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

Germania. VW e Ford annunciano decine di migliaia di licenziamenti e chiusure.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-03-24.

Fuga Cervelli

L’industria automobilistica in Germania è da quasi un secolo la struttura portante del pil, sia in termini di occupazione sia nei termini dell’export.

Ma i tempi sono cambiati.

Il dieselgate ha inciso profondamente: le troppo striminzite soglie di inquinati emessi dai motori per legge rendono antieconomica la produzione. Poi, il paese si sta impoverendo, ed il mercato interno non presenta prospettive rincuoranti.

La conseguenza di questa rigidità politica ed economica trova ora la sua logica conseguenza .

Mentre l’industria automobilistica investe grandi capitali nella produzione all’estero, fuori dalla Germania,

Brasile. GM pianifica un investimento da 2.7 miliardi Usd.

per il mercato domestico si preannunciano tempi particolarmente duri.

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«German automaker Volkswagen said it would eliminate up to 7,000 jobs by 2023»

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«It estimates that the automation of routine tasks will result in the loss of between 5,000 and 7,000 jobs by 2023 and that around 11,000 workers will be eligible for retirement in the coming years»

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«The job cuts will be part of a savings drive aimed at slashing costs by €5.9 billion per year by 2023 at VW’s own-brand division»

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«Ford on Friday said it planned to cut “more than 5,000” jobs in Germany as part of a major restructuring»

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«This announcement is part of the Ford restructuring announced in January in Europe with the goal of returning to profitable business in Europe as soon as possible»

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«Ford employs some 53,000 people across Europe, around 24,000 of them in  Germany»

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«In the United Kingdom, Ford plans to axe 1,150 jobs, according to Britain’s Unite union»

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«In France, the group plans to close a plant making gear boxes near Bordeaux, costing 800 jobs and drawing the ire of the French government»

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Si iniziano ora a constatare gli effetti delle politiche industriali adottate. E siamo solo agli inizi.

L’Unione Europea e la Germania in particolare stanno avviandosi ad una crisi recessiva di severa entità.

A ciò si aggiunga l’incertezza legata alla Brexit, a quelli che saranno i risultati di questo anno elettorale nell’Unione Europea ed in otto stati dell’Unione, la profonda crisi del sistema bancario e l’incognita legata a come la banca centrale gestirà il programma Ltro. Ma su tutto aleggia il convitato di pietra.

La Germania sta spopolandosi per carenza di nascite tra la popolazione autoctona.

Germania. La demografia che stritola. Mancano tre milioni di lavoratori. – Vbw.

Germania. Eutanasia di un sistema socio-economico. – Reuters.

Germania. Non è povera. È misera. – Financial Times

Germania. Estesi alle autostrade i divieti ai motori diesel.

Germania. Herr Spahn prospetta la tassa sul nubilato.

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Questo è un dato sottovalutato e rimosso dalla mente dei politici e del grande pubblico,  ma vividamente chiaro a quanti debbano o vogliano investire. Mai come di questi tempi i demografi hanno da lavorare.

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Ford to slash over 5,000 jobs in Germany

Ford on Friday said it planned to cut “more than 5,000” jobs in Germany as part of a major restructuring to boost profitability at the US car giant’s European operations.

Ford on Friday said it planned to cut “more than 5,000” jobs in Germany as part of a major restructuring to boost profitability at the US car giant’s European operations.

The group aims to carry out the jobs cull through voluntary redundancies and early retirement, a spokeswoman told AFP.

“This announcement is part of the Ford restructuring announced in January in Europe with the goal of returning to profitable business in Europe as soon as possible,” she said.

“The aim is to cut more than 5,000 jobs in the most socially responsible way possible,” the spokeswoman added, without detailing how the cuts would be  divided among Ford’s operations in Cologne, Aachen and Saarlouis.

The announcement, which was shared with Ford Germany employees earlier on Friday, comes after the carmaker warned in January that “thousands” of jobs  would be cut as part of a revamp of its loss-making European division.

Ford employs some 53,000 people across Europe, around 24,000 of them in  Germany.

The overhaul comes at a time of widespread upheaval for global automakers as the industry pivots to the greener, smarter cars of the future and polluting diesel cars fall out of favour.

The industry is also grappling with the knock-on effects of US-lade trade tensions, Brexit uncertainty, and economic slowdowns in the key European and Chinese markets.

Ford, the second-biggest US automaker, plans to respond to the challenges with a global reorganisation, including a huge cost-cutting drive and partnership deals with rival carmakers.

The group, which booked a 2018 net profit of $3.7 billion, already announced last year that it would halt production of almost all sedans and small cars in the United States to save $11 billion. 

In the United Kingdom, Ford plans to axe 1,150 jobs, according to Britain’s Unite union.

In France, the group plans to close a plant making gear boxes near Bordeaux, costing 800 jobs and drawing the ire of the French government.

In Russia, Ford said it would launch a strategic review of its joint venture Ford Sollers.

Like other carmakers who have teamed up to reduce costs in an increasingly competitive industry, Ford earlier this year announced an alliance with German giant Volkswagen to jointly develop commercial vans and pickups from 2022.

The two companies are also in talks about potentially cooperating on electric and self-driving cars, the latest example of rivals joining forces to save on the massive research and development costs needed for the switch to future technologies.


Volkswagen set to cut up to 7,000 jobs

German automaker Volkswagen said it would eliminate up to 7,000 jobs by 2023 as it seeks to accelerate its transition to electric vehicles, although the cuts should be achieved via retirement offers.

“Volkswagen will be boosting the pace of its transformation… taking important steps this year to strengthen competitiveness on a sustained basis,” the flagship brand of the mammoth VW group said in a statement.

It estimates that the automation of routine tasks will result in the loss of between 5,000 and 7,000 jobs by 2023 and that around 11,000 workers will be eligible for retirement in the coming years.

The job cuts will be part of a savings drive aimed at slashing costs by €5.9 billion per year by 2023 at VW’s own-brand division.

Meanwhile the Wolfsburg-based firm said it would increase investments in “future topics” like battery-powered cars and automated driving over the same period, from the €11 billion announced in November to some 19 billion.

Even as some positions are cut, bosses expect to create 2,000 new jobs in electronics and software development to shape the firm’s reorientation, and said they would uphold a job security guarantee valid until 2025.

Chief operating officer of the VW brand Ralf Brandstaetter said in a statement the changes would “make Volkswagen fit for the electric and digital era”.

The gigantic carmaker’s electric transition is driven by the need to conform to strict emissions limits on greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), set to bite in the EU from 2020.

At a press conference Tuesday, the 12-brand Volkswagen group said it would increase the number of electric models it offers across its brands like VW, Porsche, Audi or Skoda over the coming decade to 70, 20 more than previously planned.

But the enormous investments needed are already weighing on performance and profit margins.

At the VW brand, executives aim to lift their profit margin to six percent by 2022, compared with 3.8 percent last year.

The job cuts announced Wednesday come on top of an existing restructuring programme slashing 21,000 positions worldwide and targeting €3 billion per year of savings by 2020.

Annunci
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.

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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.