The growing movement of people fuels demand for international tax advice

4 November 2019

The increasing global movement of people and businesses is driving the significant growing demand for international tax advice. 

The observations come from deVere Tax Consultancy, part of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, which operates in more than 100 countries.

The world is currently experiencing the highest levels of movement on record.  

According to the International Organization of Migration, the leading inter-governmental agency in the field, approximately 258 million people – or one in every 30 – were living outside their country of origin in 2017.

That is both a record high – and a number that has beaten all expectations. Indeed, a 2003 projection anticipated that by 2050, there would be around 230 million based outside their birth nation. But the latest projection has been dramatically revised upwards – there will be more than 405 million living away from their country of birth by 2050.

James Green, divisional manager at deVere Group, observes: “We’ve noted a year-on-year increase in international tax advice enquiries of more than a third.  

“This can be attributed, we believe, to three key factors.

“First, is the increasing movement of people. Whether driven by geopolitical, work or lifestyle reasons, more and more individuals are on the move around the world.  

“In addition – and despite the rhetoric of some populist politicians – globalisation in the world of trade and commerce is here to stay and is, if anything, gaining momentum as it encourages economic growth, creates jobs, makes firms more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers.

“Second, since the global financial crisis both individuals and companies have become more financially literate and aware of the importance of specialist financial advice, especially when it comes to cross-border affairs.

“And third, the reporting and tax filing requirements are increasing in most jurisdictions.  For instance – and this is just one example – in the U.S. where the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, is almost universally recognised as being burdensome, onerous and complex.”

Director of deVere Tax Consultancy, Mitch Young, notes: “The enquiries are coming from both internationally-mobile individuals and firms who are seeking advice on compliant and up-to-date tax filing, residency issues, inheritance tax, self-assessment, property tax structuring and disclosures, national insurance contributions, trusts and wills.

“Due to this considerable surge in demand for our services we have recruited more senior tax consultants, account managers and in-house barrister intermediaries.

“We have also launched our first tax apprenticeship scheme to find and train the top tax talent of the future.  In addition, we’re in the process of building an international tax network to meet the needs and expectations of our clients.” 

James Green concludes: “The demand for international tax advice is set to grow further still as the world becomes increasingly globalised and as the cross-border regulatory landscapes continue to evolve – and at a faster pace.”

New China West cross-culture leadership and business management book launches at Hult Ashridge

A new China West cross-culture leadership and business management book entitled ‘Guanxi in the Western Context:  Intra-Firm Group Dynamics and Expatriate Adjustment’ is launching in November, written by Dr Barbara Wang, a full-time professor at Hult Ashridge Executive Education.  The book launch will take place on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 in the Old Library at Hult Ashridge Executive Education, Ashridge Berkhamsted, Herts HD4 1NS from 11:00am – 12:00pm.

Guanxi is a form of social interaction, unique to the Chinese culture, of forging connections, making contacts and forming warm relationships in business.  While research on guanxi in China has been intense, for the first time this book examines how the employees of Chinese multinational companies employ guanxi in the West;  how Chinese expatriates develop and use guanxi in the host country, and how these behaviours affect their adjustment to their environment.  Aimed at business academia and practitioners, this book illuminates how guanxi shapes social relations in Western branches of these Chinese multinationals, supporting Western managers who seek a deeper understanding of how their Chinese counterparts operate, and Chinese managers who want to increase their awareness of the culture they are immersed in.

Based on Dr Wang’s PHD thesis, this book is the culmination of five years of study into the globalisation of Chinese companies in Western markets since 2005, and how senior executives practise guanxi versus how social network is traditionally practised in Western culture.           

Firstly, the book elaborates on the contextualisation of guanxi to highlight how guanxi emerged, evolved, and subsequently dominated the business system in China.                                                                                                

Next, it examines empirically how guanxi practice affects intra-firm multicultural group dynamics involving Chinese expatriates, host-country nationals, and host-country Chinese in Chinese multinationals.  It shows how expatriates actively practise guanxi with their homeland counterparts, but not with host-country nationals and host-country Chinese. 

