IIn the summer, dark clouds had drawn over the German Mitsubishi headquarters in Friedberg. It was announced from Japan that no new models would be developed for Europe, which looked like a withdrawal in installments. But the all-clear soon came. It goes on, there are also new cars, it said. The first model is now announced for February 2021.
The SUV Eclipse Cross, which has already been sold 27,000 times in Germany since 2017, is being thoroughly revised and from now on operates as a partially electric plug-in hybrid. In addition to significant changes in design, the body has grown by 14 centimeters to 4.55 meters. While the interior has only changed slightly, the new rear is immediately noticeable. Most of the gained length is in it. The two-part rear window, often criticized, is now a thing of the past.
The Eclipse Cross PHEV combines a 2.4 liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with two electric motors, each of which is located on the axles. Exact data is not yet available, but since the technology comes from the larger Outlander, you can expect a system output of around 200 hp and a battery with a capacity of almost 14 kWh. The purely electric range is specified at around 60 kilometers. The price for the hybrid, which can already be ordered, will be 36,390 euros after deducting all subsidies. Production will start in Japan in two weeks, and after an eight-week voyage, the first vehicles should arrive in Germany.
The current Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, which is available in two engine variants as gasoline and diesel, will be sold until further notice. It is still open whether the new model will be offered with other engines. The new Eclipse will initially only be marketed in a well-equipped intro edition, with 18-inch alloy wheels and many other extras and assistance systems. All Eclipse have all-wheel drive and a rear view camera, internet is a matter of course.
MSometimes one sentence is enough to describe a car. He doesn’t understand this vehicle, says the colleague after driving it for a while. There is something to it, without a closer study of the function, enlightenment does not come about. On the other hand, it is good that understanding is not necessary, it is enough to just let the Outlander PHEV do it and drive off.
Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.
If you want to know exactly: The movement starts electrically and remains largely that way. In addition to the electric motors with a maximum output of 60 kW at the front and 70 kW at the rear, there is a four-cylinder gasoline engine with 99 kW that drives a 70 kW generator and can be connected directly to the front wheels via a clutch and without a gearbox at the earliest from 65 km / h. All three together result in a system output of 224 hp (165 kW). Because the Outlander generates its own electricity, a relatively small battery of nominally 13.8 kWh is sufficient, which saves costs and weight.
The interaction works well, the PHEV drives quietly and relaxed like all electric cars, the engine keeps mumbling and charging. With a cautious driving style on country roads, a consumption of a little more than six liters of gasoline is possible, a good value for a 1.8-ton SUV. The concept is less suitable for higher speeds on the highway, full throttle drives the thirst for a terrible 15 liters. That’s not even particularly fast, the electronics shut down at 170 (electric 135) km / h; the Outlander is likely to be the slowest car beyond 200 hp.
The Outlander is not made for sales representatives, but families get a relatively narrow, but long five-seater, with which the daily commute to work can be done purely electrically. If that’s not enough, the generator just switches on. For electric driving or the two 230-volt sockets for kettles and the like, 9.8 kWh are available, which meant that we could travel a maximum of 42 kilometers. Because of the charging losses, the measuring device then shows 10.75 kWh at the household socket, and charging can also be carried out at the fast charging station.
The consumption of around 26 kWh came about in mountainous terrain, what is the use of recuperation downhill? The Outlander shows everything the driver wants to know in a large and colorful way, including the sum of the energy that has been recovered through braking and immediately recycled – in addition to the pedal, braking is possible via six levels that can be set on the “shift paddle”. For 100 kilometers through the Taunus, 5 to 10 kWh are generated, the twelve kilometers downhill from the Großer Feldberg to Oberursel brought 2.5 kWh.
The Outlander PHEV is a successful model, it has been around since 2007. After the latest revision, the inside appears polished. There is a new infotainment system with an eight-inch display that can call up videos from a USB stick in addition to the usual arts such as voice control and five years of free map updates. The operation is no longer as playful as in the predecessor, but the drive programs are still distributed over five buttons in the car – normal / snow / lock, including sport, front forced charging / energy conservation, next to it EV, front right Eco, and then there is yes nor the paddles on the steering column. In addition, the constant beeping and tinkling annoys us in the new model.
