Start-up plans to attack Elon Musk

Lucid-Elektroauto

A first high-priced luxury variant is due to hit the market in the USA in the spring and also this year in Europe.

San Francisco, Düsseldorf Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s timing was certainly no coincidence. In September 2020, Peter Rawlinson, ex-chief engineer at Tesla and CEO of the electric car start-up Lucid, presented the first model in California: the luxury sedan Lucid Air, which will compete with Tesla’s Model S. The day before, Musk had etched: “Rawlinson didn’t design the Model S. The prototype was ready before it came and it let us down when it got tough, which wasn’t cool of him. ”

No question about it, Musk is closely following Lucid Motors. “Man, he hates us,” Rawlinson responded and countered soberly: “Elon can check which names are on the patents from that time.” And it is right that Musk takes the new attacker seriously. Lucid shows a good pace, as production manager Peter Hochholdinger explains in an interview with the Handelsblatt.

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Why good employees leave – what managers can do

Keep employees

In times of crisis in particular, managers are concerned about their most important team talents.

(Photo: Emmanuel Polanco / Sepia)

Düsseldorf How quickly a dream job can sometimes turn into a nightmare. A manager of a media company from southern Germany promised her that she could have an international career.

What the top manager was not told: For them, the internationality ended in Austria and Switzerland. There were already responsible managers for all other markets. When an alternative offer was received by the 47-year-old, she was quickly gone. Like so many top performers who are disappointed by their employer.

Losing good employees is always painful. According to a labor market study by the personnel service provider Robert Half, 80 percent of German executives are concerned, even in times of the Corona, that they will not be able to retain qualified employees in the long term. Managers often have it in their own hands to keep their best people.

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Peter Thiel’s new investment sympathy for Europe

Frankfurt, Hamburg, San Francisco Peter Thiel is one of the most famous venture capital investors in the world. His early investment in Facebook in 2004, which turned half a million dollars into billions, is just the most famous. Although he emigrated to the USA with his parents at the age of one, Germany’s start-up scene likes to take over the native of Frankfurt as one of their own. Thiel repeatedly railed against the European tech scene. In 2018, for example, he made headlines with the statement that Europe simply cannot build successful tech companies.

In fact, however, the investment companies of the once self-confessed Trump supporter are expanding their commitment on this side of the Atlantic. This is shown by an analysis of his investments, especially two current examples.

His investment company Valar Ventures, for example, is leading a new financing round of 21 million euros for the German commercial bank Moss, which previously operated under the name Vanta. With the latest capital injection, Moss comes to a valuation in the three-digit million range, according to co-founder and managing director Ante Spittler. “Moss wants to digitize corporate spending for companies that employ between 20 and 500 people,” Spittler told Handelsblatt.

The core product is an intelligent credit card. The customer has access to the Moss payment platform, on which he can order any number of physical and virtual credit cards for his employees and set spending limits. In addition, invoices can be uploaded to this platform and accounting can be simplified.

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Existing investors Cherry Ventures and Global Founders Capital also took part in the capital round. The company, which was only founded in 2019, has so far collected a total of 30 million euros.

The investment, which is to be officially reported on Thursday, is not Thiel’s most spectacular plan in Germany. According to the Bloomberg agency, the 53-year-old wants to participate in plans for lithium production in East Germany, which the German investor Christian Angermayer is promoting.

Both already know each other from other investments. You are investing in the Canadian Rock Tech Lithium project. The plant could be one of the first to go into operation in Europe as early as 2023. According to the report, Rock Tech is still looking for a location in Saxony or Saxony-Anhalt – close to VW’s electric car factories in Leipzig and the planned Tesla factory in Brandenburg. Thiel and Angermayer did not respond to inquiries.

Lithium for Tesla

The lithium investment would be unusual for Thiel, who mostly invests in software companies and fintechs. It wouldn’t be surprising if Elon Musk had anything to do with it. The Tesla boss is concerned with the supply of raw materials in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Thiel describes Musk today as a “good friend”. The two companies once rivaled in the dot-com era and eventually merged their fintech companies to form Paypal, the basis for the wealth of both men.