Then, it examines the impact of guanxi in building Chinese expatriate adjustment to develop a process model that illuminates that guanxi development alters expatriates’ adjustment curve significantly.

Finally, the book develops a framework of cross-cultural guanxi leadership to lead multicultural teams effectively in the host county.

Dr Barbara Wang says, “This book contributes more generally to shed light on cross-cultural management in terms of Chinese guanxi practice in the Western context.  When I started my study I made assumptions that all Chinese executives practise guanxi.  However, I discovered that Chinese expats don’t practise guanxi with local Chinese for complex reasons as they don’t believe they can reap the returns they need.

“The other assumption I made was that local Europeans don’t understand or practise guanxi.  However, I learned that there is a desire to study Chinese culture and Westerners are motivated to practise guanxi even though it is not inherent to how they operate.

“I recommend that if Chinese companies want to improve their soft power they should take steps to study cross-cultural programmes and become ‘glocal’.  They should do their homework and understand and adapt to the local culture and be open to including everyone in guanxi, which will enhance their global cultural influence.  To sum up, guanxi is the code of China.”

Professor Davide Ravasi, director of the PhD Programme at UCL School of Management, comments, “From research in international business we know a lot about Western multinationals, but we know much less about the up and coming multinationals from China. Yet, many of these multinationals will likely dominate global markets in the years to come. Barbara Wang’s work illuminates for the first time how guanxi – a form of social interaction unique to the Chinese culture – shapes social relations in Western branches of these multinationals. It is an important reading for both Western managers who seek a deeper understanding of how their Chinese counterparts operate, and Chinese managers who want to increase their awareness of the culture they are immersed in.”

Professor John Yang, co-Dean of BiMBA at the National School of Development, Peking University, adds, “Barbara Wang’s new book on guanxi is full of insights and wisdom critical for both Western and Chinese expatriates as well as Chinese professionals overseas. The book not only contributes to making successful global business deals but also provides better cross-cultural perspectives to develop a healthier China versus world business relationship.”

Dr Barbara Wang

Professor of Cross-cultural Leadership, Hult Ashridge Executive Education

Dr Barbara Wang is the academic director – China of Hult Ashridge Executive Education and association dean of China initiatives. 

Her interests lie in cross-cultural leadership/management, and Chinese leadership and executive coaching.  She has extensive experience in management training and consulting and has designed and delivered leadership development programmes and coaching for multinational companies such as ABB, Volvo, Daimler, Continental, Sinopec, China Post, Bank of China and Air China.  She also teaches on executive programmes for other British and Chinese universities.

Before her current roles, Barbara was a vice president for the Western Management Institute of Beijing.  Her commercial experience extends to working for multinational companies in China where she was the retail operations director for CELINE of the Louis Vuitton group, and the global accounts manager in China for DHL.

Barbara holds a PhD from Cass Business School in the UK, where her research focused on cross-cultural leadership/management of Chinese multinational enterprises in Europe.  She has qualified in many leadership psychometric tools.

Barbara’s new book ‘Guanxi in the Western Context: Intra-Firm Group Dynamics and Expatriate Adjustment’ (Palgrave Macmillan) was published in July 2019 in the UK, and she is co-author of Chinese Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

For further information, please contact: 
Olivia Sandu, James Walerych, Malika White, Lynda Heath Ash Communications 133 Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QA Tel: +44 (0)20 3457 0837 
E-mail  [email protected]cations.com [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]  

Understanding Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology finds its origin in the digital coin named Bitcoin. It was invented primarily to sustain it. Although blockchain is tightly associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, these are just the top of the iceberg.

Blockchain technology finds its origin in the digital coin named Bitcoin. It was invented primarily to sustain it

Currently, blockchain technology is being used in other commercial applications, and annual growth of 51% is expected for 2022 in several markets, including financial institutions and Internet of Things (IoT).

What is blockchain technology, and what makes it secure?