If Mitsubishi could simplify (operation) or leave it alone (beeping) in the future, a good car with a highly interesting technical concept would turn into a very good one – we would also have a larger battery on our wish list. All of this at an affordable price from around 37,000 euros, with the fully equipped Top version for around 50,000 euros. Each less electricity subsidies, of course.
The automotive company expects the new RCEP free trade agreement to have direct effects. “That will have consequences for our production network,” says BMW Board Member for Production Milan Nedeljkovic.
Dusseldorf, Beijing, Bangkok, Tokyo Hartmut Schick is looking forward to the new Asian free trade zone RCEP. “We expect positive effects on our business and our competitiveness,” says the CEO of Daimler’s Japanese subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation.
On the one hand, the existing cross-border business in the region, such as the Indonesian market that is important for Fuso, would be simpler. Schick also hopes that an upturn in trade and traffic in the RCEP countries will have a positive effect on the commercial vehicle manufacturer’s sales.
2.2 billion people, 30 percent of global economic output, the most economically dynamic region in the world – the numbers in themselves are impressive. But it’s about more than statistical quantities, it’s also about geopolitics. Because China is without a doubt the central factor in this new economic area, and the USA and Europe are on the outside. That is one of the reasons why many European or American politicians, unlike Hartmut Schick, look at RCEP with skepticism.
Even Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks of increased competitive pressure from Asia as a result of the new agreement. Now, so the calls from the business associations, the EU must also take action – conclude agreements with the Southeast Asian Asean states, with India and above all with the new US government.
Many of the 15 RCEP states have already been linked to one another via other free trade agreements and many trade facilitations through the RCEP, which was negotiated for eight years, lag behind these agreements, especially behind those of the European internal market. But for the first time, the Northeast Asian economic powers China, Japan and South Korea are connected via a free trade agreement.
Together, the three countries account for more than 80 percent of the gross domestic product of the RCEP signatories. The country of origin rules could have the greatest influence. Because suddenly companies in all participating countries only need one document instead of many for doing business.
Will China set the standards in world trade in the future?
The Romanian Renault sister is not only cheap, but also comparatively stable in value.
Cologne Family cars have to be big, variable, safe – and, last but not least, inexpensive. Five suggestions for suitable models below 35,000 euros.
Family bargain number 1: Dacia Lodgy
The Dacia Sandero may be the cheapest new car in Germany, but its brand brother Lodgy is the price hit among family cars. The Romanian compact van already offers up to seven seats, over 2,600 liters of luggage space and plenty of space for mom and dad in the first row 13.637 Euro.
Equipment and optics are then correspondingly poor, but for a few thousand euros extra you get a presentable car. Tip for aesthetes: the “Stepway” equipment line, which with its off-road style add-on parts is a very effective embellishment.
The station wagon, which is built in Turkey, is particularly popular in southern Europe.
Family bargain number 2: Fiat Tipo station wagon
A hit in Southern and Eastern Europe, a gray mouse in Germany – the Tipo is Fiat’s golf competitor, but with a star price of 17.536 Euro significantly cheaper for the spacious station wagon than the competition from the north. The equipment is already decent in the basic model, but an excessive number of extras cannot be booked via the option list either – the Tipo is a classic budget model.
The petrol engines are particularly recommended, for the diesel quite high surcharges are due, which should hardly be worthwhile even for frequent drivers.
Opel Combo Life
The Opel shares the technology with its PSA siblings.
Family bargain number 3: Opel Combo Life
High-roof station wagons are generally an inexpensive alternative to the classic compact van. The Opel Combo Life, like its sister models Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Rifter and Toyota Proace City Verso, is one of the most modern representatives of this class. Compared with older models, which are often still strongly attached to their commercial vehicle genes, driving behavior, ambience and equipment options are much closer to the passenger car.