In Europe, too, Thiels funds continue to invest primarily in fintechs, as an analysis by “Sifted” based on data from the provider “Dealroom” shows. Accordingly, he is now involved in 43 European start-ups. In Germany alone there are 13 – including bank N26. There Valar took part in three rounds. In the UK, Transferwise is the largest holding.

However, Thiel is also involved in other subject areas. For example, he invested in Angermayer’s German biotech subsidiary ATAI, which wants to further develop substances known as party drugs such as MDMA and ketamine as therapeutic agents. Also unusual is the participation in The Ocean Cleanup project by the young Dutchman Boyan Slat, who wants to free the oceans from plastic waste.

However, not all projects are successes. The list of German holdings includes the now marginalized social network StudiVZ and the Berlin Instagram competitor EyeEm, which has already had to reposition itself. Thiel was also one of the early investors in microcredit specialist Kreditech. The Hamburg fintech, which later renamed Monedo, ran into difficulties last year and became insolvent.

But Thiel can get over that. The billionaire’s investment empire is ramified. The core is his family office Thiel Capital, which his husband, the banker Matt Danzeisen, co-manages. The Founders Fund (FF), which is Thiel’s main investment vehicle, is primarily active in companies in Silicon Valley.

2020 was a particularly good year for the fund founded by Thiel: Airbnb, the delivery platform Doordash, the software company Asana and the big data analysis platform Palantir – the Founders Fund made money on almost every major tech IPO. FF will also be there in the next wave of eagerly anticipated IPOs: the financial services provider Stripe and Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX are among the FF investments.

Thiel was never completely Europe-averse at the Founders Fund, as early investments in the Swedish music streaming service Spotify, the British AI company Deepmind and Trade Republic show. Thiel’s fund for investments outside the US has always been mainly Valar Ventures: Thiel founded the investment company in 2012 with Andrew McCormack and James Fitzgerald. The two partners run the business from New York.

Thiel does not advise all founders

How much Thiel gets involved varies. At Moss, the founders and majority shareholders Anton Rummel, Ferdinand Meyer, Stephan Haslebacher and Spittler have only had contact with Valar boss Fitzgerald, who praised the company: “We see incredible potential in Moss and how its technology supports payment transactions and lending Company revolutionized. ”

The liquidity required for credit card transactions is provided by the cooperation partner Raisin Bank, which has a full banking license. Loans are not on offer, but Spittler can imagine enabling extended payment terms in the future.

Thiel is more active as an advisor at the broker Trade Republic. “Since Peter Thiel got on board with his Founders Fund, the founders have been in regular contact with their investor. In the corona crisis, as is usual with technology companies, the exchange takes place largely via digital channels, “said a spokeswoman.

Thiel primarily discusses strategic issues and questions relating to the company’s positioning with the founders. “Discussions between Thiel and the founders are often about corporate culture,” said the spokeswoman. Thiel should not hold back with his opinion. In the US he is known as a distinguished critic of the liberal Californian mainstream. Most recently, the Founders Fund has turned more and more away from Silicon Valley. Thiel moved to Los Angeles a few years ago.

FF partner Keith Rabois, with whom Thiel has been connected since their time together at PayPal, opened an office in Miami. Like Thiel, Rabois is a harsh critic of the left-wing urban politics of San Francisco and the supposedly monotonous thinking of the Silicon Valley.

In the conflict over the US election, Thiel does not position himself publicly, although he supported Trump in the 2016 election campaign not only with money, but also with an appearance at the nomination party conference. The registered Republican did not appear in the 2020 election campaign. Apparently he’s focused on business.

More: Investor Christian Angermayer im Podcast Handelsblatt Disrupt

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Chinese export share of German automakers rises to a record high

Emden harbor

Last year VW, Daimler and the BMW Group exported 5.4 million vehicles to China.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The importance of the Chinese market for the German automotive industry has risen to a new record level. Four out of ten new cars are exported to China, reported the “Augsburger Allgemeine” on Saturday with reference to a study by the Center Automotive Research by the car expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer.