A blockchain is a list of digital records or blocks of data that are stored in a linear chain that is constantly growing. It´s a kind of digital general ledger than can be shared with many users and that keeps record of every transaction. Each block contains encrypted data, for instance of a Bitcoin transaction, and is linked to the specific user that made it. There´s no way to alter the data in them since they are time-stamped and connected to the previous block.

The security of blockchain relies on the fact that it can be updated only with the agreement of all the participants and the system itself. 

The information of the whole chain is kept in each node, so each participant has an exact copy of the entire chain. If someone wanted to attack the service, he should overturn or nullify every node in the net given that just one operative node is enough for all the information to be available. 

As new records are created, these are verified and validated by the nodes and added to a new block that is linked to the chain. Once added, this block becomes unalterable. For a transaction to be accepted and added, some specific digital signatures or requirements must be met. For example, people that use the crypto-currency Ethereum, must meet several conditions to demonstrate that they have that crypto-currency and can operate with it. 

Why is blockchain useful for?

As it is a peer-to-peer network, where transactions are time-stamped, and that enables managing all the information exchange among the users in an autonomous way, without the need for an administrator, it is an excellent tool for all types of businesses. Any information that needs to be kept intact and available can be safely stored in a blockchain. 

Many industries, such as transport, fintech, and sanitary services, to mention just a few, are taking advantage of this technology that streamlines processes, improving productivity. 

Challenges organizations or companies could face with blockchain

Thanks to blockchain, the operative models and business-making models of the companies and organizations could undergo a total transformation with the adoption of blockchain technology. Many organizations are using blockchain technology for their transactions. Still, if it were massively adopted, one of the challenges that governments of extremely controlled sectors will have to solve is the lack of regulation.

Blockchain is complex, and it takes a longer time to process any transaction. It can take hours to complete a transaction. And the more it grows, the slower it gets. This could be an obstacle for specific industries.

Despite the above, the biggest challenge that blockchain technology faces is the reluctance of private and public sectors, along with the skepticism of the potential users who, as with each new technology, need time to learn, get used, and trust.  

See also about Modern Monetary Theory and Internet of People – IoP

Business Risks – Threats that nullify the company’s ability to meet its financial goals

The company has always exposed to uncertainties that are called business risks. They may affect a firm’s aim to gain its goals. The danger of loss is in the form of machinery breakdown, strikes, change of trends, etc.

Business risks refer to the threat to the company's ability to meet its financial goals. It indicates the risk of uncertainty or loss in profit and the risk of some eventuality in the future, which can make a business fail.

Factors Causing Business Risks

Business risks result in less profit or even loss. The factors that lead to risks can be Internal or External.

  1. Internal Business Risks: risks that arise due to some event happening within a firm are internal risks. However, the firm can control them. Internal risks occur by:
  • Technological factors
  • Human factors
  • Physical factors
  • Operational factors

Examples: New technology, fire, cost-cutting, etc.

  1. External Business Risks: External risks occur by any event happening outside the firm. However, the firm’s management cannot control them. The factors that lead to external risks are:
  • Natural factors
  • Economic factors
  • Political factors

Examples: Floods, price pressure, riots, etc.

Types of Business Risks

Risks have divided into five kinds:

  1. Strategic Risk: The risks associated with business operations are strategic risks. They arise when the business plans fail. Poor business decisions lead to failure, e.g., marketing risk, project risk, competitive risk, etc.
  2. Financial Risks: These risks related to business events and finance. It adds to shareholders by debt financing, along with equity.

For example, there can be losses by movement in stock prices, interest rates, etc.

  1. Operational Risks: These risks linked with official procedures of a business. There is a failure to connect to internal policies.

For example, some events like frauds, computer hacking, etc. affect a company’s daily activities

  1. Compliance Risks: Such risks occur by state rules and commands. When the company fails to follow laws, it has to face legal penalties. These risks ensure that the firm runs justly.

For example, corrupt practices, social responsibility, etc.

  1. Reputation Risks: The negative publicity of a firm/product leads to this risk. There is a chance that a company’s name can damage.

