The manufacturers were not competing to achieve a Vorsprung durch Technik, or “technical edge,” as Audi likes to tout in its British and German advertising, by effectively cleaning exhaust gases. On the contrary, they largely removed competition from this area.

At numerous meetings, they coordinated the size of tanks for AdBlue, a urea mixture used to split nitric oxide into its harmless components of water and nitrogen. Large tanks would have been expensive, so Daimler, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen agreed to use small tanks. However, at some point the amount of AdBlue the tanks contained was no longer sufficient to adequately clean exhaust gases.

The European Commission is currently examining the auto cartel case. It has seized records from the participating companies and has begun questioning witnesses. Last Wednesday, DER SPIEGEL extensively questioned the participating companies about the cartel accusations.

BMW stated: “Please understand that we cannot process your extensive list of questions. We do not participate in such speculations.”

Daimler responded: “Please understand that, as a rule, we do not comment on speculations.”

Volkswagen wrote: “We have no comment on the speculations and presumed circumstances that you have mentioned.”

The cartel authorities face a Sisyphean task in their investigation of the auto cartel. There were more than 60 working groups in which the automakers cooperated. “We assume,” Volkswagen wrote in its statement to the authorities, “that more than 1,000 relevant meetings took place in the last five years.”

More than 60 working groups and more than 1,000 meetings.

At this point, it makes sense to pause for a moment and ask: Excuse us? What exactly was going on in an industry that, for decades, was considered a symbol of the strength of German industry? Weren’t the heads of these auto companies constantly pointing out how fantastic the competition was, especially among the German automakers?

Commenting on the fact that Audi, BMW and Mercedes together hold about 80 percent of the global market share in the premium segment, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said that one of the reasons was that “as neighbors, we are constantly stepping on each other’s toes. In this sense, competition is an incredibly good thing.” BMW CEO Harald Krüger said: “This competition constantly motivates us to achieve excellence.” VW CEO Matthias Müller praised the competition among brands. And Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said that competition had “given us all a technological advantage.”

Was it all just for show?

Of course there is still competition among German carmakers. Each of them strives to ensure that its latest model has either the most comfortable or the sportiest chassis. Each of them aims to design an especially safe vehicle that performs well in crash tests. And each company wants to be at the forefront when it comes to offering the first fully self-driving car.

There are cases in which the German carmakers do officially work together. For instance, Mercedes-Benz and BMW cooperate in buying certain auto parts. This is allowed if the parts are not relevant to competition, that is, if they do not constitute a distinguishing feature between a BMW and a Mercedes — windshield wiper blades, for example.

But beyond this known cooperation, apparently the companies, in their groups of five, secretly shut out the competition in many areas of vehicle development for years, thereby violating the basic principle of the market economy.

This has already come back to haunt them, and in dramatic fashion. The diesel scandal would not have taken shape as it did, and perhaps not even at all, without the agreements among German automakers. It is not the work of a few criminal managers in the Volkswagen Group, but ultimately the result of secret agreements within the entire German automobile industry. DER SPIEGEL has already reported on the initial signs of collusion.

The companies have been coordinating their efforts in numerous meetings and conference calls since 2006. There were agendas and minutes of these meetings. And sometimes the participants even joked about the aspect of confidentiality. One Audi email, for example, reads: “Hello everyone, here is the information on the ‘secret’ meeting in Munich.”

The starting point was the debate over the increase in the greenhouse gas CO2 and the resulting global warming. Calls for limits on CO2 emissions became more and more vocal worldwide. After heavy industry and energy producers, the automobile industry also came under fire.

A Japanese carmaker had a response to the criticism. Toyota was already selling vehicles with hybrid drives, in which a classic combustion engine is supported by an electric motor. Fuel consumption and, as a result, CO2 emissions declined considerably. It was considered a pioneering technology. The European Commission, under then President José Manuel Barroso, even discussed imposing a mandatory quota for hybrid drives.

The German automobile industry had nothing comparable to offer in this area. Instead, it chose to back the more than 100-year-old diesel technology. Diesel engines, which emit less CO2 than gasoline engines, were to become their answer to climate change.

Pubblicato in: Criminalità Organizzata

Germania, Russia e sanzioni. VW amplierà il mega impianto a Mosca.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-07-09.

2017-07-08__VW__001

La Germania di Frau Merkel è sempre stata la più feroce sostenitrice delle sanzioni economiche nei confronti della Russia. Chi commerciasse con la Russia violerebbe le direttive dell’Unione Europea, e la Bundeskanzlerin si arrabbierebbe moltissimo.

