Martin Winterkorn is nearing the high point of his career - by 2018 the chief executive of Germany's Volkswagen (VW) wants to make the brand the world's No. 1 carmaker. Some experts believe he could even reach that goal this year. But all is not well at VW - despite record sales, the carmaker is grappling with profit margins. Winterkorn says that the industry faced "massive upheaval." In a recent speech to around 1,000 executives, he specifically mentioned the growing importance of car-sharing and Web-based services for the auto industry. There has been a shift in people's attitudes to cars. "It's the people who have been brought up with the Internet, the digital natives, who are driving this. They are also the main group being targeted by car-sharing services. They use their smartphones to plan their journeys," Stefan Bratzel, a car expert at the Polytechnic University in the western German town of Bergisch-Gladbach. Bratzel thinks the phenomenon will spread quickly in the next … [Read more...] about New mobility services key for car industry
New digital business models
The Lynk & Co Model 01 (picture at top) will be built in China, but its design is more European than Chinese. Geely - the full name of which is Zhejiang Geely Holding Group - bought Swedish carmaker Volvo from Ford in 2010, with the aim of gaining access to European quality levels in automotive technology. It appears that bet may be close to paying off. Designed in Sweden under the guidance of British designer Peter Horbury at Geely's China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre, the Lynk 01 will be powered by a 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol engine combined with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor. The compact plug-in hybrid SUV is meant to appeal to technology-savvy clients. Geely claimed the Model 01 will be the most networked vehicle yet on offer - that's what inspired the new brand-name 'Lynk & Co.' The company said it had teamed up with Swedish electronics company Ericsson as well as Microsoft and Alibaba to deliver the 01 car's connectivity and electronics … [Read more...] about New Chinese SUV to attack German carmakers
On Wednesday (16.11.2016) the western German city of Saarbrücken will host the country's 10th National IT Summit. The German government and the cabinet members tasked with digitalization, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel evidently see the forum as an opportunity for self-congratulation. "We have accomplished a lot," Gabriel said, describing Germany's electronic economy. "We are on an excellent path," Dobrindt added, touting the expansion of network infrastructure in the country. And indeed, a study by TNS Infratest and the Mannheim Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) says: "Digitalization of the commercial economy is gaining steam." To paraphrase, the study says a quarter of the German economy is "good," just under half "average" and the final quarter "low" when it comes to digitalization. On average, almost half of all company-internal processes and work processes are now digital. In 2015, the figure was only … [Read more...] about Manifesto calls for an end to Germany’s digital lag
Belgian Economy Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne on Monday pushed for the Belgium Competition Authority to investigate whether Apple has abused its dominant position in the online publishing world. Apple recently changed its policy to no longer allow free subscriptions, and will force media subscriptions on the iPad to exclusively be available through Apple's iTunes service. The policy will take effect in April 2011, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro. According to the ministry, Apple takes 30 percent of the revenue from each sale of a digital newspaper or magazine. "Belgium is the first country to undertake a probe," a ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency. "But we don't think it will be the last." A statement from the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs said that not allowing Belgian publishers to sell subscriptions directly - and circumventing iTunes - appears to be "an abuse of a dominant position." Given that many publishers give away digital … [Read more...] about Belgium to probe new iPad subscription policy
When U2 released their debut album "Boy" in 1980, the music business was still analog, and a good deal simpler. A handful of record companies dominated the market, including a relatively small one called Island Records - an independent label founded in Jamaica by an ambitions 22-year-old Brit named Chris Blackwell and two partners. Blackwell moved his company to the UK in 1962, and from there developed it into what became perhaps the most influential independent record label in the world. Over the years, Island signed a slew of bands that would go on to achieve stardom, including Roxy Music, Bob Marley, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmy Cliff - and U2, a band formed in Dublin by four school friends. Since then, the band has released another 11 studio albums. From the mid-1980s, U2 have been one of the music world's top acts. The band has sold over 170 million albums to date. And Ireland's veteran rock stars are still touring, still writing songs, and still drawing huge audiences. Now they're … [Read more...] about U2 gives away new album – and it’s a smart business move