For example, a mobile company issues a phone that breaks easily. But then it markets a new and better model.

Business risks refer to the threat to the company's ability to meet its financial goals. It indicates the risk of uncertainty or loss in profit and the risk of some eventuality in the future, which can make a business fail.

Ways to Manage Business Risks

You can plan to manage the exposure of risks.

  • Mitigate the risk: You need to keep a contingency plan. In case if the risk materializes, you must have a second plan to follow.
  • Avoid the risk: It’s better to avoid than to bear a loss. Sometimes the launch of a product leads to affect the company financially. You can postpone it until your company stabilizes.
  • Transfer the risk: You can pass financial risks to someone else. For instance, fire insurance is the best example of it.
  • Accept the risk: If the risks are likely to happen, you can opt for small damage. So, examine the other option and make the right decision to accept the risk.

Business risks lead to uncertainties, but a good businessman takes them as a challenge. Risks lead to new clients and more sales. You can, however, manage to minimize the worst to happen.

See also about Financial Riska Management

Election 2019: Expect the pound and UK financial assets to be increasingly volatile

The pound and UK financial assets will be volatile in the run-up to Britain’s first December general election since 1923 – and will remain so in the event of another hung parliament.

This is the warning from Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, as Labour announces it is now backing the government’s bill for a December election, regardless of the date.

Mr Green comments: “This is a critical stage in the slow-moving, damaging, torturous Brexit saga.

“Expect the pound and UK financial assets to be increasingly volatile in the run-up to the general election, given the wide-ranging set of outcomes.

“The most detrimental of these outcomes for sterling, UK financial assets and the wider British economy, include another hung parliament or a victory for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.”

He continues: “Boris Johnson’s intention to secure a majority within the House of Commons is by no means guaranteed.  

“The Brexit Party will use the fact that Mr Johnson did not deliver Brexit by October 31 – something on which he staked his whole premiership. 

“The Remain vote could also be split between Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and the SNP. 

“Political fragmentation on this scale has never happened before in the UK.

“Therefore, a hung parliament looks like an alarming possibility, meaning there could be no majority to quickly and smoothly resolve the Brexit chaos.

“Should grinding deadlock continue, the UK economy would still haemorrhage investment and confidence. The fallout of Brexit has cost the UK three and a half years of lost opportunity and many, many tens of billions of pounds. This would only intensify with another hung parliament.”

He adds: “Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party will campaign on the most radical, left-wing manifesto in more than a generation.

“Should he win this election, his anti free-market policies – such as the re-nationalisation of industries from utilities to railways to postal services, and the forcing of companies to give 10% of their shares to staff – plus his high-tax policies, including a possible wealth tax, will spook the financial markets, hit long-term sustainable growth of the British economy, put more pressure on UK financial assets, and lead to a significant sell-off of the pound.

Mr Green concludes: “The general election is set to be the most contentious and uncertain in generations. Investors now need to protect and build their wealth and assets by ensuring they are properly diversified across asset classes, sectors, currencies and regions.”

deVere Group is one of the world’s largest independent advisors of specialist global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients.  It has a network of more than 70 offices across the world, over 80,000 clients and $12bn under advisement

How to Improve Sales Performance | Tricks and Tips

Although the sales process is an integral part of any business, it is no secret that it is complicated. It needs insistence, a plan, and consent of human psychology and it often changes as your business grows. But it can be tough to find out how to enhance your sales, except to make more calls or find more potential clients. We spoke with sales experts to get the best tips on how to improve the sales process.

Find out how to improve sales and change your business to the latest sales device that uses the right mix of customer service. Focus and build customer support, leading to repeat sales.

Tips on how to improve sales – for the sales team

Slice down your sale goals

Viewing your annual or monthly sales goals can be devastating. Break large targets into flexible pieces. E.g., you might decide to perform specific tasks every day: find two new business prospects, make five phone calls, and make one new meeting. Design a search plan that defines how you will make new leads.