In 2020, the German car groups Volkswagen, Daimler and the BMW Group exported 5.4 million vehicles to China. That was 38.2 percent of the total of 14.16 million new vehicles sold worldwide.

“The Chinese share of German car manufacturers has never been so high and it will continue to rise,” Dudenhöffer told the newspaper. Accordingly, the export share rose, although the actual sales figures for German vehicles on the Chinese market fell slightly by 250,000 new vehicles.

While BMW and Mercedes increased their sales, the VW group sold 383,600 fewer cars in China. BMW increased its Chinese export share in 2020 compared to the previous year from 28.5 to 33.4 percent, Daimler from 25.3 percent to 30.6 percent and among the car brands of the Volkswagen Group, the share of the Chinese business is now 41.4 Percent, after 38.6 percent in the previous year.

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VW and Audi are no longer imaginable without the China business, said Dudenhöffer. The importance of BMW is also growing. “The success and growth of the German auto industry, like economic growth in Germany, is shaped by China.”

More: BMW achieves CO2 targets – but the EU is already working on even stricter rules

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Charging stations for electric cars: providers, technology and funding

Parking for electric cars

A parking lot with a wallbox for electric cars is marked in green in the Hanover region. Wallboxes complement the publicly accessible charging network.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf Electromobility is finally about to make a breakthrough. Thanks to massive funding, more than 194,000 fully electric cars were registered in Germany in 2020 – three times as many as in the previous year.

This also increases the need for charging options. In addition to the public network, which is gradually being built up, the market for so-called wall boxes – private charging stations that can be used to charge electric cars at home or at work – is booming.

This charging station is also supported on a large scale. The Handelsblatt gives an overview of providers, technology and funding opportunities.

What is a wallbox?

A wallbox is practically a small charging station that can be installed at the workplace, in the garage or on the wall of the house. It allows electric cars to be charged more quickly than at a conventional socket.

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graphic

Who needs a wallbox?

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Dax gives profits and closes in the red

Düsseldorf A strong start with a weak continuation: This is how trading on the German stock market can be described on Thursday. The DAX closed 0.1 percent in the red at 13,907 points after briefly making the jump over the 14,000 mark in the morning.

The trading day was completely different for the two smaller Dax brothers, MDax and SDax. As on the previous day, they achieved new records. The two indices in the second row of exchanges rose to highs of 31,905 and 15,714 points, respectively.

For the Dax, the next goals are clearly outlined: Prices above 14,030 points, the latest interim high of the current correction, would probably drive the index towards 14,132 points, the previous record high. The current daily high of 14,029 points underscores the importance of the short-term resistance in the form of 14,030 points.

A new Dax record high is possible in the coming trading days, but the chances of further price increases are initially limited. For example, according to the analysis of the investor survey conducted by the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, behavioral economist Joachim Goldberg expects profit-taking in the range of 14,150 to 14,200 points at the latest. “The lid is on the Dax,” he says.

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To understand this forecast, a look back at the past trading days helps. For investment professionals, the 13,720 point mark was and still is the linchpin in the perception of gains and losses. It is the closing level of the previous year and the starting level of institutional investors for the new stock market year.

The professionals used the price slide last Friday to 13,672 meters to buy again or to close out their hedges against falling prices. Accordingly, the sentiment indicator of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange turned positive because the expectations of the investment professionals were met and they were able to buy at favorable prices. They are no longer under pressure to invest in the market again, but rather they will try to take profits.

This will align the mood among private investors and professionals. Sentiment expert Stephan Heibel already criticized after evaluating the Handelsblatt survey Dax Sentiment on Monday of this week that there was no willingness to buy that could drive the Dax significantly higher.

Club Talk with Jürgen Röder

Because the professionals used the price slide last Friday and on the Monday of these weeks to around 13,700 points for shopping, the threshold for further investments falls accordingly. According to Goldberg’s estimate, this is more in the range of 13,450 to 13,500 meters.

