Vidéo / Quel est l’impact du COVID et de la crise économique sur les “nouvelles mobilités”?

Pierre Lannoy, ULB
Emission / Séminaire / Colloque: 

Journée du Gerpisa 257

La crise sanitaire semble avoir mis à mal des phénomènes qui battaient déjà de l'aile auparavant, ou qui connaissaient en tout cas beaucoup de difficultés à se developper, c’est-à-dire l'autopartage et le covoiturage. En plus, la crise économique va sans doute amplifier les inégalités d’accès à la mobilité entre ménages et peut-être aussi les contradictions du “nouveau paradigme" des mobilités vertes et partagées.

Pour commencer à cerner les contours de ces crises en cours et à venir et leur traduction dans la mobilité des ménages, Pierre Lannoy (ULB-METICES) et Yoan Demoli (UVSQ-PRINTEMPS), co-auteurs du repère sur "La sociologie de l'automobile" (2019), mettent en perspective les résultats du projet CONDUIRE (Construire des mobilités durables, inclusives et responsables) financé par l'Ademe (2018-2020) par rapport au contexte nouveau et très incertain du Covid-19.

Leurs presentations sont discutées par Bernard Jullien (Bordeaux IV), co-auteur du rapport Pipame sur "Usages novateurs et nouvelles mobilités" (2016).

Durée: 2H30

Michelin, de-industrialisation and re-industrialisation: should the interests of consumers continue to take precedence over those of employees?

The Michelin case is emblematic of a dynamic that we were told would cease in the "next world" that is supposed to come after the great crisis we are living through. It's obviously the opposite that happens from month to month. To understand it, we have to get out of the incantation to take the measure of the scale of the revolution to be operated so that the discourse on re-industrialisation emerges from the purely incantatory status in which those who want to keep the baby and the bath water maintain it.
During the July reshuffle, commenting on the great Bercy, which Bruno Le Maire seemed to have obtained when he left Darmanin for Place Beauvau, Les Echos emphasised the emphasis that the government intended to place on "reindustrialisation", relying in particular on the reduction of production taxes demanded loudly and clearly by the Medef for this reason. In the same way, at the time of the presentation of the "recovery plan" of September, Le Point had the headline, respectful of the government communication, "Bruno Le Maire bets on the rebirth of industry".
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At what price can the synergy promises of Stellantis be fulfilled?


 M&A stories are a bit like love stories, they are much more beautiful and easy to tell before they happen. The sequel lasts longer, takes place farther away from view, keeps some promises and leads to forgetting others. Thus, in the wedding basket of groom Stellantis, there is, we are assured, 5 billion euros a year of synergy that constitutes the fundamental justification for the union. As soon as one worries about how these billions will be found, history inevitably changes its nature. The pink novel is a little less so. We are there as early as 2021, and the following ones have little chance of allowing us to rediscover the romance that was only sung to us until yesterday.

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Sales on the Net and double price


Compared to the development of VN sales on the Net, which has always been announced and never proved, we see the initiatives of the manufacturers multiplying. The redefinition of relations with the networks, which this change would bring about if it were to become clearer, would imply a transfer of margins. This is one of the issues at stake in the current renegotiation of the European regulation concerning franchises: it concerns the legality of double pricing practices for which some people are militating. We understand more and more why.

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Retrofitting internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles: is it a serious matter?


The retrofit lobby has the wind in its sails and has won its main battles in 2020. It still has to win the battle of markets and volumes and thus get out of the crafts. This will require drastic price cuts, which will also require strong public support. This may seem like a risky gamble today, but the political stakes are fundamental: if electrification has, for the moment, a very elitist character which in fact excludes whole sections of society, retrofitting can allow an "inclusive" decarbonation and therefore deserves to be supported.

