BMW wants to sell every fourth car online

Concept of the BMW i4

The Bavarian car manufacturer is not only modernizing vehicles and systems, but also sales.

(Photo: Reuters)

Munich The BMW Group wants to realign its sales. “In 2025, around a quarter of our sales will be online,” said Sales Director Pieter Nota on Friday in Munich. In addition, BMW intends to significantly expand its business with “over the air” updates. With these retrospectively bookable services, customers can, for example, buy additional battery power or special light and sound packages already draws very high margins.

The realignment of sales is part of the Group’s ongoing transformation towards electromobility and digitization. BMW wants to have at least twelve all-electric models and as many plug-in hybrids on the market by 2023. In addition, the model range should gradually get a new operating system and thus become “update-capable”.

BMW can already refresh some models with software, but the Munich-based company still has some catching up to do with Tesla. The challenger from California keeps its entire range of models up-to-date with software updates and is already drawing considerable income from it. In addition, Tesla is currently building a factory in Brandenburg and will add even more force to BMW on the European market from next year.

Nota mainly places his hopes in new models. This year, the “i4” and the “iNEXT” are two electric cars with which BMW wants to stop the Tesla advance. The electric SUV “iNEXT” has a completely new on-board network and operating system, which is then transferred to all sedans and SUVs. The new services are to be used on a large scale for the first time in the “iNEXT”. Among other things, the cars should be connected via the new 5G mobile communications standard and thus be able to send and process large amounts of data in real time.

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More cars are expected to be sold again in 2021

Born in the Netherlands, he has been Head of Sales at BMW since 2018, before that Nota worked at the electronics group Philips and Beiersdorf. Together with Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing, who has changed from Mercedes, Nota is supposed to make marketing and sales much more efficient and powerful. In addition to the challenge from Tesla, the main competitors Mercedes and Audi remain, which are also preparing strongly for electromobility and the digitalization of their business models.

BMW closed 2020 with its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands with a worldwide sales decline of 8.4 percent. In the first half of the year, the factories were temporarily shut down due to the corona pandemic, and the dealerships were also closed. In the second half of the year, however, the company caught up strongly. In the fourth quarter, the group sold more than 600,000 cars for the first time. For the current year BMW is aiming for “profitable growth”, but Nota did not want to commit any further.

In addition to the corona pandemic, the auto industry is currently being slowed down by the global shortage of chips and electronic components. The reason are delivery and production problems in the semiconductor industry. There is already a threat of production interruptions in the VW Group because the cars can no longer be built. “Production is currently running,” says Nota. “We ordered from our suppliers on time.”

More: Lack of chips slows down car manufacturers – Daimler continues to cut production, short-time work at VW

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Pfizer is supplying less vaccine to Europe for the time being – the head of the chancellery expects an effort by the summer

Spain has for the first time since the beginning of the corona pandemic more than 40,000 new infections reported within one day. The number of infections rose by 40,197 to a total of more than 2.25 million, the Ministry of Health announced in Madrid on Friday. The previous high was reached on Wednesday with 38,869. Because the numbers have been increasing for weeks, several regions, including Madrid, decided on one Tightening of measures to contain the pandemic.

The nocturnal Going lock the regional government announced on Friday that it will be brought forward by one hour to 11 p.m. in the capital region from Monday. Restaurants, cafés and bars in the entire so-called autonomous community will then have to close at 10 p.m. – instead of at midnight as before. According to the information, the tightening of the measures will initially apply for two weeks.

In addition, the number the one in Madrid cordoned off areasthat can only be left or entered with valid reason, in a total of 19 municipalities and 47 smaller districts elevated. A total of 1.3 million of the 6.7 million inhabitants in the region are affected.

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+++ Corona-News +++: Merkel allegedly wants to bring forward the federal-state round and tighten lockdown

Federal government extends application deadline for corona aid +++ France tightened curfew +++ Study: infected people probably protected from re-infection for five months +++ The news blog. .

Merkel supposedly wants to bring forward the federal-state round and tighten lockdown – extended application deadlines for aid

After surviving a corona infection According to a study, people are very likely Protected from re-infection for at least five months. However, there is Hints, that too People with antibodies the Spread virus could, it said in the study by the health authority Public Health England (PHE) among employees of the British health system. However, the study cannot make any statements about the effects of vaccines at this point in time. “We now know that most of those who had the virus and developed antibodies are protected from re-infection,” said Susan Hopkins, senior medical advisor to the agency and co-lead on the study, but this protection is not complete. It is also unclear how long this will last. After surviving an infection, a severe Covid 19 disease is highly unlikely. But there is still the risk of getting infected and infecting others.

Participated in the study so far Tens of thousands of UK healthcare workers part. They have been tested regularly for both corona infection and antibodies since June. Of the 6,614 participants who tested positive for antibodies, there were only 44 possible new infections, according to the study.