This also applies to the range of assistance and comfort systems, which even include a head-up display that is exotic in this class. Prices start at 22.080 Euro for the basic model. A better choice should be the next higher equipment “Edition”, which offers a second sliding door on the side.
The Japanese are really cheap among the large SUVs.
Family bargain number 4: Mitsubishi Outlander
Admittedly, after eight years on the market, the large Mitsubishi SUV is no longer one of the freshest in its class. But its core virtues still score: the very good space, the optional third row of seats, the solid workmanship and currently also a good price. 24.165 Euro costs the basic model, which comes up with a 110 kW / 150 hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine and extensive equipment.
These include two-zone automatic air conditioning, cruise control and audio system. Even with all-wheel drive and better equipment (18-inch rims, heated seats and roof rails), you stay just under 35,000 euros. With many direct competitors in the mid-range SUV segment, the price list only starts there.
Even the big Frenchman remains just below the 35,000 euro limit.
Family bargain number 5: Renault Trafic Combi
A large family can hardly get past a minibus. A fact that is very expensive, especially if you look at the market leader from VW, which can hardly be pushed below the 35,000 euro limit even in the economically equipped basic variants. If you can do without the sophistication and prestige of North German, you will find similar MPVs from other manufacturers.
At Renault, the model is called Trafic Combi, offers a comparably simple ambience and not the very best variability, but in return it is available for inexpensive 32,400 euros, for 812 euros more in the “Grand”, which has been extended by 40 centimeters to 5.40 meters. Variant.
Admittedly: The equipment is then rather poor, but there are up to nine seats and generally generous space. Only diesel is available for the drive, the base version is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 88 kW / 120 PS.
More: Chinese electric SUV at a bargain price – that’s what the Aiways U5 costs
Nissan could sell your stake in Mitsubishi, altering the structure of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The brand of Yokohama, according to unidentified sources in the agency Bloomberg, would be studying the possibility of selling all or part of the shares it owns on the firm of the three diamonds, controls a 34%, because it considers that it will take time to recover from the crisis Covid-19.
Since Nissan deny the information through a statement in which they ensure that Mitsubishi is working together with the rest of the partners that make up the alliance to recover from the crisis and that it is immersed in its strategic plan Small but Beautiful, presented in July to improve profitability. “It is essential that each Alliance partner focus on their core competencies and maximize the use of each other’s assets to achieve their plans,” Nissan said in the statement. For its part, Mitsubishi has stated in another statement that is not negotiating his relationship with Nissan and what’s next “collaborating with the Alliance“.
Notably Mitsubishi had an important weight in the new development plan for vehicles, powertrains and technology that the alliance presented last May, in which the three firms divided the segments, and the technologies to be developed and the world regions in which to lead. Mitsubishi remained as leader of Southeast Asia Y Oceania and in charge of the development of Key Cars next to Nissan for the Japanese market. In terms of technology, the company, based in Such, will develop plug-in hybrid motors for vehicles of segment C and D.
Carlos Ghosn’s bet
Mitsubishi is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance since 2016, when Carlos Ghosn, former president of the three companies until an economic scandal was charged, rescued the company at the rate of 1,940 million euros. The former director’s plans were to create “a new global force in the automotive industry” and, later, create a consortium capable of competing with Toyota and the Volkswagen Group and become the largest group in the world.
Although he did get sales figures to compete for the world throne, the arrest of Ghosn in november 2018 and the subsequent scandal, which resulted in a cooling of relations between Renault Y Nissan, redirected in recent months with new appointments in the management of Renault and Nissan. With the commitment to maintain the alliance and exploiting its potential was reached in the development plan presented in May. The Covid-19 it has been just the last stone on the road for the three firms.