Inverse the sales funnel

It makes sense to follow a regular sales funnel as part of your sales strategy. If you find that nothing is shaking, try working opposed. Rather than focusing on your income goal, focus on client service. Talk to your clients and find out what they need from you. Develop a sales plan by cutting each step into feasible daily tasks.

Use emotional aptitude to make client relations

Selling is both knowing who you are selling to and selling a product. The bond you build with your clients can be a critical factor in deciding if you are selling or not. Emotional aptitude is informing of its own and emotions of other people.

Tips on how to improve sales – for sales manager

Improve sales strategies

A good sales plan outlines how you will bring new clients. And also how you will create or expand links with potential clients. Besides, how you will continue to sell your product or service to existing customers.

When making your strategy, you should:

  • Define your target audience and create your ideal customer profile
  • Resolve how the lead is generating
  • Perform SWOT analysis
  • Form income targets
  • Set your conversion goals
  • Define your business place in your market
  • Prepare a plan in case of an error

When you create your first sales strategy, you can also create a plan listing what to do in the event of an error. Examples of these cases are a loss of a notable sales agent or a mismatch of your sales target. Your skilled plan should indicate who will be told of the problem and how. Also, consider the steps you and your team can take to fix the issue. In some cases, avoid repeating these errors in the future.

Find out how to improve sales and change your business to the latest sales device that uses the right mix of customer service. Focus and build customer support, leading to repeat sales.

Manage your sales team effectively

Your sales strategy is as good as your team. So, you should develop motivated and well-trained sales agents. The best way to do this is to learn about the people in the group. As a manager, you must know what drives them as an individual.

During the sales training, be honest with your reps regarding goals, notices, and ways to assess their efficacy. A manager should plan meetings (monthly) with each seller to find out what they need and where they struggle.

See more at CFI.co Blog

InvestPro UAE Dubai 2019: the main business conference in the Middle East

The most awaited international business conference is coming. Join InvestPro UAE Dubai 2019 Conference and Workshop, which is held on November 13-14 at the Oberoi Dubai hotel.

Join InvestPro international business conference in UAE - Dubai 2019 Conference and Workshop, which is held on November 13-14 at the Oberoi Dubai hotel.

InvestPro UAE Dubai 2019 is the largest and most significant conference on investment migration, wealth management and asset protection in the Middle East, which will gather over 300 attendees, a multitude of industry leaders, financial advisors and international service providers who will share first-hand information on the latest developments in residence and citizenship planning, taxation, investment opportunities.

The InvestPro conference program:

  • Investing in technology companies, Awad Capital (UAE)
  • Immigration by investment to USA (EB5), Mona Shah & Associate (USA)
  • International insurance solutions and tailored risk management programs for Ultra-High-Net-Worth families, Sophos Advisors (USA)   
  • UK Immigration Options vs. Global Alternatives: Case Studies, Beyond Residence &Citizenship (UK)   
  • Navigating Market Risk with Alternative Assets, MMG Finance LLC (Panama)    
  • The Caribbean is Dead: The U.S. is the Future for International Banking, Stern International Bank (USA)   
  • Cyprus as international economic center, MCIT (Cyprus)
  • Obtaining a higher education degree in Cyprus as a way to integrate into economic, social and political systems worldwide, Aurora Consulting (Cyprus)     
  • New opportunities in Georgia: Simple registration/Operations. Easy banking. Low taxes, Hualing Kutaisi Free Industrial Zone (Georgia)    
  • Business in Russia: Create opportunities and Navigate business risks, Interfax (Russia)     
  • Substance and the Migration of Companies to Dubai, Swiss ILC Management Services (UAE)  

You may see the final conference program by the link.

Why attend InvestPro?   

  • 25+ Speakers – CEOs and Owners of leading companies of the industry;     
  • More than 16 hours of practical material and insider information;    
  • More than 26 workshop tables and opportunity to receive consultation;      
  • 300+ potential customers, clients, and new partners for 2 days networking in the heart of Dubai;      
  • Representatives of more than 30 countries: Europe, CIS and Baltic region, Asia, the United States, and Canada;    
  • Business networking with your clients and partners during the cocktails at the end of each day, coffee breaks and lunches;    
  • The luxurious venue, perfect conference organization and the highest professional level of participants.    

