Tag: Daimler Chrysler

Simon Elliott is the new boss of MAN Truck & Bus

Prior to this, Simon was MD of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the UK and has also held various senior roles with Daimler Chrysler and Toyota.

He said: Ireland will be a hard place to leave, but the team has achieved amazing results in a challenging environment and developed a very strong position for future growth since we have been together.

“I have no doubt the UK team at MAN Truck amp; Bus will be similarly focused on growth and I look forward to working closely with them and the dealer network to achieve this and make a difference into the future.

Speaking on behalf of MAN Truck and Bus UK, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Adrian Sargent, said: “The arrival of Simon is a huge boost for us all, particularly following the departure of Des Evans who had led the business for so long.

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Gov. Deal talks economic development

The Pooler industrial site near Savannah was considered by Daimler-Chrysler for a factory to build Sprinter vans, but the deal fell through. It continues to attract attention of industries, according to Gov. Nathan Deal

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Mercedes Chief Eyes U.S. Market Share Expansion

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (TheStreet) — Mercedes Chief Deiter Zetsche says he is relaxed about retaining the No. 1spot as the top US luxury automaker in 2014 as the first American-made sedan rolls off the assembly line in Tuscaloosa, Ala. But for Zetsche, building the C-Class, which has moved upmarket with its latest redesign, in the US may just be the start of the German automakers ambitious plans to deliver even smaller, less-expensive Mercedes to the masses.

The Vance, Ala. plant, just outside of the City of Tuscaloosa, is the only Mercedes plant in North America and until this summer, it was the main producer of several SUVs including the GL-Class, M-Class and R-Class. The redesigned C-Class is the first sedan Mercedes has ever produced stateside. Zetsche, speaking exclusively to TheStreetTV at the Alabama plant said, it was about time . . . to have our best-selling sedan in America being built for Americans, in America.

In 2013, Mercedes, a division of Daimler-Chrysler
(DDAIY) , sold 88,251 Cs in the US For the first half of 2014, sales were down 28% as customers waited for the arrival of the new model. The new cars started arriving in dealer showrooms in mid-August and so far, the reaction from customers has been positive. Many people treat it as the small S-Class which many people perceive as the best car in the world, according to Zetsche.

WatchMore:Electrolux CEO Says $3.3B GE Appliances DealDoubles Size in US

The C-Class, priced at a little more than $41,000, is about $1,000 more than the previous years model. We do think these vehicles warrant a premium and that is expressed in our pricing, said Zetsche. Raising the price, along with moving production to Alabama has also improved the automakers profit margins. Zetsche declined to say by what percent, but he did say it makesvery good economic sense to start C-Class production in Alabama.

As for more sedan production on the way to the US, Zetsche did not rule out the possibility of building more sedans in the US down the road, but before that, there will be another as yet unnamed SUV that will be built in Alabama starting in 2015. When production of the new SUV starts, it will bring total production of the Alabama plant closer to 300,000 cars and SUVs a year. In 2013, the Alabama plant produced 185,000 vehicles. Zetsche says 300,000 is the ideal production output for a plant. As for what happens once the plant hits that goal, Zetsche was mum on the possibility of a second plant.

While it may be a while before the higher-end E-Class or S-class are manufactured on US shores, Zetsche is excited about a new joint venture Mercedes announced earlier this summer with Renault Nissan that willdevelop the architecture for a new assembly plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Zetsche says its compact car lineup is expanding rapidly and for the next generation we need even more capacity and there is none in North America. The plant is expected to start production in early 2017.

And, while the automaker is busy behind the scenes planning the launch of a new SUV in 2015 and the compact car lineup in a few years time, right now, Zetsche has a birds eye view of luxury spending around the world. In China, Mercedes has seen a double-digit growth rate and he expects the growth momentum their to continue. In Europe, Zetsche said he expects the economic recovery to continue, but at an even slower pace than in the first half of 2014. Globally, he said, The overall picture looks pretty bright but of course there are some clouds in the sky and we have to see how they will develop.

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Airbus sees Chinese market as one of the world’s largest

Workers put hands on the booth of Airbus for the upcoming ILA Berlin Air Show in Selchow near Schoenefeld south of Berlin May 19, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Passenger aircraft sales will take off and pull even with US, executive says

The Chinese market will continue to grow for another 20 years in terms of commercial aircraft demand, pulling even with the United States as the leading markets in the world for Airbus Group NV, according to Chief Executive Officer Thomas Enders.

Enders, who has been running Airbus since 2007, gave a positive forecast of this years orders during an interview on Tuesday in Beijing .

Airbus received 1,600 orders for its aircraft in 2013, and the number will be significant this year, he said.

Airbus, a world leader in aeronautics, space and related services, integrated its five brands under the same roof of the brand Airbus on Jan 1.

We picked the most well-known brand in the group, which represents 65 percent of our business. It will grow to 70 percent in the coming years, said Enders.

The new group comprises Airbus SAS as a manufacturer of commercial aircraft, Airbus Defense and Space as the defense and aerospace leader in Europe and Airbus Helicopters, which offers the worlds widest range of civil and military copters.

Airbus Group was created in 2000 through the merger of Daimler Chrysler Aerospace AG in Germany, Aerospatiale Matra in France and CAS in Spain. With orders exceeding 1.2 trillion eu ros ($1.6 trillion) since 2000, the groups order backlog at the end of 2013 was 680.6 billion euros.

Last year, Airbus Group had revenues of 57.6 billion euros, more than double the 24.2 billion euros it generated in 2000.

Fast-growing demand for helicopters in China, fueled by the relaxation of low-altitude airspace, is creating huge potential for Airbus Helicopter.

The division sold 123 helicopters to Chinese companies on Monday, when China and Germany signed a series of trade and investment deals during a visit to Beijing by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Three contracts were signed with Fujian Xinmei General Aviation Co, Guangdong Baiyun General Aviation Co and Yunnan Fengxiang General Aviation Co.

The copters will be used for general aviation functions such as utility work, air tours, passenger transport, business aviation, emergency medical services and search and rescue operations.

Most of the 123 helicopters are light single-engine helicopters from Airbus Helicopters Ecureuil family, as well as the light twin-engine EC135.

Airbus Helicopters Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said: It is evident that Chinas relaxation of its low-altitude airspace regulations is enabling the countrys burgeoning helicopter market to realize its potential.

China has 190 Airbus helicopters in operation, accounting for 42 percent of Chinas civil helicopter market and generating revenue of about 180 million euros for the company.

Early this year, Airbus Helicopters and Chinas Avicopter – the helicopters business unit of State-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China – signed a joint agree ment for the production of 1,000 new-generation EC175/AC352 rotorcraft.

Speaking on technological exchanges, Enders said cooperation and sharing knowledge in the engineering field, as well as manufacturing and assembly technology, is vital in a collaboration.

You cannot cooperate with partners without knowledge, skill and technology transfers. That is the very core of cooperation. You have to share, he said.