Nowadays, Renault count on him 43% from Nissan, which in turn has a 15% from Renault. Precisely, this unequal distribution of control between the two companies has been a matter of dispute in recent years, with the Japanese complaining of the little weight it had within the group. Their relationship dates back to 1999, when the signature of the rhombus saved Nissan bankruptcy through an injection of capital that earned him a 36,8% of the Japanese. It was in 2001When the Yokohama brand acquired 15% of Renault, the French increased its stake in Nissan to the current figure. Thus it was reached 2016, when Ghosn bet on Mitsubishi to expand the alliance.
Mitsubishi, the Japanese auto giant, has launched its car Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrageIn the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which belongs to the category of cars The sedan is small in size.
The Car Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrage Created by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, with the goal of creating a distinctive look that clearly expresses the graceful sportiness and road stability at the same time. The new exterior shape of the car embodies the unique Mitsubishi principles in design engineering, and is consistent with the innovative elements of the Japanese company’s model list.
Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrage It comes with new 15-inch alloy wheels with a new design in two different colors, reflecting the car’s improved levels of performance and ensuring a more eye-catching appearance.
The Car Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrage It comes with a highly responsive, 1200 cc, three-cylinder MIVEC engine producing 78 hp and mated to a 6-speed CVT automatic transmission with INVECS-III technology.
Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrage It has an audio system with a large 7-inch touch screen that can be connected with smartphones, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Safety in Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrage
it’s prepared Mitsubishi Attrage 2021 mitsubishi attrage It has many safety measures including the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the assisted braking system, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPM), Active Vehicle Stability Control (ASC), in addition to the Assistive Ascent Control System Highlands (HAS).
The precise geodata from Here is perhaps the greatest hope for German carmakers in the race for autonomous driving.
(Foto: Corbis/Getty Images)
Munich Crises often have a cleansing effect. The auto industry is a good example of this. For years, Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen raved about transforming themselves into mobility service providers. Now there is no longer any talk of this strategy at corporate headquarters. “Focus on core business” is the new mantra in an industry that is facing two mammoth tasks with the corona pandemic and the exit from combustion technology.
Former hopefuls such as car sharing and parking apps are seen as brake blocks in this new environment. If you can, you throw off ballast. In particular, unprofitable peripheral businesses are under scrutiny. This also applies to Here Technologies. A consortium of five German car companies holds the majority in the map service. Daimler, BMW, Audi, Bosch and Continental actually want to set standards in autonomous driving with Here and thus stand up to Google and Tesla.
The problem: Since the 2.6 billion euro takeover at the end of 2015, the former Nokia subsidiary has brought its German shareholders continuous losses. The cumulative loss over four years is more than 1.1 billion euros. Sales stagnate.
Due to the corona, the owners of the technology company even had to grant a loan of up to 150 million euros. So is Here becoming a billion-dollar grave for the domestic auto giants?
Not at all, says Edzard Overbeek. In a conversation with the Handelsblatt, the Here boss announces the imminent turnaround in earnings. “We’re very close to making sustainable profits,” Overbeek states. “Our platform business is gaining enormous momentum. Depending on the Covid situation, we will be sustainably profitable in 2021 or 2022. “
This should succeed by making Here less dependent on the auto industry. The company has always earned its money with geographic data, which is mainly used in car navigation devices. To date, eight out of ten cars on European or American roads have Here technology on board.
It should stay that way. But Overbeek is also working on hundreds of other use cases around location-based data. “Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and computer vision, we can not only digitally measure streets and their surroundings, but also the interior of airports, supermarkets, hospitals, office buildings, factories and warehouses,” explains the 53-year-old Dutchman. His group is now able to visualize entire cities in 3D maps.
Here receives the data from cities, cars, smartphones or transport authorities. The group has signed more than 100,000 contracts with public institutions and private companies. The overriding goal is clear: “We create a digital image of the physical world,” says Overbeek.
Roads, plants, buildings and bodies of water are mapped in real time, as are vehicles, people and goods. Thanks to the millimeter-accurate measurement of the entire globe, robots should be able to fill supermarket shelves without any problems, drones deliver parcels to our front doors every day and autonomous cars drive passengers through our cities without accidents. And here, that’s the plan, earns money with every movement.