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Renault's third-quarter results

The presentation of Renault's commercial results reassured observers: well before having rebuilt a C range up to the level of the competition, the very tight management of the trade and the factories already seems to draw a less dark horizon in terms of profitability. From this point of view, if, in Europe, the successful launches seem to make the objective compatible with maintaining volumes and market share, this is not the case in Brazil for example. This raises the question of the management by Renault and its new boss of its inter-continentalisation.
The third quarter's brighter outlook for Renault
The presentation of the commercial results and the financial situation of Renault that Denis Le Vot and Clothilde Delbos proposed to the analysts on Friday at dawn was not at all enthusiastic but showed at least that the management teams are there and that the turn announced at the departure of Thierry Bolloré a year ago has been taken.
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The role of networks at the heart of the review of exemptions for motor vehicle distribution


The current consultations on the regulations concerning automobile distribution provide an opportunity to take stock of the major issues concerning relations between manufacturers and their networks. All indications are that the transition to the "general regime", which the manufacturers welcome, will be assessed positively and will establish a balance of power that, legally speaking, is very favourable to them. It remains to be seen whether the omnipotence they acquire in this way can be exercised without damage to themselves and consumers and how dealers will be able to occupy this area of doubt.

 It will be remembered that the debate on 1400/2002 began shortly after it was adopted, since the London Economics report submitted to the then Commissioner Nelly Kroes dates from June 2006.

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Nissan's turnaround depends on the quality of its sales and on the Alliance

Nissan surprised observers by announcing for the months of July to September losses much lower than those announced three months earlier on the one hand and those anticipated by analysts on the other hand. This "less worse" is first of all linked to the recovery of the American and Chinese markets so central to Nissan. It also bears the hallmark of the Nissan Next recovery plan which makes "sales quality" the key to a return to profitability. To make the reduction in design costs compatible with the necessary numerous new model launches, Nissan will have to make the synergies within the Alliance play more clearly and explicitly.
Although it was the subject of contrasting comments, the presentation of the results for quarter 2 of the current financial year for Nissan by its management team was rather reassuring and convincing.
Admittedly, compared to those that Toyota or Honda had had the opportunity to make a few days earlier, it was tempting to point out that, in China as in North America, Nissan is doing rather less well than the other two major Japanese manufacturers and is making losses where the latter are posting enviable profits.  
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The limits to the demand for public charging stations

Since the electric vehicle issue returned to the public debate a little more than ten years ago, the question of public charging stations has been a recurring one. Whereas, in ten years, it has been noted that recharging is mostly done at home or at the workplace and that recharging at these terminals is very marginal and therefore very difficult to ensure under defensible economic conditions, it continues to be made a sine qua non for the development of the electric vehicle. It is time to mature this debate and to move away from this sterile rhetoric in search of sustainable models in which the manufacturers would take their responsibilities and stop deferring to the public authorities.
It was thought or hoped that the old strings of anti-EV lobbying would be put away this year and that, accompanying the forced take-off of demand, manufacturers would be content to rejoice in the massive aid they have received (and will continue to receive) to make this happen.
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The real fake acquisition of FCA by PSA

Following an article in Automotive News Europe, we read that the merger between equals between PSA and FCA was in fact an acquisition of the latter by the former. On closer inspection, this theory is very fragile and, although the review of the deal negotiated in August was a way of making PSA's point of view prevail, the fiction of a merger between equals is for the moment safe.
Automotive News Europe's correspondent in Italy, Andrea Malan, has had some success in tracking down in the documents published on the PSA and FCA websites - and, in particular, in the "prospectus" announcing how Stellantis is to be formed - the paragraph which states that, for accounting reasons, it is, even in the case of a merger between equals, necessary to designate a buyer and an acquirer. The article suggests that the fact that, in order to meet this requirement, the choice was made to consider that it was PSA that acquired FCA and not the other way round is not accidental. 
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Distribution: a new frontier for PSA?

PSA's brilliant results refer to a "Tavares method", the success of which is indexed to a certain harshness for the employees first of all, but also for the other "stakeholders" and, in particular, for the suppliers. As the company extends its offensive beyond the product to take a very close interest in the business of distribution networks, the risk of a potentially problematic future for them becomes increasingly tangible. 
Even the current pandemic does not seem likely to affect the success of PSA, which is taking advantage of its strategy of lowering its break-even point to maintain its pricing power and profitability in the crisis. As Florence Lagarde noted on Friday, P. de Rovira is very explicit on this subject: PSA intends to "choose its distribution channels" and favour the most profitable mixes even if it means letting volumes slip and losing customers.
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WWF's mistake is not just statistical, it is political.


