Nobody said the move to electric cars would be easy. And the news from Daimler over the past two weeks has put this sharply into focus. Mercedes has said that it needs to sell many more electric vehicles, mainly to meet much tougher EU rules over CO2 emissions. And so they can afford that investment, they are cutting 10% of their global workforce, saving €1.1 billion. Tough medicine, but much needed in the opinion of the analysts.
Arndt Ellinghorst, one of the most compelling voices here in London, put it very elegantly. “Daimler urgently needs to move away from its’ spray and pray’ investment philosophy”. He has been warning for months now that manufacturers have to be radical in their approach to model mix to avoid swingeing fines from the EU next year on emissions.
And why is next year important? Because it and 2021 set the benchmark for manufacturers for 2030 (by which time they will have to cut emissions by a further 37.5%). There has been a worry that some might try to game the system by setting high levels in 2021 so 2030 gets easier. Manufacturers gaming the emissions figures? You know that will never happen…
Still, there was some compensation for Germany this week as Tesla announced the creation of 7,000 new jobs in their new manufacturing operation to be based near Berlin. An operation the UK very much had its eye on, but, it is claimed, an investment we have lost out on because of our probable departure from Europe.
New cars in the UK might be a problem, but the last quarter has seen a bit of an uptick in used car sales. Nothing like a bumper time, however, but a modest 0.9% increase over last year. And it would have better had September not dampened the trend. Any good news is good, isn’t it?
Have a good weekend, steer clear of the floods if you can.
Of those who say nothing, few are silent.
I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.
Orson Welles (1915 – 1985)
People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever or amiable.
Samuel Butler (1835 – 1902)
‘Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), (attributed)
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