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Statistics Show That Macomb Township, Michigan Has Rebounded From the …

WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI–(Marketwired – July 11, 2014) – Nick Tartaglia, CEO of TAG Real Estate, is feeling quite upbeat about the future business prospects for Macomb Township in Michigan. He has managed to secure several large lease contracts with some of the big players in the area. TAG is a realty firm poised for growth, and has a lot of experience in the development, planning, and construction of numerous shopping centers, industrial, and apartment complexes. Numerous Fortune 500 Companies have turned to TAG for help with their Real Estate needs, such as: Walgreens Pharmacy, Daimler-Chrysler, Little Caesars, and others.

So what is it that gives this area of Michigan such a bright outlook? One sure indicator is that Home Values have increased by 11.5% over 2013, and Zillow predicts it will also rise this year. Another Indicator is the home rental prices. The Zillow Rent Index shows a healthy rental market that is above average for the USA. Zillow also rates the local market as Very Healthy. These indicators are often the criteria that firms use in deciding which areas are ripe for growth, such as Macomb. During a recent interview, Nick Tartaglia had this to say: I am very bullish on Macomb Township, and I see an increase in all real-estate activities across the board all through 2014 and beyond.

The company points out that Macomb Township has rebounded after the recession as one of Metro Detroits fastest growing suburbs. An indicator of future home building is the number of building permits issued, and this area leads the region in residential building permits. Macomb is now the 10th largest community in Metro Detroit with an estimated 82,900 residents, and expected to quickly surpass Troy to take the #9 position. According to SEMCOG, median household income in 2010 was $83,254, and 43.1% of residents have an Associates Degree or higher. All this and Macomb still has that small-town feel that attracts so many home buyers.

For complete information, please visit: TAG Real Estate, LLC

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Airbus official (EADS): We haven’t been contacted by the Romanian authorities

Asked what what was the Airbus Group (EADS) position against the check-ups made by DNA for the contract regarding lsquo; The Integrated System for the Security of the State Border signed between EADS Deutschland GmbH and the Interior Ministry, the press officer Gregor von Kursell said, on Friday that the group was not contacted by the Romanian authorities in connection to this case. lsquo;We always cooperate with the authorities for regulation and investigation and we take strict measures in the case there is evidence regarding irregularities Gregor von Kursell said.

Judicial sources stated that the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Department (DNA) investigate with regards to the Contract lsquo; The Integrated System for the Security of the State Border (SISF), signed between EADS Deutschland GmbH and the Ministry of Interior, worth 734 million euro.

According to the same sources, on 15 July 2004, the ministry of interior signed with Bearing Point a contract regarding the closing of the feasibility study for the implementation of SISF and in two days the study of feasibility and was sent to the Romanian party, which made a payment of 430,000 euro to Bearing Point.

lsquo;There are indicators that the study of feasibility which showed that EADS is the only company in the world able to supply SISF for Ministry of interior was made by the Midocar Consulting employees and represent a synthesis of previous studies, with the same object, made by other companies for the Border Police. On the basis of this study, the negotiation commission of the ministry of interior at that date decided the acquisition of SISF through the negotiation with unique source and with the EADS in Germany the sources say.

On the other hand, the same sources say, between 2003 and 2004, along the official negotiations between MAI and EADS as single official producer,it was allowed to be updated with absolutely all information and discussion in the meetings.

At the same time, the quoted sources say, it was allowed lsquo; a checkup on the EADS officials which should not disturb the hidden agreements regarding the subcontracting parties to be used in the project (Fujitsu Siemens Computers FSC, UTI, Felix Telecom), subcontracting parties with the role of transmitting the bribes necessary to the contract.

As a result, along the negotiations a formula which was not favourable for the Romanian state was reached, for a contract with fixed sum of 650 million euro, but without specifying the technical details, equipment and services to be delivered, they were to be agreed upon by EADS which could permanently control, through the technical solutions offered, the profit to pay the bribes necessary for the approval of the contract the judicial sources say.

So that EADS obtain the contract, the management of the company was conditioned to sign a contract of irrevocable contract of subcontracting with FSC, for orders of 40 to 60 million euro, the sources say.

The FSC management, in its turn, to receive these orders from EADS was conditioned to sign, at the same time, contracts of commission with Gessa, with a commission of 10% and with Profinet, with a commission of 5%, money which represented the bribe for the leaders in MAI and the premier cabinet at that time, the sources say.

From the investigations there results that in February 2005 requested the FSC management to change the commission percentages to Gessa and Profinet, the new percentage being 7% for Gessa and 8% for Profinet, their total being 15% of the value of the orders FSC was to receive from EADS.

EADS paid in 2004 immediately after the signing of the contract, a deposit of 4 million euro to be used for the payment of the bribe, sum from which FSC paid, in its turn, a deposit of 2,000,000 euro to Profinet and a deposit of 280,000 euro to Gessa the quoted source says.

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS NV (EADS) European company in the air domain and defence domain, was set up in 2000 by the merging of Aerospatiale Matra from France, Construcciones Aeronauticas from Spain and Daimler Chrysler Aerospace from Germany. Starting with January 2014, EADS changed its name becoming Airbus Group.

Rus: I find it hard to believe crimes occurred regarding EADS contract

Transport Minister Ioan Rus, former Minister of Internal Affairs, has stated on Friday, in Alba Iulia, that he finds it hard to believe that crimes occurred regarding the EADS contract concerning border security. Rus has emphasized that this contract represented a total necessity in regard to Romanians free circulation in the European space and in regard to Romanias accession to the European Union.
He said that at the level of the Internal Affairs Ministry a special committee formed of specialists dealt with the matter.

Because it wasnt only a matter of Internal Affairs, but also relied on other matters, an interministerial committee that dealt with the negotiations and setting the terms in which the border securing was to be made. Because I saw myself several comments of this kind, I can tell you, as an individual I mean, I have never negotiated with the EADS, there was a committee and a company inside the ministry that dealt with this matter. And at one point, right before the almost final stage or final stage of negotiations, I was no longer Minister of Internal Affairs, said Ioan Rus.

Asked by journalists how he comments on the fact that prosecutors support that Romanian officials were paid a commission, Ioan Rus answered that he finds it hard to believe that crimes occurred.

The National Anticorruption Directorate has opened an investigation in relation to large sums of money being received as bribes by Romanian officials, in exchange for granting the EADS Deutschland GmbH Germany company, in 2004, the contract regarding the Integrated System for Securing the State Border, worth 534 million euro, prolonged in 2009 by 200 million euro.