Even if many things still sound very visionary, the realignment of the business away from the pure card licensor is already having an effect. Since the beginning of the year, Here has been offering geodata to customers from all industries for the first time via an open software platform.
Here-Chef Edzard Overbeek
After years of investing, the visionary cloud professional has to deliver slowly.
“The demand is immense. We have already signed a good 70 contracts with companies that actively use our platform, ”explains Overbeek. “In addition, more than 180 companies are currently considering buying access to our marketplace. We see a lot of activity. “
Expansion to Asia
The result: Two years ago, Here achieved almost 80 percent of its annual turnover of around 1.1 billion euros with car customers, the share is currently barely 65 percent. “And our goal is to reduce this figure to 50 percent,” says Overbeek.
The manager does not want the expansion of his customer base to be misunderstood as a withdrawal from the auto business. The vehicle sector remains “of strategic importance”. At the same time, Overbeek wants to grow faster with customers from other sectors, such as the telecommunications industry or the transport industry.
In addition, the spatial data service broadened its ownership structure with two large Japanese corporations to nine shareholders in the summer. Telecommunications provider NTT and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) jointly secured 30 percent of the shares through Coco Tech Holding.
At the same time, the German car consortium reduced its shares noticeably, but still holds more than 60 percent of Here through There Holding. The remaining owners are the US chip giant Intel and the electronics specialist Pioneer Corporation.
With the new partners NTT and MC, Here now wants to expand more strongly into Asia, as the group currently generates almost 90 percent of its sales in Europe and North America. “Now we have all the tools to achieve double-digit annual growth rates as quickly as possible,” believes Overbeek. At the same time, the manager is looking for one or two final investors. “The discussions are ongoing, please be patient,” he explains.
The manager once made a career for the US network specialist Cisco Systems and was responsible for 25,000 employees. Here is significantly smaller with its 9200 employees. But Overbeek has big goals, wants to scare the technology giants with the tiny creature.
Here he positions it as an alternative to Google. “When you come to us with your data, you alone decide what happens to it,” says Overbeek. “Google is concerned with monetizing user data for Google as much as possible. On the other hand, we are interested in shared sales. “
Along with Tomtom and Apple, the search engine giant, along with Google Maps, is Here’s biggest competitor in location-based technologies. The company, with its administrative headquarters in Amsterdam and large operational branches in Berlin and Chicago, cites the “incomparable precision” of its cards as a unique selling point.
Google, for example, designs its Maps services according to the “best effort” approach for consumers, which means that it tries to achieve the greatest possible accuracy without guaranteeing this. Here, on the other hand, promises a completely trustworthy system for business customers. “We guarantee that where we indicate there is actually a tree or that a construction site is restricting traffic,” explains Overbeek.
Its users can rest assured that all information is accurate. “That’s the difference,” emphasizes Overbeek.
Here promises a completely trustworthy system for business customers.
The precise geodata from Here is perhaps the greatest hope for German carmakers in the race for autonomous driving. Measured by the test kilometers, the Google subsidiary Waymo is far ahead of the domestic vehicle manufacturers.
With the help of the high-resolution 3D maps from Here, however, the industry is now launching a counterattack. In the coming year, for example, Mercedes wants to enable customers of the new S-Class for the first time to use highly automated driving (Level 3) on certain motorway sections in Germany.
It is true that there is still a long way to go to the technological final stage when using robotic cars (level 5). But at speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour, the drivers of the S-Class are sometimes allowed to turn away completely from the traffic and hand over to the technology. It would be a big step that, from the point of view of the German car manufacturer, can only be reliably represented with the maps from Here.
Elon Musk reviles 3D cards
Tesla boss Elon Musk, however, considers 3D maps to be a “really bad idea”. The technology is expensive and is only unnecessarily delaying the breakthrough of robot cars. A dozen sensors and a few cameras in the vehicle were sufficient to anticipate the course of the road ahead, all regulations and any dangers.
