Volvo Cars and Geely to combine R&D and engine operations in electric cars

The new Volvo XC60

The Swedish Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner, Geely have announced a plan to combine their electric cars R&D and engine operations. The aim is also that the new unit will offer the services to other customers in the future. The change is part of the Volvo Car´s focus in electrification of its whole production.

This means that the companies intend to merge their existing combustion engine operations into a stand-alone business that will seek to develop next generation combustion engines and hybrid powertrains.

– The proposed new business would clear the way for Volvo Cars to focus on the development of its all-electric range of premium cars. Volvo Cars is building an entirely electrified product range, as part of the company’s ambition to put sustainability at the core of its operations. By the middle of the next decade it expects half its global sales to be fully electric and the other half hybrid, supplied by the new unit, Volvo said in its press release.

– For Geely, the planned new entity means technologically-advanced and efficient combustion engines and hybrid powertrains would be available to Geely Auto, Proton, Lotus, LEVC and LYNK & CO. The planned new stand-alone business can also supply third party manufacturers, providing possible growth opportunities, companies say.

The new entity will have 3000 employees from Volvo Cars and around 5000 employees from Geely´s combustion engine operations.

Volvo Cars believes the electrification of the automotive industry will be a gradual process, meaning there will be significant ongoing demand for efficient hybrid powertrains alongside fully-electric offerings.

-Hybrid cars need the best internal combustion engines. This new unit will have the resources, scale and expertise to develop these powertrains cost efficiently, said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars’ president and chief executive.

The detailed plans of the new business are under development and subject to union negotiations as well as board and relevant authority approvals, companies say.

Volvo Cars is about to launch its first fully electric XC40 in October 16th. Later in October Volvo will also publish its Q3 report.

Picture: The new Volvo XC60 T8 R-Design in Crystal White

Business Finance

Tiffany to open more stores in China – Bloomberg

The US jewellery company Tiffany (TIF) is opening more stores in mainland China, writes Bloomberg today. According to the CEO Alessandro Bogliogo the company has seen ” a big increase in sales in mainland China”.

According to Tiffany, Chinese consumers have decreased somewhat the spending overseas but continue shopping in mainland. Also the ongoing trade talks between the US and China have had their own impact in the spending.

The company is to published its third quarter figures in late October. Today the company shares were trading down -0,61% at 92,27 dollars in New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Lifestyle

Stocks plunged in Wall Street due to global growth

The global economic growth was the major concern in the financial markets today. Wall Street plunged and the main indexes showed decline by over 2,8 %. According to market analysts the economic information from China and Germany and the ongoing uncertainty with the UK Brexit-deal were the main topics.

China´s industrial output growth has declined to 17-years low and Germany´s export declined during the second quarter Reuters reported. S&P 500 -index declined by 2,77% to 2845 points, Dow Jones index by 2,91 % to 25516 points and Nasdaq-index by 2,87 % to 7786 points.

Department store Macy´s (M) published its figures and the stock declined by 13,22 % to 16,80 dollars. The company’s net sales during the second quarter was 5,5 billion dollars that is nearly the same level than a year ago. According to the release the company said the quarter was a slow start and was below expectations. Macy´s lowered its guidance for the whole year.

In Europe the stocks declined as well and in Germany the DAX-index closed down 2,19 % to 11 492 points and in France the CAC 40 -index closed down 2,08 % to 5251 points. In London the FTSE index closed down 1,42 % to 7147 points.

Euro was trading at 1,11 dollars and sterling at 1,205 dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Finance

Trump: US companies can sell equipments to Huawei

The US President Donald Trump said in today’s press conference in Osaka, Japan that the US and China have agreed that the US companies can sell equipments to Huawei. According to the US President this is part of the US China trade talks they agreed during the weekend G20 meeting.

He did not on the other hand wanted to comment if the Chinese telecom company would be lifted from the national security list or not.

– We are leaving this issue to be discussed later on, he said. The negotiations are starting again during the next week and according to President Trump the Huawei-case is a complicated matter.

Trump mentioned that he would like to see the countries more as strategic partners in the future.

During the meeting in Osaka, US and China also agreed that US is holding tariffs during the negotiations. And part of the trade deal is also that China has agreed to buy US farm and agri products.

Business Finance

Swiss stocks EU-trading to Zurich

Starting from Monday, most of the Swiss stocks cannot be traded in the EU area. The falling negotiations between the European Union and Switzerland have triggered the equity trading between the blocks.

This means that Swiss stocks will be redirected in the most stocks via Zurich in order to avoid the total blocking. It is expected that those Swiss companies, which have dual listings in the EU-area and Switzerland, might see some price differences.

The Swiss financial markets and China have made earlier agreements to enlarge the collaboration between the countries. Switzerland and China have made free trade agreement in 2013 and currency agreement between the Swiss National Bank and the People’s Bank of China in 2014.

Now the SIX Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange have agreed about  the cooperation between the two financial centers and to assess the feasibility of listing securities (such as e.g. Depository Receipts) on respective markets in the near future. This would allow companies listed at either exchange to tap into each other’s liquidity pools.