Experts who were not involved in the study spoke of important findings. “These data reinforce the message that for the time being everyone is a potential source of infection for others and should act accordingly,” said Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Edinburgh University. Simon Clark of Reading University said: “This means that the vast majority of the population must either have natural immunity or have been vaccinated in order for us to completely lift the restrictions in our lives. Unless we’re prepared for many more people to be infected and die from Covid-19. “

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+++ Corona-News +++: Bavaria wants to promote home office taxation – Biontech vaccine will soon also be produced in NRW

Spahn: “We have been in a permanent exceptional situation for months” +++ US epidemic authorities have administered around 10.3 million vaccine doses so far. +++ The news blog. .

AMD & Apple threaten Intel’s supremacy

San Francisco Intel is one of the pioneers in Silicon Valley, but the chip company has been in crisis for years: Now the company from Santa Clara is changing its boss: Bob Swan has to leave by mid-February. He is succeeded by Pat Gelsinger, who previously managed the software company VMware. Swan had only been in office since mid-2018.

The change at the top can be understood as a reaction to the development that Intel has lost its technological lead over the competition in recent years. Swan was previously CFO and Gelsinger was Intel’s chief technology officer before leaving the company. Intel’s share price rose eleven percent after the news became known.

2021 will be a crucial year for Intel. Long a superpower in semiconductors for PCs and data centers, the Silicon Valley veteran has fallen behind in one market after another.

That could be observed at the technology fair CES in the past few days: At her appearance Lisa Su, the boss of the Intel competitor AMD, did not have to lapse into self-praise to advertise herself. This was done by their guests on the virtual stage: “AMD is just having an incredible run,” said Panos Panay, Microsoft product manager and father of the Surface tablet PC range. Panay then listed AMD’s new chips found in Microsoft’s game consoles, laptops, and data centers.

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Since October 2014, Su has transformed AMD from a bankruptcy candidate into a chip power that Intel is constantly stealing market share in the market for PC processors. While AMD’s share price has risen by almost 3,000 percent since Sus took office, Intel’s price is lower today than when Swan took office. In 2020, Intel had to surrender the title of the most valuable US chip company to Nvidia.

When it comes to the performance of laptop chips, AMD has already left Intel behind, Su emphasized in her presentation. The Ryzen 5800U chip is significantly faster than its Intel counterpart for tasks such as design visualization or video coding. Even with less computationally intensive office applications, there is a small advantage. Su also promises progress in terms of battery life: with the chip, this can be up to 17.5 hours with normal use.

“These benchmarks only show a part of reality,” says Intel’s Vice President Chris Walker of the Handelsblatt. The top manager is responsible for the laptop chip business. Intel measures the performance of its chips closer to real usage and even employs ethnographers to observe computer users at home.

Monopoly power was yesterday

However, these comparisons are also controversial and cannot cover up Intel’s fundamental problem: In all the markets that Intel still dominated a decade ago, the company is fighting against strong, specialized competitors: In graphics cards and AI chips, the Nvidia is the new one at CES Introduced chips for extremely powerful laptops for computer games. In addition, the large cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft are starting to develop their own semiconductors for their data centers.

Competitors nibble on the business of the world’s top-selling chip manufacturer from all sides. At the end of 2019, Swan had set the target of achieving a 30 percent market share in all chip categories, instead of the 90 percent in the market for PC processors as it was before.

2020 was actually a strong year for Walker’s division. The home office and homeschooling boom caused by the coronavirus has driven demand, and PC sales have risen faster than it has been in a decade. Nevertheless, Walker’s division had to cope with a public bankruptcy: Apple presented its new Macs in November, which run with the self-developed M1 chip instead of Intel processors. While Apple isn’t a big player in the laptop market, the M1 chip received rave reviews for its performance and battery life, as well as the improved ability to use mobile apps on the laptop – which made chip pioneer Intel look pretty old.

Walker emphasizes that Intel still offers advantages over the Apple chip for many customers, even if Apple has developed a “very good, powerful chip”. Many programs such as Adobe’s image processing program Lightroom would continue to run better on Intel PCs because they are optimized for Intel’s x86 chip architecture and have to be specially translated for M1, which costs performance. “We have the broadest range of technology for laptops,” says Walker.

Investor urges Intel to consider splitting production

Intel is trying to attack again on several fronts: The company presented four new processor families with 50 variants at the CES. The new VPro platform for work computers, for example, offers cybersecurity programmed into the hardware, which helps ward off ransomware and cryptomining attacks.

US stock market expert Koch: “Breaking news on Wall Street: Intel CEO Bob Swan is leaving his post”

Intel plans to compete with Apple and AMD’s Ryzen chip in the second half of the year with its new Alderlake chip, which has a hybrid architecture similar to Apple’s M1 and which Intel manufactures using the so-called 10 nm process (10 nanometers).

