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Profit slump at Daimler : The auto industry is now in crisis

The fat years of the auto industry are over, apparently. For nine years, Daimler has kept the dividend stable or even increased significantly. But now the Stuttgart-based automotive group has to reduce its profit distribution to the shareholders. The dividend will be reduced, if the General meeting agrees, by eleven percent to 3.25 euros per share. Reason is a significant drop in profits.

the High cost of production and the introduction of new models and the development of electric cars, a sharp rise in raw material costs and the time-consuming certification procedure WLTP for the determination of exhaust emissions led to the drop in profits. The shares slid on Wednesday on 51 Euro, which Daimler noted, about 50 percent below its all-time high. This dates back to the year 1998.

about the year 2018, the shareholders of the three big German automotive companies and their suppliers, so VW, Daimler and BMW, as well as Conti, cable specialist Leoni, lighting and electronics manufacturer Hella, or the plant manufacturer Dürr had to cope with bad news and falling prices.

in addition to the high costs and loss of image for the Diesel of the customs dispute and the weakening of China worries-business for lower profits. In the case of Daimler, it comes within the year to a rate of minus 25 percent, in the case of BMW, there are just under 18, and VW, almost twelve percent. Conti totter at 41 percent, Dürr lost 32 and the Leoni 46 percent.

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order worse results than analysts

one of the fears in the five-year comparison, car values, have brought to their owners, no profits. Although the Big three delivered a combined global sales of 15.8 million vehicles-more than ever before. However, in Germany, the number of new registrations declined due to weak Diesel sales volumes, and margins to decline. Daimler delivered even worse results than analysts feared.

"A profitable business is a prerequisite to be able to in the future, in new technologies and products to invest," said the outgoing CEO Dieter Zetsche. Daimler wants to invest in the next two years the € 7.5 billion and nine billion in research and development. At the same time, more efficient working, and so the cost is lower.

problems with BMW and VW

such As Daimler had also startled the BMW in the previous year, with a profit warning to investors. The Munich called the WLTP emission test, the diesel scandal and high costs for new technologies as the main reasons. A gear even VW had switched to that profit shrank in the third quarter, around a fifth on the 3.5 billion Euro. Especially, the group's Audi brand is weak, sales have collapsed already in 2018 in Europe, to 14 percent, in addition to paralysing strikes in the Hungarian plant in Györ production. The new electric car Audi eTron is a turning point. The results of the fourth quarter, the Wolfsburg-based publish until the beginning of March.

For VW, it could be especially the stuttering market in China to the Problem, analysts believe. The group sold almost half of its vehicles to Chinese customers. But for the first time in two decades, 2018, the car sales fell in China by six percent. If the Trend continues also in 2019 is moot.

a profit warning from Toyota

With a profit warning also Toyota extended on Wednesday its shareholders. The reason for the expected 25 percent Profit driving the operational side of the business, for the Toyota, also in 2019 is expected to set new records, but losses in securities. Especially in China, now the world's largest car market, improved the Japanese, their market share recently.

"arrived in The German automotive industry is in the midst of the crisis," says Jürgen Pieper of the investment Bank, Metzler Capital Markets. He expects the first half of 2019 with further warnings. The profits, says Pieper, would be this year and probably ten percent below those of 2018. In the courses already a lot of bad news to be included, the corporations were prepared for the enormous challenges, "quite well", think the experts of Barclay's. analyst Dorothee Cresswell put on the share price of Daimler is, therefore, yesterday from "sell" to "hold" with a target price of 65 euros.

"A lot of clean-up

" Other experts, however, expect a further drop in sales of fast-rising costs for the changeover to electro-mobility and new technologies such as Autonomous Driving. Daimler wants to put up to 2020 ten billion euros in the Expansion of E-fleet, and by 2022, all of the models electrify. This is good for the environment, says Dieter Zetsche, but not good for the balance sheet.

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Much to do so for Zetsches successor, head of development, and Ola Källenius, when he takes over in may as CEO. Or, as one auto analyst says: "There is a lot to do cleanup work."

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