“I have great respect for Elon Musk, but he takes a point of view on autonomous driving that nobody else in the industry shares,” countered Here boss Overbeek: “Every car, truck and robotics company is convinced that there are so many needs different systems as possible so that one day we can drive without a driver. The reason: If one system fails, another one always steps in as a safety net and thus prevents a possible accident. ”
Either way, Here is under pressure. “In times when money is running out in the auto industry, such subsidy transactions have to be justified twice,” states Stefan Bratzel. However, the director of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch Gladbach believes that the domestic vehicle manufacturers will be more patient with Here than with other loss-making investments.
“High-resolution maps are extremely important in the value chain for a whole range of shared services. My feeling is that you don’t want to leave this business entirely to Google or Baidu, ”explains Bratzel. Here boss Overbeek shouldn’t feel too safe. After years of investing, the visionary cloud professional has to deliver slowly.
More: Daimler and BMW talk about selling their rideshare service to Uber.
“Japan and Germany are responsible for leading the digital transformation and creating a better society.”
Such The Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) in Japan was actually supposed to set an example. For years, politicians and company representatives have been invoking closer cooperation between the two export nations in order to stand up to rivals from the American IT industry and China in the digitization of the economy. The corona crisis thwarted the symbolism. The important conference will take place this Monday, half in Berlin, half online.
But the idea of an alliance is more topical than ever. The representative of the Japanese economy at the APK warns in advance in an interview with the Handelsblatt that the two countries are wasting their potential. Masaki Sakuyama, chairman of the board of directors of the technology group Mitsubishi Electric, is the vice-chairman of the European-Japanese business round table, which is critical of the free trade area between the European Union and Japan. “Japan and Germany have a responsibility to lead the digital transformation and create a better society,” said Sakuyama. Therefore, both countries should “work together more”.
In his opinion, the corona crisis has made the cooperation even more urgent. “Manufacturing and the digital economy are key to activating economies,” says Sakuyama. The integration of digital technology into production is a strength of both countries. This could help the global economies to improve the competitiveness of their companies and industries.
The APK, with its focus on Industry 4.0, is particularly important for Sakuyama. Because it could show “how companies face the challenges of the data-driven society in the midst of the pandemic”. And Germany has long been considered an important partner in Japan.
The reason: the two large exporting nations not only share the current economic suffering of the global economic crisis and the escalating economic war between the USA and China. Given the great importance of car and mechanical engineering, you both have an interest in digitizing production through to promoting a multilateral free trade system.
The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas presented his “Alliance of Multilateralists” in Japan in 2018 for a reason. Japan has hesitated in the political alliance in order not to anger the USA as a protective power. In the area of the digital economy, however, the state has already been inspired by Germany’s Industry 4.0 concept, which describes the digitization of industry. The Japanese advancement is called “Society 5.0”. The aim is to use digital and networked technologies to help solve social problems such as care for the elderly and transport.
Desire for data sovereignty
Manufacturing and robotics are a sub-area in which Society 5.0 has a lot in common with Industry 4.0. “They represent the next generation of industrial innovation,” said the Chairman of the Board of Directors. There are already collaborations.
According to the Japanese, the Japanese Revolutionary Robot Council is already working with the German Industry 4.0 platform. There are also corporate alliances. The mechanical engineering company Mori Seiki, for example, merged with Gildemeister to form DMG Mori Seiki.
And like the German industry, the Japanese are also trying to develop their own platforms for the digitized factories so as not to lose the data to cloud services from American IT giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
However, Sakuyama recognizes different approaches that are due to the corporate landscape. According to the expert, both countries are currently focusing on the “edge”, the boundary between the world of data and machines.
But in Germany the market leader Siemens is expanding its platform from the IT level to the “edge”. “We come from below, from the machines,” says Sakuyama. And since there are several platform providers in Japan with IT and technology giants such as Hitachi, Fujitsu, NEC, Omron and Mitsubishi Electric as well as the robot manufacturers Fanuc, Yaskawa and Kawasaki Heavy, not one provider dominates.