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THE FUTURE IS HERE. WELL TALK INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION. TODAY IS SUNDAY, JULY 20TH, 2014 AND THIS IS FLASH POINT. HI, WELCOME TO FLASH POINT. I HOPE YOURE HAVING A GOOD SUNDAY MORNING. SUNDAY MORNINGS WITH THE NEWSPAPER, ONE OF MY FAVORITE THING. LATELY ITS HARD TO PICK UP A PAPER AND NOT FIND AN ARTICLE WHATS HAPPENING IN DETROIT. JUST LAST SUNDAY, DETROIT WAS THE COVER STORY ON THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. A LOT OF THE PRESS HAS BEEN GLOWING ABOUT THE CREATIVE ENERGY TAKEN OVER OR THE EXCITING FOOD SCENE THATS DEVELOPING. A LOT OF THE STORIES ARE PRETTY SOBER, POINTING OUT FOR THE GOOD THINGS HAPPENING IN THE CITY, WERE STILL IN BANKRUPTCY AND THE CITY IS OVERRUN BY ABANDONED BUILDINGS AND EMPTY LOTS. AND SOME OF THE PRESS REMAINS CRITICAL OF THE CITY, ESPECIALLY WITH RESPECT TO THE RECENT WATER SHUTOFFS FOR CUSTOMERS WHO HAVENT PAID THEIR BILL AND CHER RIPPED IN ON TWITTER FOR THE WATER SHUTOFFS AND I WOULD THINK THAT MOST CITIES SHUT OFFICER HAV– OFFSERVICES IF YOU DONT PAY AND WELL DIG INTO THAT. SOME JUICY POLITICAL STORIES, FROM THE SNYDER CAMPAIGN, GETTING CAUGHT WITH SPY GLASSES AT THE MARK SCHAUER EVENT WHERE CHRONIC QUESTIONS WHERE TERRY LYNNLANDS MONEY HAS COME FROM. AND THE TRANSPORTATION FOR THE CITY THAT PUT THE WORLD ON WHEELS. ITS BECOMING CLEAR, THE FUTURE IS NOW, HOW DO WE GET SMARTER, MORE INTEGRATED AND SAFER? ITS ALL THIS MORNING ON FLASH POINT. ? ALL RIGHT. LETS START THIS MORNING WITH WATER. IS IT YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE WATER COMING FROM YOUR FAUCET OR RELYING ON YOURE PAYING FOR THE SERVICE. ITS AMAZING HOW FAR THE DEBATE HAS RUN. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT IT FIRST, ROCHELLE RILEY, NEXT TO HER, THE MOST FAVORITE CUSTOMER, I THINK, IN THE HISTORY OF TALBOTS, ATTORNEY PORSCHE, FROM THE CITY OF DETROIT OF DETROIT. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE, DETROIT NEWS, NOLAN FINLEY AND OUTGOING LEADER OF THE MICHIGAN STATE. THANK YOU FOR COMING AS WELL. AND ROCHELLE, LET ME START WITH YOU. WEVE WATCHED THE PROTESTS AND WEVE WATCHED A LOT OF DIFFERENT, ITS INCREDIBLE TO ME HOW FAR THIS HAS GONE NOW. NOW ITS BEEN DISCUSSED IN BANKRUPTCY COURT, THE REFLECTION THIS WATER DEBATE IS HAVING ON DETROIT IN A NATIONAL SENSE. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF IT? ITS COMPLEX BECAUSE ITS IN THE MIDDLE OF BANKRUPTCY. SO WE HAVE TO BE SENSITIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE POOR, BUT UTILITIES ARE NOT QUITE LIKE TALBTS, WHERE YOU HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION WHETHER YOURE PROVIDING FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND WHAT THEY NEEDMENT I SPOKE WITH DHS OFFICIAL WHO SAY THERES A TIERED SERVICE WHERE THERE ARE POTS OF MONEY FOR PEOPLE TO GET HELP IF THEY ASK FOR IT. GUESS WHAT? NOBODY IN THE WATER DEPARTMENT PREPARED PEOPLE FOR THAT, NONE OF THE ADVOCACY GROUPS HAND OUT SOMETHING, IF YOUR WATER IS TURNED OFF, HERE IS WHAT YOU DO. THAT COULD HAVE BEEN HELPED. SENATOR, I BELIEVE MOST PEOPLE GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. HOW IS IT THAT THIS SUDDEN DETROIT BEING PAINTED AS A VILLAIN, SNIDELY WHIPLASH STYLE FOR DENYING WATER IT PEOPLE? WELL, ITS TOO BAD. HERE WE ARE IN THE GREAT LAKES STATE AND SURROUNDED BY MORE FRESH WATER THAN ANYPLACE IN THE WORLD, SOMEWHAT IRONIC. ISNT IT? SO MANY PEOPLE WORKED SO HARD FOR THE CITY OF DETROIT TO TURN AROUND THAT REPUTATION AND BRING A SHINING STAR TO MICHIGAN AS WELL. ITS TOO BAD THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. IM NOT THAT CLOSE TO THE DETAILS BECAUSE MANY BACK AT THE CAPITAL. SURE. IM SURE THAT PEOPLE IN CHARGE WILL BE ABLE TO FIX THIS, I CERTAINLY HOPE SO. NOLAN, IT SEEMS TO ME, A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM, WE GOT TO A POINT WHEN IT BECAME A CENTRAL PART OF THE ARGUMENT ON CREATING THIS WATER AUTHORITY THAT OVER HALF OF DETROITS WATER CUSTOMERS ARENT PAYING THEIR BILLS. THATS REALLY WHERE THIS ALL STARTED TO BLOW UP, IT FEELS LIKE. AND PLUS, IT STARTED WITH A $90 MILLION HOLE IN THAT BUDGET. IF YOU DONT ENFORCE THE LAW, PEOPL ARENT GOING TO OBEY THE LAW. IF YOU DONT — IF YOU TEACH PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN GET WATER WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT, THEYRE NOT GOING TO PAY. THIS IS AN ENFORCEMENT ISSUE AND CERTAINLY THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO CANT PAY AND AS ROCHELLE SAID, THERE ARE POTS OF MONEY AND MAYBE DO A BETTER JOB OF TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT THAT, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO RAISE YOUR HAND AND SAY, I NEED HELP. YEAH. THIS IS ALL ABOUT BRINGING THE SCOFF LAWS INTO COMPLIANCE. YOU CANT HAVE 50% OF THE PEOPLE NOT PAYING THE BILL AND THE OTHER 50% HAVING TO PAY MORE TO COVER THEIR DEBT. WHICH IS REALLY WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO IN A LOT OF WAYS. AND IN FACT, NOLAN WROTE ABOUT IT THIS PAST WEEK, NOW THAT WHAT WEVE SEEN HAPPEN SINCE THE SHUT-OFFS STARTED MORE PEOPLE ARE PAYING THEIR BILLS, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT THERES MONEY THERE TO DO IT. I GUESS THAT RUINS MY REPUTATION TO AGREE WITH NOLAN. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE WHO AFFORD THEIR WATER BILLS HAVE TO PAY THEIR WATER BILLS. WERE PAYING AND MAKING SURE WE PAY THE BILLS THAT COME DUE TO US. ITS UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE OUT THERE– I DONT THINK A LARGE MAJORITY, BUT I THINK THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO DIDNT PAY BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY COULD GET AWAY WITHOUT PAYING AND THOSE PEOPLE HAVE TO BE CALLED TO THE TABLE ON IT. THE WATER DEPARTMENT, TOO, HAS A RESPONSIBILITY. ABSOLUTELY. FOR NOT DOING SOMETHING. SOMEBODY HAS A $5,000 WATER BILL MEANS THEY HAVENT PAID FOR YEARS. ABSOLUTELY, THATS WHERE THE WATER DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO GO, WE NEED TO PROPERLY ENFORCE PAYING THE WATER BILL WHEN THEY DO THAT. COULD THERE BE A BETTER EFFORT TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THERE WAS ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE? PROBABLY. WERE WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER GOAL, PEOPLE WORKING TO PAY BILLS IN A TIMELY MANNER. THE VILIFICATION THAT WEVE SEEN IS VERY STRANGE. I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WEIGHING IN WHO DONT HAVE A SOPHISTICATED UNDERSTANDING OF WHATS GOING ON IN DETROIT AND THEY HEAR, THEYRE SHUTTING OFF PEOPLES WATER, BUT IT DID MOVE EVEN JUDGE RHODES THIS PAST WEEK WHAT ITS DOING REPUTATION-WISE. I THINK THE SHAME OF IT IS, IT CAN CUT BOTH WAYS, WE ALL NEED TO BE PAYING MORE ATTENTION THAN EVER TO WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF DETROIT. A LOT OF THESE THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING ON IN DETROIT, ITS NOT JUST WATER BILLS, ITS PROPERTY TAXES AND ALL TYPES OF THINGS AND PEOPLE LET THAT GO BECAUSE THATS A PART OF BEING A DETROITER OR BEING IN DETROIT. AND YOU CANT DO THAT WHEN EVERYBODY IS WORKING SO HARD TO HAVE PEOPLE SEE A DIFFERENT DETROIT. ON THE OTHER HAND, WEVE MADE OURSELVES A REAL TARGET AND ITS EASY TO THROW. SOMETHING LIKE CHER, HAS SHE EVER BEEN TO DETROIT, TWEETING ABOUT THE WATER ISSUE. SHES BEEN HERE A COUPLE MONTHS AGO AT JOE LOUIS FOR THE CONCERT. PLENTY OF WATER IN THE DRESSING ROOM. YOU HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE PAYING THEIR PROPERTY TAXES AND DETROIT IS A VIBRANT PLACE. IF THEY CANT PAY THERES WAYS TO GET HELP. WEVE LIVED TOO LONG IN A CITY THAT DOESNT ENFORCE ITS LAW. THIS IS A NEW DAY AND ITS JUST LIKE BELLE ISLE WHERE THERE WAS A CRACKDOWN ON THE MISBEHAVIOR THERE AND THERE WAS A REACTION. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GET USED TO THE FACT ITS A NEW DAY IN DETROIT AND THE LAWS ARE GOING TO BE ENFORCED. RANDY, ITS ALSO, I THINK, EMBLEMATIC OF THIS LARGER DEBATE HOW WERE GOING TO FIGURE OUT THE WATER AUTHORITY, WHO IS GOING TO BE IN CHARGE OF THE WATER. THIS WAS A BIG TOPIC UP AT MACKINAC. AND WHATS THE SENSE IN LANSING OF HOW WATER OUGHT TO BE RUN IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN? IT DEPENDS WHO YOU TALK TO, I DONT THINK ITS A PARTISAN ISSUE, BUT I THINK THAT BROOKS PATTERSON HAS ONE IDEA AND LEGISLATORS IN DETROIT HAVE A DIFFERENT IDEA AND ITS A REGIONAL KIND OF DISCUSSION. WE DIDNT WANT TO MOVE IT IN WITH THE OTHER THINGS WE WERE DOING REGARDING THE GRAND BARGAIN, WE THOUGHT THEY SHOULD BE SEPARATE. MIGHT BE A WAY TO HIT THE BRAKES AND NOT GET IT THROUGH. WE GOT THE GRAND BARGAIN DONE AND THAT WAS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. I THINK WELL HAVE A DEBATE AND YOURE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT IT. HOW SHOULD WATER BE RUN IN SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN? ITS COMPLICATED. ITS VERY COMPLICATED AND I DONT WANT TO DELVE INTO WHETHER BROOKS IS RIGHT OR WRONG, HE SEEMS TO BE STANDING HIS GROUND HOW HE FEELS WHETHER OR NOT HELL COOPERATE. HOPEFULLY HELL ADJUST AND COME TO THE TABLE. I THINK WERE ALL GOING TO HAVE TO COOPERATE AGAIN TOGETHER. AND I THINK WHAT WEVE SEEN IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS, PEOPLE HAVE COME TO THE TABLE AND PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO HELP OUT AND REALIZING IF THE STATE DOESNT FLOURISH AND THE CITY DOESNT FLOURISH, WERE GOING TO HAVE TO COME TO A CONCLUSION WITH THE WATER. AND ROCHELLE, ITS EMPOWERED BROOKS ARGUMENT. IF YOURE NOT COLLECTING PAYMENTS FROM HALF OF YOUR CUSTOMERS, ITS TOUGH TO GET EXCITED ABOUT PARTNERING WITH THAT. WELL, THIS IS ABOUT LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD. SO BY THE TIME YOU GET DONE, EVERYBODYS GOING TO BE SIMILAR AND YOU WONT THINK THAT YOURE CARRYING SO MUCH OF THE BURDEN. YOUR THOUGHTS AS WE GO TO THE BREAK. I THINK THERES A CHANGE THE WAY THE DEPARTMENT RUNS. IM NOT SURE THEYVE YET MADE THEIR CASE TO THE SUBURBS THIS IS THAT THIS IS A GOOD DEAL FOR SUBURB CUSTOMERS. I SUSPECT IN THE END WELL BRING A PRIVATE OPERATOR IN AND TRY TO CAPTURE SOME REVENUE, I DONT THINK ITS GOING TO BE THE ORIGINAL PROPOSAL. WELL TAKE A QUICK BREAK DIG INTO POLITICS. A COUPLE OF POLLS CAME OUT AND ALL RIGHT, WELCOME BACK TO FLASH POINT, OUR CONVERSATION ON THE WATER CONTINUED THROUGH THE BREAK THERE. LETS MOVE ON IF WE CAN, TO INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS ON THE POLITICAL FRONT. AND FIRST OFF, TWO DIFFERENT THINGS I THOUGHT THIS PAST WEEK. THE POLLS SHOWED, DEPENDING WHICH POLL YOU BELIEVED, SENATOR RICHARDVILLE, MAYBE A TIGHTER THAN SOME MIGHT THINK HE SHOULD BE VIEWED TO BE DOING, HOW IS SNYDER WAS INVOLVED IN DIRECTING BUT AT THE SAME TIME, YOU KNOW, IVE BEEN WARNED AND TOLD BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY AND WHERE YOU SAY IT. TECHNOLOGY IS AT A POSITION TODAY, ANYBODY CAN RECORD ANYTHING. IF YOURE AT A FUNDRAISER WHERE SOMEBODY IS TALKING, I DONT THINK HES GOING TO SAY ANYTHING HE WOULDNT BE PROUD TO SAY PUBLICLY. ASK MITT ROMNEY. THERES ALWAYS A VIDEO CAMERA IN THE CAMPAIGN. IN THIS CASE THEY WERE USING A GOOFY KIND OF– NOT QUITE GOOGLE GLASSES, APPARENTLY THEYVE GOT A DATA CARD. BUT SOMEBODYS TAPING– THE OPPOSITION IS TAPING EVERYTHING THAT BOTH CANDIDATESEN 0 BOTH SIDES SAY. WHATS INTERESTING ABOUT THIS IS THE GOOFY WAY IN WHICH THEYD DONE IT AND LEAVING IT BEHIND. BUT EVERY SINGLE MOMENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL IS VIDEOTAPED BY YOUR OPPOSITION. AND AS THEY SAID, WERE NOT SURE THE GOVERNOR NECESSARILY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. THE BREAK-IN OVER AT WATERGATE. WERE NOT SURE HOW HIGH ANYBODY KNEW. I DONT KNOW IF THIS IS WATERGATE, I MEAN– LET ME JUST SAY THAT UNLIKE SOME CAMPAIGNS, ID BE HARD-PRESSED TO BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNOR DOESNT KNOW EVERYTHING THATS GOING ON WITH HIS CAMPAIGN. BUT NOLAN IS RIGHT. HES A MINUTIA GUY. A VERY MINUTIA GUY AND THIS IS NOT UNUSUAL. IF YOURE GOING TO SPY ON YOUR