Carmakers face electric reality as combustion engine outlook dims

12 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

European car bosses gathering for the Frankfurt auto show are beginning to address the realities of mass vehicle electrification, and its consequences for jobs and profit, their minds focused by government pledges to outlaw the combustion engine. As the latest such announcement by China added momentum to a push for zero-emissions motoring, Daimler (DAIGn.DE), Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and PSA Group (PEUP.PA) gave details about their electric programs that could give policymakers some pause. Planned electric Mercedes models will initially be just half as profitable as conventional alternatives, Daimler warned – forcing the group to find savings by outsourcing more component manufacturing, which may in turn threaten German jobs. “In-house production is almost irrelevant to the consumer,” Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche told reporters on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show, in the midst of a German election campaign in which automotive jobs have loomed large. The company […]

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