Mitsubishi Electric is one of the leaders in the Edgecross consortium, in which German companies such as the automotive supplier Schaeffler are also involved, with its broad portfolio, which ranges from automotive supplies to household appliances, elevators and air conditioning systems, robots to satellites. In the company association, companies want to develop common standards for communication between machines and IT solutions.
Sakuyama now hopes that Japan and Germany will cooperate in the further development of medium-sized companies. The European project Gaia-X, which gives companies inexpensive access to many functions for digitization, is a good example, says Sakuyama. The government is already considering setting up a similar system.
Sakuyama also sees a lot of potential at the corporate level. Company acquisitions are still a means for Mitsubishi Electric. “But I think we need a different approach to creating new value together,” says Sakuyama. “We would like to enter into partnerships with start-ups and venture companies in Germany.”
Friendly to the US and open to China
The further development of the free trade area with the EU is another focus of his work. Japan is trying to fend off protectionist tendencies with bilateral and regional trade deals. It is positive that half of the importers and exporters are already using the customs relief. “But the question of data flow on the industrial side is still open,” notes Sakuyama. And that is important for the digitization of the economy. One can expect that he will address this shortcoming at the next meeting of the Business Round Table in early November.
Another challenge is the dispute between China and the United States. From Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Sakuyama expects “that he will go the same way as his predecessor Shinzo Abe”. Abe was friendly to the US and open to China, but at the same time strengthened its own military and alliances to contain China. Because Japan is perceiving its massively rearming neighbors more and more as a military threat. Economic policy is part of the dual strategy. The Japanese government wants to subsidize the construction of factories in Southeast Asia more in order to reduce the dependence on China for critical products.
When it comes to chips and components for the electronics industry, many global corporations are now investing heavily in countries such as Vietnam in order to circumvent US tariffs and trade bans. But Sakuyama does not expect complete decoupling. “From my point of view, China is a very big customer.” According to Sakuyama, his group generates ten percent of sales there. “We want to maintain and expand our business in China.”
More: “Europe needs to wake up”: China wants to strengthen its exports – and is thus hitting German companies
With the electric truck, Schenker wants to become a green logistician.
(Photo: Daimler AG)
Berlin “I won’t give it away anymore,” says Torsten Merk. The driver from the logistics group DB Schenker in Berlin explains that he has never driven a truck so quietly, nimble and lively. He doesn’t even have to shift the car, he says, “unless you want to reverse”.
Production of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV has come to an end. The Japanese company will stop manufacturing what was the first production electric car and one of the pioneers among the 100% electric cars of series production, together with the Peugeot iOn and the Citroën C-Zero, with whom it shares a platform, electric drive and crowd of more components.
Mitsubishi will stop making the i-MiEV at the end of fiscal 2020, Nikkei learns. The Japanese firm has been marketing the model since 2009 in more than 50 countries, including Europe, the United States and Japan. However, and despite having been on the market for more than a decade, only around 32,000 units have been sold. To put it in perspective, the Nissan Leaf has sold some 500,000 units since its launch in 2010.
Their poor performance and high price They have been the two main stumbling blocks of this electric car, which even in its beginnings (when there were hardly any electric cars and the technology was much less developed) had figures that were too attractive. Its engine has 64 HP of power and its battery, with a useful capacity of 14.5 kWh, barely allows it 160 km of autonomy (NEDC).
Furthermore, the i-MiEV has remained practically no changes or evolutions since its launch to the market, without having any generational change despite his seniority. A situation that occurred presumably due to lack of resources; According to a Mitsubishi manager, “We did not have enough money or staff to continue investing in the development of electric vehicles.”
Already withdrawn from most markets, the i-MiEV is currently only sold in a few specific countries such as Norway and Switzerland. The appearance in recent years of a large number of more competitive electric cars has been the final highlight for the i-MiEV. The replacement for the i-MiEV is scheduled to arrive in 2023, a car built on the CMF-EV platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, although few details of the model are known at the moment.