Participation terms:    

  • Companies from UAE: the participation for 1 Top Manager from the company is complimentary until 01.11.19 with your unique promo code CFIco.
  • The cost for delegates from other countries, as well as companies that are located in UAE and engaged in consulting in the field of investment abroad, the purchase of real estate abroad, asset management, opening an account in a foreign bank, registration of a company abroad – EUR 300.
  • Receive 10% discount with CFIco10 promo code.

REGISTRATION

Do not miss the most significant conference in Dubai!

For more information, please contact Bosco Conference: +44 203 519 34 84; [email protected]

Join InvestPro international business conference in UAE - Dubai 2019 Conference and Workshop, which is held on November 13-14 at the Oberoi Dubai hotel.

See more at CFI.co Blog

Future of IoT in Business | Internet of Things

The future of the IoT or Internet of Things extends to change as state of affairs change. All progress of today connects to IoT. The IoT is here, and it is making steady progress in many industries. We can expect more than 75 billion devices connected over the Internet of Things by 2025. It takes some aim to get into the IoT, but taking some expert advice will boost your business. When you are ready, be adapted to make the next moves with technology.

How will the Internet of Things technology transform businesses? The future of IoT is finally expediting and it is making steady progress in many industries.

Future of IoT is an opportunity for a business IoT tactics usually base on a small local axis and cloud-based access to knowing the benefits. They range from primary use cases, e.g., machine learning and artificial intelligence. Some of the aids of the IoT need a transition to a partial cloud. For this, you will have to plan for that as well.

  • Real IoT: It exists – there are a lot of chances and data for those concerned.
  • Viable IoT: The actual cases of the company make it more realistic.
  • Design reason can help ease the start-up process.
  • Lastly, it comes to taking useful tips on how to reach this.

IoT merger with blockchain and AI

IoT is not the expertise of change meant to be alone at the same time. It is in its place, arising among emerging techs and IoT. Cloud, blockchain and applied science are the keys to causing market value and growing finance. We defeat the main hurdles, such as data analytics issues, bandwidth, and costs. Yet, we are entering to see early waves where firms can charge higher than expenses in IoT.

How will the Internet of Things technology transform businesses? The future of IoT is finally expediting and it is making steady progress in many industries.

IoT and machine learning groups give the mind that allows them to apply IoT business tools to the info they offer. Rather than refer to data producers. Small computing lets it scale by ranging the cloud function to the edge. It helps fix cost, bandwidth, and safety issues. IoT will base on endless growth, integration, and the growth of these new techs.

It is to gain the desired results at the industry level. Fog Computers, AI solutions, and IoT have the potency to exceed their planned business. It is why a future-thinking company met on integrating them.

Based on clients and form, IoT can be set into three parts

  • The IoT for the user adds connected devices such as smart laptops, watches, phones, cars. Moreover, count fun systems and other related devices.
  • The IoT adds things like medical devices, asset control, and tracking devices.
  • The IoT covers things like related flow meters, water waste systems, drains screens, and electric meters. It also adds building a robot and other related smart systems and tools.

The future of IoT is vast. Rising network agility, unified AI, and the ability to deploy on a full scale will revive the growth of the Business Internet. It is not only to put billions of devices together but also to take the aid of a large amount of valuable data.

See more at CFI.co Blog

Trade War: Vehicle Companies Are Feeling the Pinch in Modern Europe

Car manufacture on the continent riddled with looming trade war seems headed for a dead-end.

Remember the good old days when the biggest challenges the European car industry faced were the oil crisis, the rise of Japanese carmakers, and disgruntled unions? Today, the car industry is fighting for its very survival as the mobility sector is transformed by new technologies.

Car manufacture on the continent riddled with looming trade war seems headed for a dead-end.