OPPONENTS CAMPAIGN THEN YOU SEND THE SMART COOKIES WHO DONT LEAVE THE STUFF BEHIND. THE INTERESTING THING ON THE POLLS THIS PAST WEEK, YES, IT MIGHT BE A TIGHTER RACE THAN SOME SAW, BUT WHEN YOU DRILL DOWN AND LOOK AT THE NUMBERS, THE GOVERNOR HAS MORE SUPPORT IN DETROIT FOR THE WAY HES HANDLED DETROIT THAN I THINK MOST PEOPLE WOULD EXPECT POSSIBLE FOR A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR. NO, IT WAS SURPRISING, BELIEVE ME. I THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE SEEING THE COMPROMISE SO WERE GETTING BEHIND THAT IN SOME WAYS. AND YOU KNOW, THERES STILL TIME TO GO. YOU KNOW, I DONT KNOW IF THATS GOING TO SHAPE UP TO BE THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT HE GETS IN THE LONG RUN. YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT PEOPLE NEED NOT FORGET SOME OF WHAT THEY FELT LAST SUMMER WHEN THEY WERE WORRIED ABOUT WHO WAS GOING TO COME TO THE TABLE AND HOW THEIR PENSIONS WERE GOING TO GET CUT AND WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO HEALTH CARE AND IF THEY DONT FORGET THAT, THOSE NUMBERS MIGHT DIP A LITTLE BITS. WE DID HIT THE ONE-YEAR MARK FOR FRIDAY FOR THE BANKRUPTCY FILING. IF I TOLD YOU THIS IS HOW IT WOULD BE, I DONT THINK YOU WOULD BELIEVE WHAT I WOULD SAY. I THINK THAT WOULD REFLECT THE SUPPORT IN THE POLLS. PEOPLE EXPECTED A LOT WORSE EXPERIENCE AND A LOT MORE COMPLEX AND PAINFUL EXPERIENCE THAN THIS HAS BEEN. CERTAINLY, ITS BEEN PAINFUL FOR MANY PEOPLE AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE IMPACT ON CITY SERVICES, THEYRE ACTUALLY IMPROVING, NOT BEING SORT OF STRIPPED BARE. THE TAXPAYERS HAVE BEEN PRETTY WELL HELD HARMLESS AND ENJOYING BENEFITS FROM THE BANKRUPTCY. THE EMPLOYEES TOOK A HIT AND RETIREES, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS THEY EXPECTED TO. I THINK THE FACT THAT THIS IS WORKING AND BETTER THAN EXPECTED SHOWS UP IN THOSE POLLS. AND LETS MOVE TO THE SENATE RACE, IF WE COULD. ABOVE YOU DO THAT, LET ME JUST SAY, NOT SURPRISED. NOT SURPRISED ON THE WAY THAT THE BANKRUPTCY OR THE POLLING NUMBERS? THE POLLING NUMBERS. WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN DETROIT AND TALKED ABOUT THE LIGHTING PROBLEM, THAT WAS TAKEN CARE OF AND THE RAIL STUFF DONE AND A MULTI-COUNTY RAIL SYSTEM GOING AND GRAND BARGAIN. I JUST WANT TO SAY I WROTE A YEAR AGO, A LARGE PART OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WITH THE GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN IS WHETHER PEOPLE VIEWED HIM AS THE SAVIOR OF DETROIT OR RUINED PEOPLES LIVES. AS NOLAN OUTLINED THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS GOING WELL RIGHT NOW, EVEN THOUGH THERES PLENTY BAD, THAT PEOPLE ARE PAYING ATTENTION. DO YOU FIND YOURSELF SOUNDING SUPPORTIVE? IM A JOURNALIST, I DONT SUPPORT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. YOU MIGHT SNEAK IN AN OPINION ONCE IN A WHILE. I THOUGHT HE WAS DOING THE RIGHT THING TO BRIDGE THAT GAP BETWEEN LANSING AND DETROIT AND MAKE PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO WHATS HAPPENING. FIVE YEARS AGO, THERE WOULDNT HAVE BEEN A GRAND BARGAIN. AND MAYBE WILLING TO BE A LITTLE– I DONT KNOW, ARE YOU WILLING TO SUPPORT THE DEMOCRAT MARK SCHAUER OR THE INCUMBENT? ILL BE SUPPORTING THE DEMOCRAT MARK SCHAUER AND THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. I WISH THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE WOULD SPEND AS MUCH TIME GETTING THINGS DOWN AS THEY DO SPENDING TIME WITH GOOGLE GLASSES OR WHATEVER KIND OF GLASSES TO THE CAMPAIGN. I THINK IVE GOT TWO MINUTES TO GET INTO THE SENATE RACE. TERRI LYNN LAND, I THINK PEOPLE SEE– HER CRITICS SEE HER AS WANTING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. WANTING TO ENJOY THE FACT THAT SHE AND HER HUSBAND ARE PRETTY WEALTHY, WELL OFF AND PUT A LOT OF MONEY INTO HER OWN CAMPAIGN. NOW WELL FIND OUT LEGALLY IF SHES IN TROUBLE HOW THAT MONEY HAS BEEN DIVIDING. SHE WANTS TO SEEM TO DISTANCE HERSELF FROM THIS WEALTHY COMPANY THATS PART OF THE FAMILY. ITS SOMETIMES STRANGE, SOME OF OUR CANDIDATES OR CANDIDATES IN GENERAL HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS AND WANT TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THAT. MITT ROMNEY WAS, IM JUST A NORMAL, REGULAR GUY. NO, YOUVE GOT A QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS, YOURE NOT A NORMAL GUY. YOUR FATHER SERVED WELL AS A GOVERNOR AND YOU SERVED AS A GOVERNOR. I DONT THINK YOU SHOULD DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THE FACT YOURE SUCCESSFUL IN BUSINESS AND I HOPE TERRY AND HER FAMILY DONT DO THAT. WE DID A GOOD JOB, WEVE EARNED A LIVING AND IVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL AND PLAN TO BE IN THE SNALT. BOTH OF THESE CANDIDATES ARE MILLIONAIRES AND A HUNDRED OUT OF A HUNDRED SENATORS ARE MILLION AIRS. COME ON. I MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG ALONG THE WAY. I WANT TO BE RICH AND LIKE JOHN MCCAIN, I DONT KNOW HOW MANY HOUSE I HAVE, AND TERRI LYNN LAND, MY MONEY INVESTED– THANKS FOR THE CONVERSATION, WE DIDNT GET TO DIG INTO PRISONS AND WELL SAVE THAT FOR NEXT TIME. WELCOME BACK, EXCITED FOR THIS NEXT CONVERSATION. ITS STANDS FOR INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS. THIS SEPTEMBER, THEYRE GOING TO HOLD THE 21st WORLD CONGRESS AND FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ITS COMING TO DETROIT. SCOTT BELCHER IS THE CEO AND HES ON FLASH POINT THIS MORNING, THANKS FOR COMING. IM THRILLED. IM FASCINATED BY THE TOPIC GOING BACK TO WHEN I FIRST ATTENDED THE CHALLENGE, AND THE SORT OF EXHIBITION THAT GOES ON EVERY YEAR, THAT MICHELIN PUTS ON. LOOKING DEEP INTO THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION AND MOVING PEOPLE INTO THE PLANET OF OURS, WERE STANDING AT A TIPPING POINT TIME UNLIKE WHERE WEVE BEEN IN A LONG TIME? ABSOLUTELY. WERE AT A POINT IN OUR HISTORY WHERE TRANSPORTATIONS COMPLETELY CHANGING. WE HAVE NEW PLAYERS. WE HAVE THE EXISTING PLAYERS WHO ARE EVOLVING IN WAYS THEY COULDNT IMAGINED. COMPANIES LIKE FORD AND GENERAL MOTORS TALKING ABOUT CONNECTING VEHICLES SO THAT THEY DONT CRASH. TALKING ABOUT AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES, CARS THAT DRIVE THEMSELVES. YOU TALK ABOUT SHARED USE MOBILITY. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT DAIMLER CHRYSLER WOULD HAVE COME UP WITH THIS. AND WERE AT A PRECIPICE WERE GOING TO START TO MOVE FORWARD AND USE DATA IN WAYS WEVE NEVER DONE AND TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY. AND WEVE GOT TWO DIFFERENT KIND OF THINGS HAPPENING. ON THE FIRST PART, THE WAY THAT WE POWER VEHICLES HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF DEBATE FOR A LONG TIME. EVERYBODY WANTS TO WEAN US OFF OF FOSSIL FUELS, OBVIOUSLY, FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT REASONS, BUT I THINK THERES BEEN DEBATE OVER THE YEARS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE TO COME TO AGREEMENT ON WHAT THAT ONE THING IS GOING TO BE OR ARE WE STARTING TO ACCEPT THAT ITS GOING TO BE A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS? HYDROGEN, YOU KNOW, FLEX FUELS, ALL THAT, OR DO WE HAVE TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON HOW THE ONE THING THATS GOING TO POWER OUR FUTURE? THE WORST THING WE CAN DO IS TO FIXATE ON A SINGLE TECHNOLOGY. ONCE YOU DO THAT, TECHNOLOGY EVOLVES. SO YOUVE GOT TO BE OPEN AND YOUVE GOT TO BE OPEN TO NEW TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY. THE OTHER THING THAT WE HAVENT REALLY TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, SO YOU THINK ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES, YOU THINK ABOUT HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS, YOU THINK ABOUT ALL OF THIS COOL TECHNOLOGY, BUT WEVE GOT A CULTURAL CHANGE GOING ON AS WELL. AND WERE MOVING INTO AN ENVIRONMENT OF WHATS CALLED SHARED USE MOBILITY, WHERE PEOPLE SHARE CARS, THEY SHARE RIDES, THEY USE TRANSIT. MY KIDS ARE MORE FIXATED ON THEIR PHONES THAN THEY ARE ON THEIR CARS. SO WE HAVE A DIFFERENT GENERATION. IT DOESNT MEAN THAT CARS ARE GOING AWAY, THEYRE NOT GOING AWAY IN THIS COUNTRY OR IN CANADA, BUT WHAT IT MEANS, WE ARE GOING TO THINK ABOUT HOW WE USE THEM DIFFERENTLY. WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK ATUBER, IF YOURE A CERTAIN AGE AND OLDER, THAT SOUNDS LIKE A RIDICULOUS THING TO CALL SOMEBODY TO TAKE A RIDE. IF YOURE THAT AGE AND YOUNGER, WHY NOT? THAT SEEMS OBVIOUS. WHY WOULD YOU STAND ON THE STREET AND TRY TO HAIL A CAB WHEN YOU CAN CALL A CAB– OR CALL AUBER CAR OR A SIDE CAR OR A LIFT CAR AND PICK YOU UP AND KNOW WHEN THEYRE GOING TO BE THERE. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE VEHICLES THAT TALK TO EACH OTHER AND REALLY, A TRULY INTERACTIVE, INTERCONNECTED SORT OF MESH OF THIS LABYRINTH OF OUR HUGE TRANSPORTATION GRID, HOW FAR AWAY ARE WE FROM, I MEAN, WE KNOW THAT THEYRE DEVELOPING THESE CARS, BUT HOW FAR AWAY ARE WE FROM HAVING ONE, DO YOU SUPPOSE? YOU CAN SEE THEM IN SEPTEMBER. WELL HAVE– THEYLL BE HERE. SHOWCASING THEM ON BELL ISLE. YOULL SEE CONNECTED VEHICLES, VEHICLES TALKING TO EACH OTHER TO PREVENT CASHES AND SEE AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES, VEHICLES DRIVING THEMSELVES. PEOPLE CAN GET IN THE CARS, YOULL SEE ALL KINDS OF THE TECHNOLOGY THATS HERE AND THATS MOVING FORWARD. SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN IS LEADING THE COUNTRY, LEADING THE WORLD, IN FACT, ON CONNECTED VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY. AND THEY HAVE THE MOST CARS WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY DEPLOYED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. AND THATS WHY PEOPLE FROM MORE THAN 65 COUNTRIES WILL BE HERE IN MICHIGAN TO SEE HOW MICHIGAN IS LEADING THE WORLD IN TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY. ITS SO FITTING GIVEN OUR HISTORY. HOW FAR ARE WE AWAY FROM ME HAVING ONE OF THOSE IN MY GARAGE? I THINK IN THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS, YOURE GOING TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT YOUR PHONE IN YOUR EXISTING CAR AND GET THAT CONNECTED VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY. AND THAT TECHNOLOGY WILL SAVE AND CUT DOWN 80% OF NONIMPAIRED VEHICLE CRASHES, THATS FOUR OUT OF FIVE. WE LOSE OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS AS A RESULT OF CAR CRASHES IN THIS COUNTRY. MORE THAN 34,000 PEOPLE A YEAR DIE. THIS TECHNOLOGY CAN REDUCE MORE THAN 80% OF NONIMPAIRED CRASHES. WHICH IS THRILLING, BUT IT ALSO HAS ITS CORRELARY FEARS THAT IT CAN INSPIRE. IF WERE THAT DEPENDENT ON THIS SYSTEM, THAT INTERCONNECTEDNESS, THAT ALSO CREATES VULNERABILITIES THAT COULD– I MEAN, I CAN SEE THE SCIENCE FICTION NOW FOR SOMEBODY WHO ALL OF A SUDDEN FINDS A WAY TO CREATE CARS CRASHING INTO EACH OTHER. THIS COMES WITH A GREAT DEAL OF PERILOUS RISK, TOO, DOESNT IT? SURE. AND IN THE AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS SPEND A LOT OF TIME AND A LOT OF MONEY STAYING AHEAD OF THE BAD GUYS AND THINKING ABOUT PREVENTING THESE THINGS. AND ITS JUST EVEN MORE IMPORTANT WHEN YOURE TALKING ABOUT A DIFFERENT NETWORK. AGAIN, WERE INVESTING A LOT OF MONEY IN PREVENTING CYBER SECURITY. ONLY A HALF MINUTE LEFT. YOU WERE TELLING ME ONE OF THE EXCITING THINGS THAT HAPPENED HERE AND TALK MORE ON THE WEB IN MINUTE, BUT ONE OF THE EXCITING THINGS THAT HAPPENED, YOUVE GOT ROGUE COMPANIES THAT PUSHED THE ENVELOPE AND PUSHED BIGGER COMPANIES TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM. SOME OF THE COMPANIES CHANGING TRANSPORTATION ARE NOT THE TRANSPORTATION LEGACY COMPANIES, THEYRE STARTUPS IN SILICON VALUE I WILL — VALLEY. AND THEYRE USING IT IN DIFFERENT WAYS, GOOGLE, YOU THINK ABOUT INTEL, QUALCOMM, THOSE TYPE OF COMPANIES ARE CHANGING OUR WORLD. IVE GOT A LOT MORE QUESTIONS, SO TELL YOU WHAT, COME OVER TO CLICKONDETROIT.COM, WERE GOING TO CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION THERE. A LOT MORE TO TALK ABOUT. THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FUTURE, ITS HERE. MEET THE PRESS IS NEXT. HAVE A GREAT WEEK, SEE YOU NEXT TIME ON FLASH POINT AND RIGHT