In addition, the international fund managers are already overweighted in stocks in the euro zone. This means that demand from abroad remains limited.

Automotive values ​​in demand

In the Dax stocks, the auto stocks were very popular with investors. Volkswagen and Daimler shares are among the DAX winners with a plus of 2.8 percent and two percent. The European auto sector index climbed to its highest level in fourteen months. The Dax winners list is headed by the papers of the delivery service Delivery Hero with a premium of 3.6 percent.

Zooplus even shone with a plus of 10.4 percent. The titles of the online pet supplies retailer are more sought after by investors in view of the extended corona restrictions, as they are seen as benefiting from the stay-at-home trend.

The record hunt for the share shop pharmacy continues

Shop pharmacy: The share price hits a new record high for the third day in a row. The new high is 192.20 euros, an increase of almost five percent compared to the previous day. In the past twelve months, the price of the online pharmacy rose by a total of 320 percent. The next mood driver for the success-spoiled shareholders was the strong figures of the competitor Zur Rose, whose shares in Zurich also rose by five percent.

The German-Dutch company has a market capitalization of 3.3 billion euros. A proud figure considering the company does not disclose any profit. The full annual report for 2020 is to be published on March 3rd.

Thyssen-Krupp: The industrial group has suspended the sales process for its cement plant construction subsidiary. As the Ruhr group announced to its employees in a circular last week, several companies had submitted an offer for the business after carrying out the mutual audit. “We were not convinced by the offers available to us,” says the letter that the Handelsblatt has received.

Apparently, investors are pleased with the news. The share price rose 1.6 percent. The paper is already in a brilliant upward trend, the price has more than doubled in the past three months.

Aurubis: Thanks to robust demand, the copper smelter is now aiming for an operating profit of 27 to 330 instead of 210 to 270 million euros for the year as a whole. Aurubis shares then rose temporarily to a two-and-a-half year high of EUR 70.36 and closed 5.8 percent up at EUR 69.98.

US President Biden is considered a burden on Bitcoin

Fears of stricter regulation under the new US President Joe Biden pushed the Bitcoin price down on Thursday. The cryptocurrency fell eleven percent to just over $ 31,000. The cyber currency has lost almost a quarter since its record high of $ 42,000 in early January.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Janet Yellen, who will head the U.S. Treasury Department under Biden, voiced concerns that cryptocurrencies could be used to fund illegal activities.

Joseph Edwards of crypto broker Enigma Securities said the statements had led to increased outflows. But it is still unclear what steps the Biden government would take – if at all. “We think, however, that it’s probably still just a momentary weakness and not a fundamental trend reversal,” said Edwards.

In addition, many investors are currently increasingly shifting their assets into alternative currencies, especially ether. This is proven by the ratio between Ethereum and Bitcoin, which has risen by over ten percent on a weekly basis.

What the Dax chart technology says

The focus is on the 13,500 point mark on the bottom. Medium-term investors can move their stop-loss mark in this area, depending on their strategy and risk tolerance. Prices below 13,672 points, the correction low since the record high, would be the first indication of a slide towards 13,500 points.

What’s the next goal on the top? For the technical analysts at Bank HSBC, the 14,228 point mark is the next point of contact, which is not far from the current record high of 14,132 points. From a technical chart point of view, a target price of 14,700 meters can be derived in the coming days and weeks.
Here you go to the page with the Dax course, here you can find the current tops & flops in the Dax.

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What companies say about lockdown

The chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer announced on Wednesday that the lockdown, which has now been extended to February 14, is “not a fundamentally new situation” for the company. Most employees, who have been working from home since the spring, would do the same continue to do.

The software giant SAP also says: “We stand behind all measures that help to combat the corona pandemic effectively,” said Germany HR manager Cawa Younosi. At SAP, 95 percent of all employees currently work from home – a top figure in the Dax.