Ma come sanno tutti, leggi e regolamenti servono a guidare la vita di quanti proprio non sappiano regolarsi da soli.

«President Vladimir Putin met Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller in Moscow on Wednesday and said he was ready to help the German car giant develop its business in Russia at a time of sliding sales and weak demand»

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«We are very happy that your business as a whole is doing well, although we understand there are certain difficulties»

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«Putin said after the meeting, a rare face-to-face between the Russian leader and a major European industrialist after the West sanctioned Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea»

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«The company makes cars at a factory in Kaluga, some 170 kilometers (105.63 miles) southwest of Moscow, and started production at a new engine plant in the city in 2015. It also has two other production sites»

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«An industry source said Mueller’s meeting with Putin had been to discuss “exclusive benefits” for his company»

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«Volkswagen said in a statement it was committed to the Russian market, where it said it provided 6,800 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs, and planned further development there»

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«Putin told reporters tax privileges offered by the Russian government were already helping support Volkswagen’s sales»

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Ricapitoliamo.

– Le sanzioni alla Russia poste dall’Unione Europea esplicitamente prevedono il divieto assoluto di commerciare con essa.

– La Volkswagen continua indisturbata a mantenere ed ampliare i suoi stabilimenti di Kaluga, con una produzione odierna di 1.4 milioni di automobili.

– Adesso la Volkswagen si ampia. E per far ciò il Ceo Matthias Mueller incontra direttamente Mr Putin. Per scomodare il Presidente della Russia non dovrebbe essere affaruccio da pochi scudi.

– Infine un punto delicato, che tanto sta a cuore al nostro caro Mr JC Juncker. Si tratta di “tax privileges”: per dirla in termini politicamente corretti, elusione ed evasione fiscale, condita con una dose massiccia di defiscalizzazione ad hoc.

* * *

E le sanzioni che fine hanno fatto?

Siamo convinti che Frau Merkel dia una spiegazione plausibile a quanto sta accadendo.

Nota. Uno dei motivi dell’ampliamento degli impianti produttivi di Kaluga è la sempre peggiore crisi demografica dei tedeschi autoctoni, che si stanno estinguendo.

Germania. Realtà geografica, non più umana, politica ed economica.

Germania. Summit in Cancelleria per l’allarme demografico.


Reuters. 2017-02-08. Putin meets Volkswagen CEO, offers help in Russia

President Vladimir Putin met Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller in Moscow on Wednesday and said he was ready to help the German car giant (VOWG_p.DE) develop its business in Russia at a time of sliding sales and weak demand.

Putin said he understood the challenges the car maker faced in Russia, where the country’s once-booming auto market has fallen victim to a sustained economic downturn.

“We are very happy that your business as a whole is doing well, although we understand there are certain difficulties,” Putin said after the meeting, a rare face-to-face between the Russian leader and a major European industrialist after the West sanctioned Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

“We are always ready to discuss any questions you have to help you develop further in our country.”

VW Group, which produces the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands, is Russia’s largest foreign car maker by sales and revenue. But its sales fell by 5 percent in Russia last year, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group, as the wider market fell by 11 percent year-on-year.

Some foreign car makers, such as General Motors (GM.N), have quit Russia, but Volkswagen has sustained investment, betting sales will one day recover to their 2012 peak of almost 3 million vehicles a year from around 1.4 million vehicles now.

The company makes cars at a factory in Kaluga, some 170 kilometers (105.63 miles) southwest of Moscow, and started production at a new engine plant in the city in 2015. It also has two other production sites.

An industry source said Mueller’s meeting with Putin had been to discuss “exclusive benefits” for his company.

Volkswagen said in a statement it was committed to the Russian market, where it said it provided 6,800 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs, and planned further development there.

“We are thinking ahead over the future and looking for the ways of implementing our global strategy at the Russian market,” the company said.

Putin told reporters tax privileges offered by the Russian government were already helping support Volkswagen’s sales.

The AEB sees Russian car sales increasing by 4 percent in 2017 after four consecutive years of decline, but said on Wednesday they had fallen 5 percent in January. VW Group sales increased 2 percent for the month.

Volkswagen has fared worse elsewhere. After admitting in September 2015 that it cheated U.S. diesel emissions tests, it is still battling regulatory investigations, investor and consumer lawsuits, and striving to rebuild its reputation.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Unione Europea

Unione Europea e Germania trattano i paesi dell’est come colonie.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-07-04.