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Möglicher Paccar-Zukauf – Daimler-Vorstand heizt Gerüchte um Lkw-Deal von …

Bei VW ist man überhaupt nicht glücklich mit der Veranstaltung vom Mittwochabend. Ausgerechnet am Tag der Weltpremiere des neuen Passat ist man nun damit beschäftigt, einen Bericht zu dementieren, der schon seit Wochen als Gerücht durch die Branche geistert – durch Bernhard aber erst richtig Fahrt aufgenommen hat. Möglicherweise habe da jemand versucht, einem ein Ei ins Nest zu legen, heißt es aus demKonzern.

Bei Daimler reagiert man betont ruhig. Alles nicht so wild, sagt ein Sprecher, Bernard wurde beim Essen gefragt, wie er die Zukunft der Lkw-Branche einschauml;tzt, und da hat er sich halt auf verschiedene Medienberichte zu VW und Paccar berufen. Das ist nun die Frage: Hat Bernard einfach nur das zitiert, was eh schon auf dem Markt war? Oder hat er Erkenntnisse aus eigenen – mouml;glicherweise sogar gesicherten – Quellenpreisgegeben?

Bei der Finanzaufsicht Bafin ist man derzeit ebenfalls entspannt. Wir sehen derzeit keine Anhaltspunkte für aufsichtsrechtliche Verstöße, sagte eineSprecherin.

Nun wird die Geschichte noch ein wenig interessanter, wenn man die Biografie des Managers Wolfang Bernhard kennt. 1992 heuerte er bei Daimler an, wurde später Daimler-Chrysler-Vorstand und damit zu einem der wichtigsten Konzernmanager. 2004 kam es zu internen Reibereien rund um den für markige Worte und knallharte Sanierungskonzepte bekannten Manager, und Bernhard schiedaus.

Im Jahr darauf wechselte er in den VW-Vorstand, wo er kurze Zeit später schon wieder ausstieg. Bemerkenswert war nicht, dass der Mann, der bei Arbeitnehmervertretern nicht gerade beliebt ist, daraufhin als Berater zum US-Finanzinvester Cerberus ging. Bemerkenswert war, dass er 2009 dann wieder zu Daimler zurückkehrte. 2013 wurde er hier zum Chef der Lkw-Sparte ernannt – und als solcher saß er dann auch am Mittwochabend mit den Analystenzusammen.

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Boeing: A Wonderful Company At A Fair Price (BA)

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B), widely considered to be the greatest long-term investor in recent history, has said:

Its far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.

Boeing (BA) fits this criteria and belongs in any long-term investors portfolio.

Boeing amp; Airbus Duopoly

When it comes to the commercial aerospace business, there are two companies that dominate the industry Boeing amp; Airbus. The industry duopoly is actually a relatively recent phenomenon. The duopoly began to take shape in 1996 when Boeing merged with its competitor McDonnell Douglas. The duopoly was formed in 2000 when EADS, now known as Airbus, was formed from a merger between Aerospatiale- Matra, Daimler Chrysler Aerospace AG, and Construcciones Aeronauticas SA. While there are still a number of companies that compete in the defense aerospace business such as Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT), the commercial aerospace business is controlled by Boeing and Airbus. As shown by the chart below, Boeing shares have done quite well since 2000. Both Airbus and Boeing have massive backlogs, so clearly there is enough business for both firms to do well. Furthermore, it appears unlikely that the duopoly will end any time soon due to the high barriers to entry and economies of scale present in the business. Warren Buffett often talks about looking to invest in companies that have wide moats around their business, Boeing clearly has a wide moat around its business.

