Olaf's Feed
Nov 4, 2015
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Three roadblocks to real change at scandal-hit VW

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

If Volkswagen were a normal company, it would be going through radical reforms. Instead, three groups of entrenched stakeholders prevent the carmaker moving on from its deepening emissions-cheating scandal: family shareholders, the state of Lower Saxony and labour unions. Safeguarding VW’s future may require some extreme political intervention.

Nov 3, 2015
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VW’s new fiasco puts governance back in crosshairs

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Volkswagen’s latest fiasco is putting its governance back in the crosshairs. The German carmaker is taking an additional 2 billion-euro charge after saying it may have cheated on the fuel-economy data for 800,000 cars, in addition to fiddling nitrogen oxide emissions in up to 11 million diesel-run vehicles. It’s another sign of how rotten VW’s internal processes and culture have become.

Nov 3, 2015
via Breakingviews

VW’s new fiasco puts governance back in crosshairs

Photo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Volkswagen’s latest fiasco is putting its governance back in the crosshairs. The German carmaker is taking an additional 2 billion-euro charge after saying it may have cheated on the fuel-economy data for 800,000 cars, in addition to fiddling nitrogen oxide emissions in up to 11 million diesel-run vehicles. It’s another sign of how rotten VW’s internal processes and culture have become.

Oct 30, 2015
via Breakingviews

Airbus success hides growing flagship problem

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Airbus is getting many things right. Third-quarter revenue was 6 percent higher than a year ago, while operating profit grew at twice that rate. Demand for A320 short-haul aircraft is so strong that Airbus plans to increase production capacity by 43 percent. The group is trimming costs, selling non-core assets like its stake in rival Dassault Aviation, and seems to be avoiding major blunders in large-scale projects.

Oct 29, 2015
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Europe’s stricken airlines cursed with good luck

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Struggling flag carriers Lufthansa and Air France-KLM both have encountered an updraft of lower oil prices and unexpected strong summer demand. It’s probably just temporary. But try telling that to restive pilots who now have a reason to push back even harder on essential cost cuts.

Oct 29, 2015
via Breakingviews

Europe’s stricken airlines cursed with good luck

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Struggling flag carriers Lufthansa and Air France-KLM both have encountered an updraft of lower oil prices and unexpected strong summer demand. It’s probably just temporary. But try telling that to restive pilots who now have a reason to push back even harder on essential cost cuts.

Oct 28, 2015
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Cash-rich VW braced for dieselgate impact

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Volkswagen’s third-quarter results come too soon to reveal new insights into the effect of its recent emissions scandal. They do say a lot about the German carmaker’s underlying financial and operative strength. Strong cashflow and stable demand for its vehicles suggest VW is in decent shape to absorb the financial impact of what has come to be known as “dieselgate”.

Oct 26, 2015
via Breakingviews

How diesel-mad EU laid seeds of VW scandal

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The fierce response of U.S. regulators to Volkswagen’s emissions manipulation shows how lax European peers have been on a core public health issue. Legal limits for harmful diesel emissions are too high, test procedures are weak, and early evidence of non-compliance in real life was ignored. Clean diesel is possible, but this will dent automakers’ profits.

Oct 20, 2015
via Breakingviews

Merkel deserves to survive migrant crisis

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The escalating migrant crisis is harming Angela Merkel in a way the euro zone debt crisis didn’t manage to. The German chancellor’s decision to open German borders for Syrian war refugees faces staunch opposition inside her conservative party. Hosting up to 1.5 million refugees this year is pushing many municipalities to the limit. Merkel’s popularity has fallen sharply to the lowest level in three years, polls say.

Oct 15, 2015
via Breakingviews

Volkswagen can take $80 bln hit before crumpling

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The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Volkswagen is strong enough to withstand the financial fallout of disguising emissions of 11 million diesel engines sold globally. If Europe’s biggest carmaker can keep its operations stable, the cash it produces means it could allow it to absorb an impact of 70 billion euros ($79.7 billion) without having to sell brands or raise equity.

    • About Olaf

      "Olaf is a London-based columnist covering Germany, the euro zone and economics. He joined in November 2012 from Handelsblatt, Germany's business and financial daily. Olaf co-authored the award-winning book "Economics 2.0 – What the Best Minds in Economics Can Teach You About Business and Life" and wrote the book "Die Jahrhundertkrise". In 2012, he received the Friedwart Bruckhaus Award of Germany's Hanns Martin Schleyer-Foundation. Follow Olaf on Twitter: @OlafStorbeck"
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