DW: Mr. Murray, do you see any new market trends at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair? Brian Murray: We still see this trend of globalization where rights are being sold of our authors in more and more countries. And also there's this continuing trend of innovation on the digital front. There are more and more places for us to sell e-books and there are new digital business models, subscription models for books, for example, that continue to take off in different markets. So these trends, globalization and digitalization, continue in the book business, and I believe they are very positive trends for both publishers and authors. HarperCollins has been doing everything we can to take advantage of these trends, and providing our authors with new avenues to reach readers around the world. DW: Does it also make book publishing more difficult? It's not more difficult, it's more interesting because there are so many new things that we can do, and we have only so many people. So we have to … [Read more...] about HarperCollins ventures into German book market
First the good news: There's WiFi at Hanover's Cebit trade fair, meaning free and fast Internet access. Now the bad news: To use it, you have to register with a 14-digit code that's hidden away in the fine print of your entry pass. Every four hours, you have to log in again anew. A simple and friction-free set-up? Nope. But at least the access is available. The picture you see when you look at the availability of high-bandwidth Internet in many of Germany's rural regions is much darker. That's a problem, because there are a good many dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in small towns and villages, not a few of them machine engineering companies that sell their products worldwide. If such firms want to deepen their participation in the digital economy, lack of fast Internet access can present a barrier, according to Udo Ungeheuer, president of the Association of German Engineers (VDI). "We simply cannot accept this. In terms of the completion of the high-speed, … [Read more...] about Cebit: Digitization set to become a jobkiller?
Windows 10 comes with quite a lot of new features and improvements over everything we've seen before. Among other things, there's now a digital voice assistant called Cortana, which will be a great help for users to find files and content and keep on top of things to do. And there's Edge, Microsoft's completely overhauled browser, which comes as a replacement of the not-so-much-loved Internet Explorer. Edge also allows you to leave notes on websites that can then be made visible for other users, and you can use the new browser to compile your personal read-later lists. There are many more things that users of the new operating system may quite like. Which is to say that it's justifiable for Microsoft to have symbolically omitted Windows 9 and move on to version 10 so as to signal this is an upgrade really worth going for in leaving the hated Windows 8 times behind once and for all. To make sure a proper job is done, Microsoft for months ran an insider program that attracted around … [Read more...] about Big business behind a free Windows 10?
The buzz of the cinematograph has marked movie theater entertainment ever since the French Lumière brothers invented the cinema in the 19th century. In more modern days, however, the monotonous sound that once made you dream has been replaced by infernal hissing caused by an air blower. The device provides cooling for a digital film projector the size of a refrigerator, which requires permanent ventilation to keep rolling. “If the projector's temperature remains above 30 degrees Celsius for a longer period, it switches off automatically,” said Christian Gisy, a senior manager at German movie theater chain Cinemaxx. No returns In July, Cinemaxx replaced its last analog cinematograph with a state-of-the-art digital film projector. The company had spent a total of 24 million euros ($31.7 million) on its drive to go digital, Gisy said, as installing a new digital projector would cost between 50,000 and 100,000 euros. The substantial investment, however, is unlikely to … [Read more...] about Digital cinema hits German movie theaters
Sandro Gaycken, director of the "Digital Society Institute," sat down with DW on the sideline of the European School of Management and Technology's yearly forum, this year dealing with digitalization. DW: When it comes to cybercrime, what do you see as the greatest challenge that businesses face? We're observing a whole new series of attack patterns. So-called "ransomware" has recently spread, attacking companies by encrypting their data and demanding ransom money to unlock it. Businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to it. In the banking and finance industry we are seeing more and more attacks that deal with stock market manipulation and money transfers hijacking. Just recently a Bangladeshi bank attempted to transfer Bangladesh central bank governor resigns over cyber heist one million US dollars from New York. They made off with $80 million - if they had taken the whole billion it would have been the biggest bank robbery in history. What kind of attackers do businesses report … [Read more...] about IT expert: Cybercriminals are far ahead of businesses