VW’s dodgy diesel gains: a measly 4.3 bln euros

September 30, 2015

That’s what the German carmaker appears to have saved by skimping on state-of-the-art emissions technology. Look only at the U.S. cars that got VW in trouble and it falls to 200 mln euros. Investors have so far lost 140 times that as the shares have plunged. Cheating doesn’t pay.

VW could use bank-style clawback of CEO pay

September 23, 2015

Martin Winterkorn’s resignation clears the way for sweeping changes at the sprawling carmaker after its costly emissions scandal. He was one of Germany’s best-paid bosses. Revamping compensation, and even trying to recoup some of the CEO’s cash, would send a strong message.

Delphi deal crudely hitches to connected-car hype

July 30, 2015

The auto supplier is paying $1.7 bln for a UK maker of “bundle management solutions.” HellermannTyton may be a solid company whose cable ties and such are integral components, but there’s a whiff of dot-com fever in the rhetoric. That’s not enough to justify the 45 pct premium.

New drivers could rev Formula One’s billions

June 25, 2015

Private equity backer CVC is ready to speed off after a decade of turbocharged returns, while 84-year-old patriarch Bernie Ecclestone may not be doing enough to tune high-tech motor racing’s commercial chassis. Qatari and U.S. owners might just restore full power.

Fiat boss fights for car M&A with hand behind back

May 27, 2015

Sergio Marchionne argues mergers would cut duplicative spending and boost shareholder returns. GM has already rebuffed him, probably because such deals are complex and hard to complete. But he also hurts his case by downplaying the benefits of lower costs and fewer employees.

Rob Cox: Pirelli flirts with joke version of hell

March 26, 2015

That’s where the chefs are British, the lovers Swiss and the mechanics French. Pirelli risks becoming the corporate equivalent: the management Italian (as in the joke), its owner a Chinese state enterprise, and other partners Russian. Minority investors won’t find it funny.

A fat and happy GM is a dangerous company

February 12, 2015

It’s an irony bordering on conflict of interest that Harry Wilson, who helped Uncle Sam convert debt to equity in bankruptcy, is pressing the carmaker to reduce its cash cushion. Yet absent externally imposed fiscal discipline, GM runs the risk of repeating mistakes of the past.

Uber’s law flouting could bring joyride to a halt

December 15, 2014

The taxi app company is covering drivers’ fines for illegal pick-ups. That may be just another business expense to a firm that earned a $40 bln valuation by moving quickly and breaking the rules. But the legal, lobbying and PR costs of reckless behavior are accelerating fast.

Uber flips the bird at critics with convertible

December 5, 2014

The taxi app’s valuation soared to $40 bln in its latest funding round. But a plan to issue securities that convert to stock at a discount to an IPO shows how firmly Travis Kalanick remains in the driver’s seat. Uber can raise money at a potentially massive premium.

Ford schools U.S. firms on turnarounds, succession

May 1, 2014

Alan Mulally’s almost eight years at the wheel offer a textbook case of how a company can drive itself out of the scrap yard. The automaker has also done an enviable job of paving the road for the next chief executive. It’s a story corporate America should learn from.