Business Finance

Hublot CEO: China markets the main focus (updated)

Hublot, one of the leading luxury watch makers in Switzerland, is targeting China markets even more. The company, part of the LVMH (LVMH) Group, market cap 186 billion euros, and its Watch division, said the same thing already a year ago, but the target is still the same. According to the CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot is aiming to become one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China.

– We are focusing on China and Greater China markets. Our aim is to be one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China, Mr Guadalupe said in the ComteamPUB+ interview on Thursday.

The company has not revealed the export figures, but according to Swiss Watch Industry information the China, Hong Kong and Singapore markets totalled nearly 30 % of the overall Swiss watch exports. In May the export totalled over 2 billion Swiss francs, growth 11,4 %. The biggest growth was in the premium & luxury watches, which are priced over 3000 francs.

The company is expecting a very strong growth for this year. The double-digit growth is said to continue “over the end of the year” according to Mr Guadalupe.

China is seen one of the fastest growing luxury markets in the future. In 2018 the Chinese consumers spent about 115 billion dollars on luxury items, which is one third of the global spending. And this is expected to growth in the future also so that by 2025 40 % of the world’s spending on luxury goods would be by Chinese consumers (McKinsey). So, it is not a surprise that Mr Guadalupe is talking about China.

Is luxury becoming more common?

This question is about the luxury spending and how the luxury markets are expected to develop in the future. But Mr Guadalupe has a point.

-Absolutely not for the real luxury, he says.

And he is referring for the real thing. Real luxury has always its prestige and value among its users. And this is also part of the demand for the vintage or retro luxury items in the markets at the moment.

For example financial markets are expecting the US company RealReal to be listed in New York. The company is an online marketplace for luxury products and according to the company info the trading of the shares are expected to start today, not yesterday as earlier estimated. The company raised 300 million dollars, at 20 dollars each, above the 17-19 dollars range earlier estimated. Sustainable, circular luxury is also entering the main markets.

Hublot and “Art of Fusion”

The clear sustainable standing point for Hublot is the materials. The company has been innovative and finding new ways to integrate different materials in the watch production over years. It is part of the company ideology of the Art of Fusion – the way the tradition of high-quality Swiss craftsmanship and innovation can be combined.

The material lists include magic gold, carbon, rubber, aluminium, ceramic, king gold, palladium, platinum, stainless steel, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, zirconium, osmium and aluminium. Hublot can say that it has clearly been the innovator in this area in the Swiss watch industry.

The company says that it is now also working with sustainable bags while the banning of plastic bags is already a trend in Europe.

Collaboration with Ferrari and FIFA

– The collaboration with Ferrari and our involvement in FIFA World Cup are our two main partnerships, Guadalupe says.

– This year we have two collaborations with Ferrari. The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, which is an elegant and contemporary piece that draws inspiration from the “Gran Turismo” universe. And the Big Band Scuderia Ferrari 90 ans. This is a model that reflects the rich history and heritage of Scuderia Ferrari, he continues.

Japanese food and sea

But what does Mr Guadalupe do for the summer time? Japanese food and sea.

– Food can be compared to the watch industry in a certain way for their attention to quality, time and details. I like to spend my holidays in the Mediterranean, at Mykonos or Ibiza. Holidays is for me synonymous with relaxing, sport and good food, he concludes.

Hublot, which was founded in Switzerland in 1980, has made the journey with innovation and unique products. Watches like Big Bang have paved the way to new flagship collections like Classic Fusion and Spirit of Big Bang.

Picture: Hublot classic watches from BaselWorld 2017-2019

Business Lifestyle Sports

Brexit: May to propose new deal in June

The Brexit situation in the UK changes very rapidly. Last week the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the talks with the Goverment has ended due to the rising talks of the new successor to PM and due to the deal issues itself. On Sunday the Prime Minister said that she is to present a new deal to the Parliament in the early June, as she earlier said.

The successor issue to Mrs May is confusing the negotiations in the UK and according to Bloomberg News, it seems that the Labour Party is turning towards to the second referendum. For corporates and business, this means that the no-deal Brexit might still be an option.  “A messy exit could still happen by accident”, said British Chambers of Commerce according to Bloomberg.

In the London Stock Exchange, the FTSE 100 index was trading down 0,03 % to 7333 points. In Germany the DAX-index was trading down 0,15 % to 12 220 points and in France the CAC 40 -index down 0,21 % to 5426 points.

The pound was trading slightly up, 0,21 % to 1,275 dollars and euro also up, 0,04 % to 1,116 dollars. The Australian dollar was up, 0,93 % to 0,69 US-dollars.

The trade war between the US and China is one of main topics. According to Bloomberg, 34 % of the investors surveyed by the Bank of America said that they have purchased protection against a sharp decline in the equities over the next three months.

US President Donald Trump has delayed the possible auto tariffs with the EU with 6 months delay.

In Asia the week started mixed as the Hang Song index ended down 0,56 % to 27 788 points in Hong Kong, but the Nikkei 225-index ended up 0,24 % to 21 301 points in Tokyo. The Indian Sensex index increased 3,07 % to 39 095 points.

Business Finance