2017-06-22__VW__000

La Slovakia è un paese relativamente piccolo, circa cinque milioni e mezzo di abitanti, con il pil pro capite salito dai 13,098 euro del 2011 ai 14,515 del 2015, 17,008$ attuale (dato provvisorio): un po’ più di 1,200 euro al mese.

Se è vero che in Slovakia il costo della vita è decisamente inferiore allo standard dell’Unione Europea, è pur vero che 1,200 euro al mese sono ben pochi anche in quel paese. Si tenga presente anche come il pil pro capite nell’Eurozona fosse 31,279 euro nel 2015.

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Se si valutasse invece il pil  pro capite ppa, la Slovakia avrebbe un valore di 29,720$, contro i 46,893$ della Germania. Nel complesso è quindi un paese che da poco avrebbe superato la soglia media di povertà, nonostante che sia diventata indipendente dal 1993. Non sono cifre consolanti, tenendo conto che sono passati 24 anni, una generazione.

Il rapporto con la Germania varrebbe 46,893 / 28,720 = 1.63.

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«Eastern Europeans feel their countries are being treated as colonies, and that’s a danger to the European project»

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«Slovakia is in many ways the poster child for East European integration into the European Union»

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«In 2010 through 2016, its economic output in constant prices grew an average of 2.9 percent a year. The impressive growth has been possible thanks to Slovakia’s increasing specialization as the EU’s car assembly hub»

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«the sector accounts for 40 percent of Slovakia’s industrial output and one-third of exports (which go mostly to the rest of the EU), but only 4 percent of the value added»

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«the average gross monthly pay in Wolfsburg is about 2.5 times higher than at the Bratislava plant»

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In sintesi.

Un operaio tedesco guadagna 2.5 quello slovacco, pur essendo il rapporto dei pil ppa procapite 1.6.

Lo squilibrio è evidente.

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Se è vero che il salario medio slovacco consente una vita dignitosamente modesta, è pur sempre vero che in termini normalizzati è consistentemente inferiore a quello tedesco.

In una situazione del genere, è facile comprendere i malumori degli slovacchi, che si sentono sempre più trattati come una colonia tedesca o dell’Unione Europea.

Se poi si valutassero anche le diverse posizioni sul modo di intendere l’Unione Europea, le sue Corti di Giustizia, e molte conflittualità delle differenti Weltanschauung, si constaterebbe come i malumori attuali potrebbero sfociare in conflitti di ben più consistente portata.

L’Unione Europea dovrebbe ripensare in modo più approfondito ai suoi rapporti interni ed alla sua struttura. Mentre una confederazioni di stati tollera entro margini ragionevoli anche discrepanze economiche consistenti, una unione più centralizzata presupporrebbe che tali discrepanze non fossero così eclamptiche.


Bloomberg. 2017-06-22. VW’s Strike in Slovakia Exposes a European Divide

Eastern Europeans feel their countries are being treated as colonies, and that’s a danger to the European project.

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Slovakia is in many ways the poster child for East European integration into the European Union. But the strike taking place now at Volkswagen’s Bratislava plant says a lot about how disunited Europe looks from the European Union’s eastern edge. Eastern Europeans often feel their countries have turned into Western Europe’s colonies, and that sense may be a more serious threat to the EU’s unity than Brexit.

Unlike most of its neighbors, Slovakia adopted the euro and hasn’t suffered for it, though many predicted it would. In 2010 through 2016, its economic output in constant prices grew an average of 2.9 percent a year. The impressive growth has been possible thanks to Slovakia’s increasing specialization as the EU’s car assembly hub.

In 2005, the country produced about 200,000 cars a year. In the last two years, it passed the million mark. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which released a detailed  of the Slovak economy on Wednesday, the sector accounts for 40 percent of Slovakia’s industrial output and one-third of exports (which go mostly to the rest of the EU), but only 4 percent of the value added: Slovakia is well integrated into the European car industry’s sprawling and its ultra-fast production chains.

In the country’s west, where most of the car factories operate, unemployment is below 5 percent and workers feel empowered. They compare themselves with people doing the same jobs in Western Europe and even in more affluent parts of the former Communist east, and they get the impression that they’re treated unfairly. Zoroslav Smolinsky, the labor leader at Volkswagen’s Bratislava factory, wrote in a recent blog post that though the workers there make decent money by Slovak standards, it wasn’t fair that salaries weren’t even comparable with VW’s flagship factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. Indeed, the average gross monthly pay in Wolfsburg is about 2.5 times higher than at the Bratislava plant. (Of course, the cost of living in Wolfsburg is also higher than that in Bratislava, but that is usually not mentioned.)