However, production is the cause of many of Intel’s problems: the smaller the distance between transistors, measured in nanometers, the more of them fit on a chip of a certain size.

Intel has fallen behind contract manufacturers like TSMC, which already produces according to the 5 nm process and thus helps customers like AMD or Apple to achieve leaps in performance compared to Intel. Meanwhile, Intel is still struggling to get its 7 nm chip production up and running and has repeatedly failed to adhere to its own schedules.

For a long time, Intel’s own factories, especially those located in the USA and Europe, were considered an advantage. In the meantime, the company is considering handing over part of its production to TSMC and concentrating more on chip design – also under pressure from activist investor Dan Loeb.

In December, he bought a billion dollar hedge fund from Intel with his Third Point hedge fund and called on the company to consider a spin-off of its production.
The pressure from investors to make a decision is now unlikely to decrease. They just have to meet a new Intel boss.

More: Three reasons for the eerie stock market boom among chip manufacturers

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Netherlands extend lockdown – From Friday registration is mandatory when entering Austria

Three Democratic MPs of the US House of Representatives tested positive for the coronavirus after the siege of the Capitol building by Trump supporters been. MP Brad Schneider said he received a positive test result on Tuesday. The Democrats Pramila Jayapal and Bonnie Watson Coleman had previously made their infection public. The Democrats accused Republican MPs of not wanting to wear a mask when they were offered one.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, putting everyone around them at risk,” Jayapal said. “Just hours after President Trump instigated a deadly attack on our Capitol, our country and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum of Covid-19 precaution and simply put a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic to wear. ”Schneider accused the mask refusers with selfishness and arrogance.

Coleman, Schneider and Jayapal were among dozens of MPs who had been moved to a safe location during the uprising. Several members of Congress spent hours in the great room. Congressional doctor Brian Monahan urged all MPs to get tested for the coronavirus because they may have been exposed to the virus.

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Netherlands want to extend lockdown – Merkel criticizes implementation of corona protection in old people’s homes

Three Democratic MPs of the US House of Representatives Tested positive for the corona virus after the siege of the Capitol building by Trump supporters been. MP Brad Schneider said he received a positive test result on Tuesday. The Democrats Pramila Jayapal and Bonnie Watson Coleman had previously made their infection public. The Democrats accused Republican MPs of not wanting to wear a mask when they were offered one.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, putting everyone around them at risk,” said Jayapal. “Just hours after President Trump instigated a deadly attack on our Capitol, our country and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum of Covid-19 precaution and simply put a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic to wear. ”Schneider accused the mask refusers with selfishness and arrogance.

Coleman, Schneider and Jayapal were among dozens of MPs who had been moved to a safe location during the uprising. Several members of Congress spent hours in the great room. Congressional doctor Brian Monahan urged all MPs to get tested for the coronavirus because they may have been exposed to the virus.

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In 2021, the time for the company hunter strikes

Frankfurt skyline

Most business consultants and investment bankers expect a boom in new transactions involving private equity firms in the new year.

(Photo: AFP)

Frankfurt Private equity investors are sitting on around $ 750 billion worldwide, for which they are urgently looking for investment opportunities. In doing so, they are increasingly looking to Germany. Investment bankers and management consultants are therefore expecting a real boom in megadeals in 2021.

In the first half of the year, “two to three really large transactions in the double-digit billion range are possible in which several financial investors join forces for joint bids,” says Joachim Ringer, Co-Head of Investment Banking in Germany and Austria at Credit Suisse in Frankfurt.

In financial circles, the construction company Bilfinger, the steel trader Klöckner and the Adidas subsidiary Reebok are traded as possible takeover targets, the Handelsblatt learned. Activist hedge funds that were still holding back during the corona crisis apparently see opportunities. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, more than 100 German companies are at great risk of being targeted by activist investors.

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British are increasing the vaccination rate – Spahn expects herd immunity in summer

In the fight against the high number of corona cases, the UK government increase the pace of vaccination. So far, about 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday. At the same time, he warned against neglecting the measures to contain the virus. The new virus variant was “highly contagious” and put the NHS health service under “considerable pressure”, said the minister.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also called for increased vigilance, otherwise the lockdown measures would have to be stepped up. “Now is the time to be extremely vigilant, to comply with the rules,” said Johnson while visiting a vaccination center in Bristol.

As many first vaccinations as possible are given in the UK, the second dose is expected to follow within twelve weeks. To date, just over 370,000 people have received a second dose.

With around 46,000 new infections, the number of new infections reported in Great Britain on Monday was slightly lower than last week. But the number of Covid-19 patients who have to be treated in hospital continues to rise.

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