Car makers drive up profits
Tuesday 09 September 1997
Porsche announced yesterday it had doubled profits in the financial year which has just ended, thanks largely to a 90-per cent increase of sales in the United States. Volkswagen-Audi has been increasing its market share throughout the world, and is ready to pour billions of deutschmarks into Asia to take on the Japanese. Mercedes has turned a DM1bn (pounds 350m) loss into a DM1.5bn profit within three years. It needs to build new plants abroad to keep up with demand. The new Mercedes A-class, due to be launched at the Frankfurt motor show later this week, has already been ordered by 110,000 customers.
By the standards of its domestic competitors, BMW's progress has been unspectacular: sales up by a quarter in the US this year, and last year's profit at DM800m. The company's indifferent performance, however, is attributed not to the soaring costs of German labour but to problems at Rover, BMW's British subsidiary. The expensive German workers turn in a 7-per cent profit on turnover, says BMW's boss, Bernd Pischetsrieder. At Rover the workers "do long hours, have low wages, yet the company is making a loss".
The success of the German car industry is attributed to massive restructuring carried out since the early Nineties. Some 200,000 workers have been sacked and the factories are slow to re-hire even in the boom times. Wages have been kept low, the turnover of models has speeded up and flexible working patterns imposed. However ossified the rest of the economy might be, the car industry demonstrates Germany can be reformed.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...