Reinhold von Eben-Worlée, on the other hand, clearly criticized it. In an interview with the Handelsblatt, the head of the Hamburg chemical company Worlée and president of the family business association said: “The new regulations for mobile working are a far exaggerated encroachment on entrepreneurial self-determination.”

The 64-year-old fears a lot of bureaucracy to prove why employees have to come to the office. Small and medium-sized businesses in particular cannot do that.

According to a new regulation of the Federal Ministry of Labor, companies in Germany are to be obliged to offer their office workers home office if the so-called seven-day incidence is above a value of 50 – which applies to almost all regions of the republic. Exceptions are only permitted “if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary”.

But the head of the Eben-Worlée association sees some of them. Employees would have to continue to receive company mail or, for data protection reasons, could not simply take all documents home with them. At Worlée, a good half of the office workforce currently works from home.

The family entrepreneur emphasized that the new regulation would not change that: “Office workplaces are still necessary. We can’t just lock the headquarters. ”In his company, there was not a single proven corona infection among 700 employees.

Frank Heinricht, CEO of the glass manufacturer Schott, also calls the new resolutions “very capricious”. His company does not need the home office rules that are now being discussed. The medium-sized company clearly rejected an obligation to work at home. “I consider that to be far too strong an interference with the sovereignty and working reality of companies.” At Schott, 60 percent of the workforce is currently working from home.

The Hamburg Otto Group shows more understanding for the stricter home office rules: “In the current situation, we consider it very right to enable all employees whose activities allow them to work from home,” said board member Marcus Ackermann. At the traditional retailer, the home office rate in administration is “around 90 percent, sometimes 100 percent”, according to the company.

With the latest developments, the company has tightened its measures again and changed shift systems and break times in order to largely equalize the contacts between the workforce. With the increase in the number of infections, rapid tests were also offered on a voluntary basis.

Fewer Germans in the home office than in the first lockdown

In the course of the pandemic, homework fatigue seems to have spread in many places. After 27 percent of employees mostly worked from home during the first wave in spring, the figure was only 14 percent in November – despite the increasing number of infections and the appeal of politicians to employers to enable mobile work. This is shown by a survey conducted by the union-affiliated Hans Böckler Foundation. A survey of office workers at the investment bank Morgan Stanley in December suggests something similar.

graphic

It is not entirely clear how dangerous the office actually is as a source of infection. The statistics from the Robert Koch Institute assume a moderate risk. A big problem, however, is that the tracing of infection chains is time-consuming and therefore often incomplete. However, estimates by the University of Mannheim suggest that if the home office rate was just as high as in the spring, there would be only half as many infections.

One thing is certain: most large companies made working from home standard during the pandemic. And partly permanently. For example, Siemens wants to enable all employees worldwide to work on the move two to three days per week on average, even after Corona.

Large companies in particular also see themselves well prepared for the stricter hygiene regulations, which the Chancellery and the country leaders agreed on Tuesday evening. In cooperation with the Group’s medical service providers, Bayer is already offering event-related rapid corona tests for its own workforce. “Broad testing of all employees, so-called mass testing, does not seem expedient to us,” said a spokesman.

The draft of a new occupational health and safety ordinance from the Federal Ministry of Labor by Hubertus Heil (SPD) originally planned to introduce a weekly test obligation for companies in which at least 50 employees meet regularly within seven days in corona hotspots with more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. This test obligation should not come now.

The regulation also provides that wherever several employees work together in one room, each employee must have an area of ​​at least ten square meters.

Companies fight for existence

The chemical company BASF sees itself “with our already applicable distance and hygiene regulations” at the Ludwigshafen site “basically well positioned” for the new regulations. A spokeswoman said that the requirements and new specifications are already being largely met.

At the energy company RWE, where the ten-square-meter rule cannot be adhered to, especially in companies such as power plants and opencast mines, the protection of employees has been ensured “through appropriate technical, organizational and personal protective measures”, as a spokesman said.

