German makers turn to financial engineering to pay for electrification and autonomous

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Posted: October 11, 2017

The reallocation of capital in the auto industry has been extraordinary — just in the last few days a shifting of resources from traditional powertrain technology to electrification.

Along with the requirement to invest in autonomous vehicles, connectivity and mobility it has become clear that carmakers are looking for ways to dispose of or restructure costly traditional units.  Thus an era of divestiture is said to be in the offing, whether in the form of spinoffs, restructuring or outright sale of businesses. A growing question is how will German carmakers proceed in an area in which they are unaccustomed? And now we are starting to get some answers.

Daimler is considering a new structure that could help unlock value among its units, and now Volkswagen is taking action. VW is considering setting up a new unit for production of powertrain parts and other components – this on top of putting non-automotive assets for sale.

BMW appears to be lagging, but if Daimler’s feasibility study leads to action, watch for Munich to quickly shift into gear.

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