The Slovak workers at VW make relatively cheap VW Up! cars, but also ultra-luxury models such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Bentayaga. It’s the luxury cars that drive up VW’s profit margins, and those are the vehicles Bratislava workers stopped creating when they walked out on Tuesday, rejecting the management’s offer of a 4.5 percent pay raise (they’re holding out for 16 percent).

This is no ordinary industrial action. The country’s populist leader, Prime Minister Robert Fico, has strongly backed the workers. His description of the conflict on Tuesday was even more aggressive than labor leader Smolinsky’s:

Our western friends do not understand when we ask them why a worker in Bratislava, in a firm that has the highest quality, high productivity and manufactures the most luxurious cars, has a salary half or maybe two thirds lower than a worker in the same firm 200 km westwards, in any western country, where the work has lower quality, lower productivity and manufactures lower-quality products.

This political angle is not unique to Slovakia. Eastern Europeans as a group feel they’re being short-changed by their Western neighbors. They accuse multinational companies of selling cheaper, poorer-quality versions of brand-name food in their countries. They claim that the EU, in allocating so-called convergence funds to its post-Communist member countries, is helping Western corporations as much if not more as the poorer countries. Zoltan Kovacs, spokesman for the Hungarian government, wrote in a letter to the editor of Politico recently:

In exchange for receiving cohesion funds, less-developed member countries have opened up their markets to companies from all other EU countries. More than a few German companies have profited handsomely from that deal, enjoying unfettered access to new markets, new sources of high-quality labor and, in the case of Hungary, the lowest corporate tax rate in the EU at 9 percent.

Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia all joined the EU 13 years ago; some might argue they’ve come a very long way in that short time and more patience is required to reach standards of living built over more than half a century in the west. And yet, their citizens have long forgotten the Communist past and are only too aware that living standards are still far from those of the EU’s core members. In terms of incomes, Eastern European countries have caught up just a tiny bit with Spain, but not with Germany.

Convergence? What Convergence?

Average annual wages in 2016 U.S. dollars using purchasing power parity

2017-06-22__VW__001

In response, Westerners could point out that labor costs have been rising faster in Eastern Europe than in the West, and in that sense the less-developed EU member states are rapidly catching up.

Convergence in Labour Costs

Labor costs index (2012 = 100)

2017-06-22__VW__002

So far, those arguments aren’t holding sway. As Eastern Europeans are increasingly fed up with being  poorer cousins, they tend to lean toward populist parties that insist on more national sovereignty. Such forces have already come to power in Hungary and Poland.

In response, the core states — notably Germany and France — appear to be increasingly in favor of a so-called two-speed Europe, in which some member states integrate their economic and legal systems faster than others.  That makes sense from a Western European perspective, but not from the Eastern European one. That’s why Germany is increasingly seen as too powerful in the East, especially in Poland. 

There is a risk for Eastern Europe in pushing the demands too far. If Volkswagen accepts that labor costs at its Bratislava operation must converge with those in Germany — and they are already on that trajectory — it won’t make as much sense to move high-margin products to the Eastern European location. Much of the East’s remarkable recovery from the poverty of the Communist era comes thanks to precisely the corporates they now criticize.

But the West too must play its cards carefully. Populists in Eastern Europe may be vulnerable to censure and economic punishment. But they are unlikely to start losing as consistently as they have recently in Western Europe until there is more demonstrable economic convergence, and until Eastern Europeans lose their colonial complex. It would be unwise to give them more cause to rebel — and also unpopular. A recent Chatham House survey shows that solidarity with the economically weaker countries is a key EU value: 77 percent of the European elite (defined as “individuals in positions of influence”) and 50 percent of the general public believe that the wealthier member states should financially support the poorer ones.

Integration was and remains a worthy goal. Core EU governments shouldn’t lose sight of it. 

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Volkswagen taglia 30,000 posti di lavoro.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-11-22.

 miraggio__003__olandese-volante

Miraggio. L’Olandese Volante.


Tutte le volte che si possa riuscire a depurare i discorsi dalle fumose parole politiche ed ideologiche di circostanza ed a far emergere i numeri nella loro crudezza, i problemi emergono chiaramente definiti.

«With 610,000 workers globally, VW last year built slightly fewer vehicles than Toyota which has 350,000 staff»

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«The cuts are too small to make VW cost competitive with Toyota and other global rivals»

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Il problema adesso dovrebbe essere chiaro ed evidente, così come altrettanto chiaro ed evidente dovrebbe intravedersi il rimedio.