And the automotive supplier Continental explains that the existing protective measures for the workforce are being continuously developed. “Our hygiene concepts at the locations are designed for the various phases of a pandemic and include all areas, both in production and in administration,” said a spokeswoman. Continental’s administrative areas are currently only being utilized to 10 to 20 percent.

For other companies, the extended lockdown is simply about their own existence. “The biggest challenge is still to maintain liquidity,” said Rainer Schaller, founder of the fitness chain McFit, which had to close its studios completely due to the pandemic.

“It is getting more and more difficult from day to day, from week to week, as the risk of permanent closures and bankruptcies increases enormously,” said Schaller to the Handelsblatt. In the USA there is already a wave of bankruptcies in the industry. “The worst case for us is bankruptcy – as it is for many others.”

Collaboration: Florian Kolf, Jens Koenen.

More: The Chancellor’s “precautionary principle” in the pandemic is one-sided – a comment on the latest Corona decisions

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New details on the planned electric flagship Trinity

Volkswagen

After ID.3 and ID.4, many more electric models from VW are to follow.

(Photo: dpa)

Wolfsburg The planned new electric volume model for the Volkswagen parent plant in Wolfsburg is taking shape. Core brand boss Ralf Brandstätter revealed the name and some details of the vehicle on Wednesday, which will be manufactured at the company’s headquarters from around 2026.

The car will be called “Trinity” – an allusion to three central trends that the group wants to focus on: an additional own electrical platform, even more networking in the car and “fully networked production processes” in the factory.

At the end of 2020, the supervisory board of the world’s largest car manufacturer decided, also under pressure from the works council, that the planning for the “electric flagship” of the most important brand should start earlier than initially planned. Similar to the subsidiaries Audi, Porsche and Bentley with their “Tesla Fighter” for the upper class in Hanover, the group wants to bring together expertise from several areas. The project is also important for Volkswagen’s home locations in Lower Saxony and the internal supplier plants.

The “Trinity”, for which the working title “Aeroliner” has been circulating, is to be created on a modular system that goes beyond the current variant. This “MEB” is used, for example, in the electrical ID family. Versions for other group brands could then also be built on the supplementary platform.

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It is also planned to use the latest generation of proprietary software in the vehicle, the development of which is being advanced in the Group’s IT division. It should communicate with other cars and the traffic infrastructure.

Works council chief Bernd Osterloh recently told the German Press Agency that he was expecting a “well six-digit number per year” for the car. The company did not want to comment on possible specific production volumes yet. The VW Group will invest around 73 billion euros in new technology topics up to and including 2025.

More: Volkswagen expects strong growth in China – but the shortage of chips is slowing down

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New VW Polo Harlequin: return to the Netherlands

25 years after the debut of the first Polo Harlequin, VW Netherlands is now bringing back the famous model on an up-to-date basis. Initially as a single copy.

VW launched the third generation of the Polo in 1994. The cell phones were bulky, hardly anyone in Germany had private internet access and Angela Merkel left her post as Federal Minister for Women and Youth and started her job as Federal Environment Minister. The Polo of the 6N series was also available with five doors for the first time, and VW introduced airbags, belt tensioners and ABS as important safety features. However, this generation of the Polo will not be forgotten because of a special model that was visually provocatively funny for the time: the four-colored Harlequin ex works. VW Netherlands has now presented a new Polo Harlequin to bring a bit of happiness into the often dreary January.


Intended as a demonstration object

At the time, VW had actually only intended the colorful Polo as an advertising object for dealers: In order to underline the simple configurability of the Polo, the advertising experts had come up with a code consisting of the colors blue, yellow, red and green. Chagall blue stood for the engine and chassis, gorse yellow for the equipment, flash red for the options and pistachio green for the paint colors. VW built 20 polos that were painted in these four colors – and put them in the dealers’ showrooms.


VW Polo Harlequin

VW Netherlands

Instrument screens, like here on the new Polo, were still a long way off in 1995. And Angela Merkel was not Chancellor either.