BA data by YCharts

Dividends amp; Buybacks

Over the years, Boeing, as a company, has proved an effective steward of shareholder capital. As shown by the charts below, Boeing has consistently increased its dividend and repurchased a significant amount of stock. Just a few months ago, Boeing announced a 50% increase in its dividend and a $10 billion increase in its share repurchase program. Boeing management has proved effective in managing both the business from operational and financial aspects.

BA Dividend data by YCharts

Airline Business Improving

The consolidation of the US airline business over the past decade is finally starting to pay dividends with the biggest carriers all solidly profitable. A more stable commercial airline business has the potential to serve as a catalyst for Boeing as airlines are more easily able to invest into new airplanes.

Valuation

Boeing trades at about 17.5 times forward earnings and 15.6 times free cash flow. Based on these metrics, it is difficult to argue that Boeing is a cheap stock. At the same time, Boeing is not significantly overvalued.

BA Price to Free Cash Flow data by YCharts

Could Buffett Buy Boeing?

Berkshire currently does not own any shares in Boeing. However, I would not be surprised to see this change at some point, especially if the market moves lower. What would come as a surprise is a Berkshire buyout of Boeing. While I believe Boeing would be a great addition for Berkshires long-term future, the size of the deal is likely prohibitive. Boeings current market cap of $97 billion is roughly a third of Berkshires $315 billion market cap. The largest deal Berkshire has ever completed was the $34 billion acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Buffett has indicated that he is looking for big acquisitions but Boeing, I believe, is simply too large. To complete a deal for Boeing, Berkshire would likely need to use stock to pay for a large portion of the deal. With Buffett taking the unusual step of buying back stock over the past few years, I dont think Buffett would want to issue stock to fund the deal.

Conclusion

Boeing was the best performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average last year with shares surging 81%. Due to this, I think it is unlikely that the stock is headed significantly higher over the short term. That said, over the long term, I believe Boeing will be a terrific investment.

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Why Apple Can Take Nuance Down

Speech technology provider Nuance Communications (NUAN) is in a soup. Known for providing the technology for Apples (AAPL) voice assistant Siri, the company is going through troubled times. Nuance is still unprofitable, and has a negative return on equity of 6%. In addition, Nuances revenue growth has slowed down remarkably, while it has a huge debt load of $2.37 billion as compared to cash of just $809 million.

An acquisition looks unlikely

Recently, there has been chatter on the Street that Nuance is exploring a possible sale and might be acquired by the likes of Samsung (OTC:SSNLF). As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

Speech-recognition software maker Nuance Communications Inc. has held discussions with potential suitors regarding a sale of the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Burlington, Mass., company has recently spoken about a possible sale of the company with Samsung Electronics Co. and private-equity firms, some of the people said. It isnt clear where sale talks, some of which happened earlier this year, currently stand or if they will lead to a deal.

Hence, it is unclear whether Nuance will be able to find a buyer, and investors should consider this as more of a rumor. Moreover, given the fact that Nuance has weak fundamentals as stated earlier, it might not be able to find a buyer.

The company is still not profitable and its bottom line is expected to grow at the rate of just 0.76% for the next five years, worse than the growth of 3.75% in the last five. In addition, Nuance has a weak current ratio of just 1.67, indicating that the company might find it hard to meet short-term obligations, which doesnt make it good value at a market cap of almost $6 billion.

However, Nuance shares have appreciated on rumors of a sale, and if this turns out to be just a rumor, then they might fall.

Apple going its own way

Moreover, it looks like the company is about to suffer as one of its major clients, Apple, is reportedly developing its own speech recognition software. Although Nuance doesnt report the amount of revenue it generates from Apple, still, considering the huge number of iPhones that are sold around the world, it can be expected that it generates sizable royalty revenue from Siri. Moreover, it looks like Nuance is already facing problems due to Apples in-house moves. As reported in the companys latest 10-K:

Mobile and Consumer segment profit in fiscal 2013 decreased $84.6 million, or 37.2%, over fiscal 2012, primarily due to lower product and licensing revenue and increased investments in research and development.

It wont be surprising if Apple moves away

So, it is possible that Apple is already taking away some business from Nuance, as a result of which it saw lower licensing revenue in mobile last fiscal year. Moreover, there are indications that Apple is making its own speech recognition software, while Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) is another threat. According to a report on Forbes last year:

Trouble is, Google and Apple are following the same evolutionary path for speech technology. Apple recently set up a research center in Boston (15 miles from Nuances main offices in Burlington, Mass.), where former speech engineers from Nuance are working on a Nuance-free version of Siri.

Potentially, it could boot Nuance off the iPhone the same way it booted Google Maps as the default map service. That would be a major blow to Nuances shares, already down 14% since the beginning of the year and trading at a relatively expensive 41 times 2012 earnings.

Googles speech-plus-artificial-intelligence technology, best seen through Google Now as a vocal way to search the Web, may be more promising. Nuances speech technology is based on statistical inference methods that look at phonemes (syllable sounds) and context to recognize words.

Hence, theres a probability that Apple might move away from Nuance. Now, Apple has a team of top speech technologists in Boston to eventually eliminate its dependence on Nuance for Siri, according to The Next Web. In fact, Apple has poached certain Nuance employees, such as Gunnar Evermann, who specializes in developing speech recognition technology; Larry Gillick, who is now Chief Speech Scientist, Siri at Apple; and Don McAllaster, another ex-Nuance employee who is now Senior Research Scientist at Apple.

The CarPlay threat

So, the writing seems to be on the wall for Nuance, and there is a strong probability that Apple is going its own way. Also, if Apple uses its own technology in Siri, this would be harmful for Nuances automotive business as well. Nuances connected car platform, known as Dragon Drive, is used by the likes of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Chrysler, Toyota (TM) and others. Now, Apple is coming with its own solution, known as CarPlay, and this might spell trouble for Nuance.

Apple had launched CarPlay earlier this year. CarPlay is a rebranded version of iOS for automobiles, offering hands-free calling functions, Siri search, messaging, and maps. More importantly, Apple has tied up with several well-known car manufacturers for the use of Siri. As stated in an earlier post:

Apple is looking to revolutionize in-car infotainment with this venture. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo (OTCPK:VOLVY) have already started shipping CarPlay-enabled cars. Going forward, Apple is looking to bring Honda (HMC), Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF), Jaguar, BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY), Chevrolet, Ford (F), Kia (OTC:KIMTF), Land Rover, Mitsubishi (OTCPK:MMTOF), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), Peugeot-Citroën (OTCPK:PEUGY), Subaru, Suzuki (OTCPK:SZKMY), and Toyota on board.

Conclusion

Hence, quite clearly, Nuance can come under pressure from Apple. The company already has weak fundamentals and huge debt. The advent of Apples own speech-recognition platform can spell trouble for Nuance and constrict its growth further in the long run. So, investors are best advised to stay away from Nuance as it looks like a risky investment.

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