Top topic: The wondrous comeback of Formula 1
Champanger mood: The racing drivers Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Sergio Perez celebrate their podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix
Formula 1 is actually an anachronistic sport. In times of Fridays for Future, the spectacle, which traveled from route to route with several jumbos in often not entirely flawless democracies, seemed doomed. But it is making an almost grotesque comeback. Everyone suddenly wants to be there. Porsche and Audi offer three-digit million amounts – even if the negotiations are not easy at the moment. My colleagues Margret Hucko (themselves equipped with a racing license) and Michael Freitag spoke to the people who pull the strings and describe the five success factors of Formula 1 in their inside report
. One of them: Netflix. It's a lesson in charging a brand under extremely adverse circumstances.
Heads: Herbert Diess ++ Manfred Schoch ++ Cristina Rocco ++ Jim Farley
Under pressure: VW boss Herbert Diess now regularly visits Cariad on Fridays
Herbert Diess (63), Volkswagen boss and board member responsible for the software subsidiary Cariad, must be responsible for its failure. The problems are so massive that even the schedule for entire model series is being delayed: Artemis, Macan, even the new Trinity electric generation is threatened with an even later start. My colleague Michael Freitag found out that the otherwise quiet Porsche and Piëch families are getting nervous. "The family asks" is an unmistakable alarm signal for every CEO in Wolfsburg. The current one now wants to save himself with an alliance.
Manfred Schoch (66) was head of the works council at BMW for more than half of his life. After 35 years, he is now making way – and takes stock in an interview with us. BMW is far too dependent on China and Korea and finally needs its own battery cell production – and a new model.
Cristina Rocco, previously with ABB, among others, will be the new Chief Operating Officer
at Rock Tech Lithium. As is well known, the listed company wants to deliver lithium for battery cells from Brandenburg in bulk from 2024.
Company: Auto1 ++ Renault ++ Volkswagen ++ Lucid Motors ++ Mercedes
Sweet Dreamer: The IPO made Auto1 founders Christian Bertermann (left) and Hakan Koç richer than all the start-up founders before them. But then came the crash.
The start-up Auto1 and its founders Christian Bertermann (38) and Hakan Koç (37) were the superstars of the German tech scene until recently. It couldn't get any bigger, and CEO Bertermann still boasts of "new records" to this day. But in fact, as my colleague Jonas Rest has researched, he provides the prime case for a mismanagement story. Auto1 missed many chances and now threatens to be left behind by new rivals. The carless – disenchantment of a star company.
Well, yes. The French carmaker Renault, just by far the market leader in Russia, is withdrawing. The 68 percent stake in the Lada manufacturer Avtovaz goes to the Ministry of Science for one ruble (!), the plant near Moscow to the city government.
The new world situation also led to a reorientation at Volkswagen, as my colleague Michael Freitag researched. Pressure in Europe and a queasy feeling about the dependency on China (where things have been going rather moderately lately) lead to a new US offensive. Herbert Diess is planning a second plant, and battery cell production is also being considered. All near the current Chattanooga location.
Electric newcomer Lucid Motors, on the other hand, is orienting itself even more towards Saudi Arabia. The sovereign wealth fund of the authoritarian oil state is already a major shareholder, and CEO Peter Rawlinson wants to build a factory in the country. Now the Saudis want to buy up to 100,000 electric cars from Lucid.
Ola Källenius (52) can look forward to the virtual general meeting on Friday in a relaxed manner. Thanks to luxury cars and price increases, Mercedes-Benz's first quarter was pretty good with a profit of 5.3 billion euros and a margin of 16.3 percent. The outlook is also good – albeit with significant risks.
Mobility: Deutsche Bahn ++ ADAC
Non-party with a clear course: the new State Secretary Susanne Henckel
Bahn boss Richard Lutz (57) is facing uncomfortable times. In the Federal Ministry of Transport, Susanne Henckel (57), an experienced critic of his course, has been enthroned since last week as State Secretary and responsible for the railways. My colleague Michael Machatschke describes what that means for the state-owned company (spoiler: nightmare). A heater for the Bahnchef.
In order to further reduce dependence on Russian oil, the ADAC is also calling on its members to rethink and save fuel. President Christian Reinecke says it is also possible "to go to the bakery by bike instead of an SUV".
Deep Drive: Study of the week
In a current report, the management consultants from McKinsey examine the economic implications of switching to an emission-free world of transport by 2050. In the coming decades, investments of 3.4 trillion dollars would be required, 100 billion dollars annually for charging and hydrogen infrastructure alone. After all, from 2025, electric cars should be cheaper overall than combustion engines, despite the significantly higher initial investments in Europe and China – in the USA from 2030. And, even that, a total of 14 million net jobs will probably be lost in the auto industry worldwide.
Number of the week: 44
That's how many billions Elon Musk (50) pays to take over Twitter. Why are we including this in our Mobility newsletter? 1. Because Twitter is Tesla's unofficial PR machine. 2. Because Musk is financing part of the sum through loans secured by Tesla shares, and a far larger part possibly through the sale of Tesla shares – Tesla's price fell by $126 billion in one day after the agreement. 3. Because Tesla could now have problems in the important Chinese market – at least Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (58) analyzes it, on Twitter, of course.
Ghost driver of the week
It is simply "crazy" how profitable the business with self-driving Teslas is becoming, Elon Musk (50) was amazed again in front of investors. But there is not much to see from the Robotaxi, the autopilot function "full potential for autonomous driving" does not control as it should. For the first time, an expert opinion commissioned by a German court has confirmed fundamental deficiencies in the system. My colleague Jonas Rest has the paper and analyzed it: Phantom at the wheel.