The WWF tried to convince us this week that SUVs are not only friends of the global warming but also enemies of the modest households. Taxing vehicles according to their weight would therefore be twice as necessary: it would save tons of CO2 and it would also protect the poor living in the sparsely populated world from the irrationality of the choices they commonly make. To produce such a "result", the report produces assessments that reveal rather than methodological errors, a political mistake: despising a world that is misunderstood and treating the choices that the people who structured it made and are making as unworthy of consideration. 

The WWF took up the torch of the anti-SUV fight and weight taxation this week by trying to add a social argument to the now well-known technical argument about the increased emissions and consumption associated with heavier vehicles.  

We won't go back over the first part except to say two things, important when you place yourself in the social field. read more

The War of Two Green Deals

Another kind of deal, another kind of artist

The new European Commission intends to make its Green Pact the core of its mandate and promote a "Green Deal". In the United States, the Democratic primary is placed under the same sign. However, convergence is largely bogus, as there are strong disagreements between Europeans and Americans as well as between Americans and Europeans.
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Le duo Delbos-Senard face aux agences de notation

Serving another type of client
As expected, the major rating agencies downgraded Renault's credit rating this week and posted lower price targets. Renault's management obviously prefers to play the truth speech that will mobilize the teams rather than tell the markets and analysts what they would like to hear.
On Tuesday, the rating agency Moody's downgraded its long-term credit rating on Renault from Baa3 to Ba1, with a stable outlook. 
It sanctions the group's poor performance for 2019 announced the previous week: in the red in 2019, for the first time since 2009, Renault, which saw its sales and profitability fall, did not want to be reassuring for 2020 by envisaging a further drop in its profitability. This is the reason for the downgrading of Moody's rating, which indicates :
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Renault is doing badly and counts on the Alliance. Nissan is doing very badly and doesn't talk about it.

How long have we been married for? (Behrouz MEHRI / AFP)
Prior to the release of Renault's 2019 financial results on Friday, the presentation of Nissan's results for the third quarter of the Japanese fiscal year, and thus for the first nine months, took place in Yokohama the day before.
Nissan executives took the opportunity to revise downwards their revenue and profit forecasts for the year, stating that these forecasts did not take into account the probable effects of the coronavirus.
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FCA 2019 Results: making short-termism attractive

Handsome is not enough
FCA's results are nothing new: North America and the two flagship brands, RAM and Jeep, are doing well.
The rest is just about surviving and is tending to deteriorate without any serious attempt to stop this. Everything has been going on since 2014 as if the roadmap were that of keeping the cash machine running in the United States and waiting for the future ally to either clean up the mess, or reinvest or offer solutions to revive brands and business in the regions that have been neglected.
The case of Europe is emblematic in this respect. A.-G. Verdevoye sums up the situation well in the French weekly newspaper Challenges:
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Renault and the Alliance: January 2020's resolutions

My name is Luca... I think you've seen me before (Source AFP)
After more than a year of very turbulent times, Renault and the Alliance seem to be gradually getting back on track. After the many departures to PSA, the arrival in the opposite direction of Gilles Le Borgne at the head of engineering could already be interpreted as a symbol.
The finalization of Luca de Meo's recruitment is another. Indeed, even if he will not officially take over the reins until July, with his appointment and the movements that are already being recorded in the management teams, we can already which path Jean-Dominique Senard intends to put the company on.
First of all, the idea that the automotive industry is an industry like any other (and where the invocation of a strong specificity would always be a form of resistance to change) seems to have faded away.
Apart from the fact that the case for the autonomous vehicle, which had powerfully served to accredit this thesis throughout the industry, is now arousing less and less enthusiasm and more and more doubt, at Renault, it is the painful experience of the Thierry Bolloré era that is leading to this return to fundamentals.
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Décès de Michel FREYSSENET / Michel FREYSSENET is deceased read more

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