News Bites

Thousands of Siemens workers and trade unionists protested plans to slash 3,450 jobs and close three German production sites in its gas-turbine division.

German software giant SAP expects a stagnant fourth quarter and improvements in 2018 after third-quarter losses in the competitive cloud business.

Former Bertelsmann and Arcandor CEO Thomas Middlehoff has been released from prison. In 2014, he was sentenced to three years for embezzlement and tax evasion.

Construction permits for dwellings in Germany fell by 19,500 or 7% in the first nine months of 2017, according to government figures. Development bank KfW cited a glut of residential projects.

Deutsche Bahn

Hell of a Way to Run a Railroad

Deutsche Bahn is celebrating solid financial results and the opening of a prestigious new high-speed line. But the good news masks a deep malaise that threatens to derail the state monopoly.

Gas Turbines

Siemens’ Weak Spot Leads to Thousands of Layoffs

The collapse of the market for gas turbines has forced Siemens, an otherwise-profitable engineering conglomerate, to cut thousands of jobs. Unions vowed to resist until the last.

Jumbo Deal

Airbus Steals the Air Show

Airbus has landed the biggest deal in its history. The $50-billion sale of 430 aircraft to US investor Indigo Partners is an unexpected turnaround after a lackluster year.

Direct Investment

Yin and Yang in the Back of Beyond

Chinese companies have set up shop in a sleepy German village that now hosts the biggest single Chinese commercial center in Europe. The venture is thriving.

Wind-turbine sector

Blowing Hot and Cold

Germany’s mighty wind-turbine industry is suffering from a plunge in orders and a surge in foreign competition as subsidies for renewables are slashed worldwide. Can it recover?

Reinhard Ploss

Chipping in Quietly

This unassuming engineer has transformed Infineon from a struggling supplier to a profitable chipmaker. Rivals may be noticing.

Unusual Cooperation

Novel Cancer Treatment Leads Bayer To US Firm

The German chemical firm has underlined the strength of its pharmaceutical division by partnering with Loxo Oncology in the United States, less than a year after its $60-billion merger with US seed company Monsanto.

Retail Revolution

‘Amazon Effect’ Hits Pharma Giants

Online sales of non-prescription drugs are revolutionizing the market, threatening major players and allowing small manufacturers to gobble up market share.

Autonomous Cars

Smart Maps To Get Even Smarter For Driverless Cars

Detailed real-time mapping is key to making driverless cars a reality. Competition is fierce, with Here Technologies, backed by BMW, Audi and Mercedes, facing off against data-hungry Google.

Travel Bottleneck

Airfares Go Through the Roof

Air Berlin’s collapse has led to a shortage of German domestic flights, sending ticket prices to stratospheric heights as Lufthansa enjoys a monopoly on key routes.

Upcharge

SAP Saps Client Goodwill

The German software giant is charging customers who want to access data using other programs, potentially tens of millions of euros, and users are not happy.

ZF Friedrichshafen

Cruise Control on Buy?

The world’s third-largest car-parts maker might make another big takeover. ZF is especially interested in strengthening its trucks business, said the chairman, who also announced his resignation.

Climate Change

Making Something of CO2

Scientists and industrial companies are exploring ways to use carbon dioxide as a raw material. But can it make environmental, or even economic, sense?

Philipp zu Guttenberg

The Lord of the Woods

Meet the brother of former defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: aristocrat, entrepreneur and lobbyist.

Company Spin-offs

Divide and Conquer?

There is growing investor pressure on large German firms to spin off parts of their business so they can focus on core areas and create value. But many find the process challenging.

Opioid Crisis

For Medical Purposes Only

German scientists invented opioids more than a century ago and spread them across the globe. But the current crisis in the US is homegrown.

Union Troubles

Inside the Tesla Sweatshop

Tesla presents an image of a clean future, but there are growing complaints about poor conditions and low pay in its American factories.

Kurt, Axel and Max Stürken

Family Firms

Leuchtturm Sees the Light

Leuchtturm could have stayed in its scrapbook-making comfort zone, but the owner’s sons chose to drag the company into the 21st century instead.

German Autos

PSA Poised to Electrify Opel

The French maker of Peugeot and Citroën cars plans to revamp the newly acquired automaker with a line of electric models and open it to global markets.

Innogy merger

Pulling the Plug

Fierce competition and the threat of an energy price cap have led German utility Innogy to pull back from the British market. It will merge its UK retail business with a local rival. Other foreign energy firms may soon follow suit.

After Scandal

VW Bounces Back in the US

Thanks to booming sales of family-sized SUVs, VW is making up for sales lost to the diesel scandal.

Digital age

A Dinosaur with Futuristic Plans

Printer-making giant Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is grappling with the digital revolution and experimenting with a raft of new ideas to survive. These include an incubator for start-ups, software development and e-mobility.

Industry 4.0

Four Mittelstand Firms That Get the Digital Economy

Who says Germany’s family-owned, medium-sized firms can’t keep up with the Internet of Things? These four businesses are embracing the future.

Mittelstand Financing

A Milestone for Crowdfunding

A hotel group set a new €2.5 million record in Germany’s crowdsourcing market for small and medium-sized businesses. If regulations were eased, the deals could be even bigger.

Dieselgate Fallout

‘When’ Issue Prompts Deeper Probe Into VW Emissions

A German court rules an independent auditor should investigate when Volkswagen executives learned of the emissions scandal, giving a boost to investors seeking billions of euros in damages.

Digital Economy

Rifkin’s Solution: Go Beyond Renewables

Germany took a daring leap when it decided to transition towards cleaner energy sources. If only it could do the same when it comes to going digital, says US economist Jeremy Rifkin.