Customers wanted the show car

The customers were not interested in the color code, however, but wanted exactly this car in rows. So VW added the Harlequin to its range: After producing four cars each in the corresponding colors, mechanics took the vehicles apart and reassembled body parts such as bonnet, tailgate, doors, bumpers and mirrors according to a fixed pattern. This resulted in a total of four possible color combinations – customers couldn’t choose which combination they would get in the end. The roof, sill and engine compartment are painted in the original basic color, which is also entered in the vehicle documents. From 1995 to 1997, 3,806 Polo Harlequin left the factory. A copy cost 22,795 marks back then – including inflation that would be around 17,173 euros today. But not all customers had to pay for their Harlequin: the fast food chain McDonalds raffled a total of 500 copies in a famous campaign.

VW Polo Harlequin

VW Netherlands

Identical color scheme – there were four schemes of the original model and the customers had to use the scheme that VW had assigned them.

Colorful against the “blue Monday”

The sixth generation Polo (AW series), which has been available since 2017, starts at 15,530 euros. And VW Netherlands is now making a refreshing design proposal with a new Harlequin – after all, there is currently only one copy. In the Netherlands, the third Monday in January is called “Blue Monday” because it is considered the most depressing day of the year. The Dutch wanted to lighten the gloomy mood of the day with the colorful polo. The original Harlequin had further external identifying features with the Harlequin lettering on the rear, darkened taillights and white turn signals at the front. In addition, the original always had a blue steering wheel, a blue gear knob with a Harlequin logo and a radio, exactly: from Blaupunkt. These equipment features have not yet made it into the new version.


VW Polo Harlequin

VW Netherlands

The Harlequin logo has not yet made it to the rear of the new model.

A colorful VW Beetle from 1964 is the ancestor of the Polo Harlequin – VW wanted to use it to demonstrate the interchangeability of components from different years of construction. And in 1996 there was a Golf Harlequin in the USA – 246 customers bought it.

VW Polo Harlequin

VW Netherlands

The new Polo Harlequin (left) follows its famous predecessor from 1995.

Self-import to the Netherlands

VW never offered the original Polo Harlequin in the Netherlands – so numerous Dutch fans brought their Harlequin into the country on their own. VW Netherlands reports that the police once stopped a harlequin owner – just to find out what color the papers say on this car.


VW Polo Harlequin

Volkswagen AG

The background for the photo obviously couldn’t be gray enough: Polo Harlequin freshly driven from the factory in the mid-1990s.

Possible serial version?

So far, VW Netherlands has not made any suggestion as to whether the new Harlequin would also be used to test audience reactions and thus initiate the production of a new, colorful model. If VW decides to produce it in series: This time the Dutch really deserve it that the Harlequin comes onto the market – they finally had the idea of ​​a new edition.


survey

With pleasure – I’m always happy when I see one of the old ones.

No – that’s too colorful for me.



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Conclusion

In many parts of Europe, January is a gray, wet and cold month that can cloud the mood. VW Netherlands is now countering this with the proposal for a new Polo Harlequin – the four-colored little one looks life-affirming and cheerful against almost any background.

The original Polo Harlequin from the mid-1990s has long been a legend – a new edition might not be a bad idea.

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These stocks benefit from Joe Biden’s election

Wall Street in New York City

Wall Street sign on the New York Stock Exchange: The new President Joe Biden could also have lasting consequences on the stock exchange. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / File Photo

(Photo: Reuters)

Frankfurt, New York Joe Biden doesn’t want to waste any time. At the end of last week, he already presented details of a new, extensive stimulus package, which he wants to adopt as soon as possible. “A crisis full of human suffering is unfolding before our eyes. We have to act, now, ”urged Biden at a press conference.

For two weeks it has been clear that Biden’s Democrats will have a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. After the Senate runoff election in the US state of Georgia, the party has a wafer-thin lead in the chamber that was previously led by the Republicans.

The so-called “blue wave”, on which investors speculated even before the presidential election, can now start rolling. What does this mean for US stocks after the election? These industries and companies could particularly benefit from Biden and the Democrats:

1. Health

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