Breakingviews

Tesla’s acceleration may get investors shaking

May 5, 2016

The electric-auto maker expects to produce 500,000 vehicles two years earlier than planned amid strong demand for its new Model 3 sedan. Such ambition is typical for boss Elon Musk. The cash and technical capabilities involved, however, increase risk with the potential rewards.

Uber driver deal just a detour from legal showdown

April 22, 2016

A $100 mln settlement resolves claims in two U.S. states that the $60 bln ride-hailing service should treat workers as employees, not cheaper contractors. Like paying driver fines for illegal pickups, though, the pact only buys time for Uber. Eventually, there’ll be a collision.

GM’s $500 mln Lyft stake hedges against tech’s rise

January 4, 2016

The bet gets the U.S. carmaker a way into the growing ride-hailing industry and another partner for developing autonomous vehicles. The deal taps into potential changes in car ownership and usage, and even employment – all threats to the traditional business of building vehicles.

Volkswagen top brass will be up for the chop

December 31, 2015

The German carmaker’s chairman and CEO are both new to their roles. But in 2016, huge emissions-cheating fines and a scathing external report on VW’s governance will shine a spotlight on leaving long-term insiders in charge. Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch looks particularly exposed.

Indian sale makes Bain Capital rare buyout hero

November 27, 2015

The U.S. firm has sold its remaining $116 mln stake in Hero MotoCorp four years after investing in the world’s largest motorbike maker. In rupee terms, Bain doubled its money in four years. As private equity pours into India, it’s a reminder that getting money out remains harder.

Volkswagen can take $80 bln hit before crumpling

October 15, 2015

The carmaker faces hefty penalties, legal fees and recall costs. But if its main business can be kept stable, VW can weather dieselgate without a capital increase or a breakup, Breakingviews analysis shows. Cash generation and strategic cuts give it room to absorb shocks.

Edward Hadas: VW, like BP, took the wrong chances

October 14, 2015

Studies of the oil company’s disasters showed a willingness to cut corners on safety. The carmaker’s deceit has not yet been thoroughly dissected, but its approach to regulation may have been similarly careless. Companies have to choose what matters. Bad choices can prove costly.

Rob Cox: VW needs an eight-step recovery plan

By Rob Cox
October 13, 2015

That’s the minimum number of constituencies the $68 bln carmaker, snagged in a giant engineering deception, must now mollify to restore credibility. Customers, investors, suppliers, dealers, governments, unions, staff and ordinary people each will require a unique approach.

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.