– a parità di produzione la VW ha un numero di dipendenti doppio di Toyota;

– per sanare una situazione non più a lungo sostenibile, l’incremento di produttività dovrebbe essere accompagnato da sostanziali riduzioni del personale.

– in termini numerici, ad un aumento di produttività del 100% dovrebbe corrispondere il licenziamento di circa 300,000 addetti.

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L’alternativa è quella di scomparire dal mercato, così come sono scomparse nel tempo un gran numero di realtà produttive non più a lungo competitive.

Il fallimento o liquidazione dell’uno e la sopravivenza di un altro è insito nell’evoluzionismo economico, per cui tengono i mercati soltanto la entità più proficuamente produttive. Gli evoluzionisti dovrebbero squittire di gioia.

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Tutti gli altri discorsi sono semplicemente aria fritta.

O si cambia registro oppure tutti in fila all’ufficio collocamento.

O si mandano a casa questi attuali politici che ci governano oppure ci avviamo alla miseria più nera.

Nota a margine.

Chi mai avrebbe detto che sarebbero che sarebbero serviti ancora milioni di migranti?


Reuters. 2016-11-19. Volkswagen to cut 30,000 jobs

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and its labor unions agreed to cut 30,000 jobs at the core VW brand in exchange for a commitment to avoid forced redundancies in Germany until 2025, a compromise which leaves the carmaker’s profitability still lagging rivals.

The turnaround plan announced on Friday will lead to 3.7 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in annual savings by 2020 and lift the Volkswagen (VW) brand’s operating margin to 4 percent that year, from an expected 2 percent in 2016.

That target still remains below rival European carmakers such as Renault (RENA.PA) and Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA), which is targeting an operating margin of 6 percent in 2021.

VW, Europe’s largest carmaker, is seeking to move beyond an emissions-cheating scandal that has tarnished its image and left it facing billions of euros in fines and settlements.

The cuts came with a management pledge to create 9,000 new jobs in the area of battery production and mobility services at factories in Germany as part of efforts to shift toward electric and self-driving cars.

“We have to invest billions of euros in new cars and services while new rivals will attack us – the transformation will surely be more radical than everything we have experienced to date,” VW brand CEO Herbert Diess said at a press conference.

DEEP ENOUGH?

Some experts argued the cost cuts were not deep enough.

Spending on R&D and staff across VW’s automotive operations has been growing for years with the need to overhaul the cost base dating back to before the diesel emissions scandal broke 14 months ago.

“The deal may be the best the company could negotiate with labor but it’s not a victory for either side,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor.

“The cuts are too small to make VW cost competitive with Toyota (7203.T) and other global rivals.”

With 610,000 workers globally, VW last year built slightly fewer vehicles than Toyota which has 350,000 staff. The German company has also been slow to cease production of unprofitable vehicles in its 340-model range.

VW’s labor leaders said management had agreed to avoid forced redundancies in Germany until 2025, a step which clears the way to cutting 23,000 jobs via the more palatable methods of buyouts, early retirements and reducing part-time staff.

Jobs will also be cut in North America, Brazil and Argentina, VW said, without being more specific. Around 120,000 employees work for VW brand in Germany including 6,000 temporary staff.

UNIONS PLEASED

Many analysts and investors nonetheless welcomed the deal, sending the shares more than 2 percent higher to the top of the blue-chip DAX .GDAXI index in early Frankfurt trading. At 1324 GMT (8:24 a.m. ET), the stock was still trading up 0.8 percent at 118.5 euros.

Activist hedge fund TCI, which has been critical of Volkswagen management, said it looked like a good deal all round provided it could be made to stick.

“As long as they are net savings – the savings are not given back by increased costs elsewhere in the organization,” said TCI partner Ben Walker.

“They’ve just to deliver now. It’s easy to talk. They now have to deliver and execute,” he added.

Labor leaders were pleased with the outcome.

“The most important message is the jobs of the core workforce is secure,” VW’s works council chief Bernd Osterloh said at the news conference in Wolfsburg, where the company has its headquarters.

Management and labor agreed to outsource production of plastic parts from the German Braunschweig plant but will compensate workers by assigning more orders for chassis and steering assembly needed with rising investment in self-drive cars.

In a further sign of its shifting focus, VW said it will build electric cars at its German factories in Zwickau and Wolfsburg.

Electric motors will be built in Kassel, and VW will start battery cell production and development in Salzgitter.

Volkswagen will also build battery packs for electric and hybrid cars in Braunschweig, it said.