One can forgive European carmakers for being a bit distracted by shorter-term concerns like the threat of US tariffs, slumping Chinese demand, and stricter emission standards.

Europe and its car industry are already dealing with US steel and aluminium tariffs imposed in 2018 as part of the trade war. In May 2019, the US Department of Commerce announced that foreign cars and car parts were a threat to US national security. Tariffs of up to 25 percent could be imposed, with a decision to be made within 180 days of the announcement. Negotiations behind closed doors must be frantic. EU governments are sit-ting down to agree on a unified, post-European elections approach. German car executives have already been to the US to try to reason with President Donald Trump.

Escalating trade war that involves vehicle companies

An escalating trade war would be disastrous not just because of the direct impact on demand, but also because the European car industry is a global supply chain. Cars and parts are made around the world and assembled in various countries. Tariffs will drive up costs, and may cause carmakers to relocate their production centres.

Brexit is a similar problem but on a smaller scale — and with less certainty. Already several carmakers have closed or reduced production in Britain. Honda is closing its Swindon plant, Nissan is moving some future production back to Japan, and even Dyson has moved its electric car subsidiary to Singapore.

European car makers are also reeling from a slump in car sales in China, recording 11 months of de-creasing sales by this May. Many carmakers are desperate for an improvement in the second half of the year, but there is little optimism for a quick turnaround. China became the biggest car market in 2010, and in 2017 had 35 percent of the passenger car market; the EU was the next-biggest at 21 percent, with the US following at nine percent. The slump is a major cause for concern.

To take advantage of the growing market and to meet Chinese government requirements, many Europe-an carmakers have set-up production in China, mostly with joint ventures. Volkswagen produces close to 40 percent of its total production in China, Peugeot (PSA) close to 20 percent.

European carmakers have bet big on China trying to navigate the trade war — and now they are facing the costly prospect of stricter emission regulations as well. In the wake of the 2015 “Dieselgate” scandal, European policymakers are determined to cut emissions from motor vehicles. They are proposing a 15 percent cut in average CO2 emissions for cars produced in Europe by 2025, and 35 percent by 2030. Many cities have announced future bans and restrictions on diesel vehicles, including Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, and London. This is forcing a costly transition on European carmakers — but in forcing them from diesel to electric, it may be a strategic blessing in disguise.

All these pressing concerns represent serious challenges, but European carmakers must also look ahead to other existential challenges.

Vehicle companies in 2030

By 2030, 30 percent of a car’s value will be in its software, but Europe is lacking the relevant expertise. The biggest software advances are being made in Autonomous Vehicles (AV), followed by increased connectivity. Self-driving cars will communicate with others to manage traffic, while passengers benefit from a range of new services and entertainment. High-end cars already have around four times more lines of code than a F-35 fighter jet — twice that of the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

The leaders in AV are US tech firms, notably Google and Apple, as well as Tesla and the Chinese firm Baidu. European carmakers are behind the pack, but attempting to catch-up through acquisitions and strategic alliances. Ford and Volkswagen have made an agreement to share AV technology; Fiat-Chrysler have aligned themselves to Google; Audi, BMW and Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) have bought a digital mapping company. Daimler has also been working with Uber; BMW with Intel and Israeli firm Mobileye, and Renault-Nissan has partnered with Microsoft.

Technology is changing how cars are used and could impact the trade war. Ridesharing will challenge the concept of the private car — and Europe is trailing here also. In 2017 it was estimated that 338 million people used ridesharing ser-vices like Uber, Lyft and China’s Didi Chuxin. That growth could become exponential when companies introduce AVs dedicated to ridesharing. By 2030 it is estimated that one in 10 cars will be shared. Euro-pean carmakers are scrambling to join forces with former competitors and ridesharing platforms to make up for lost ground: BMW and Daimler have merged their ride-sharing divisions, and Volvo is working with Uber.

Trade war: electrification

Another big technological disruptor to European carmakers is electrification. Electric cars are not new, but recent improvements in batteries, drivetrains and public charging infrastructure have started to make electric cars a viable alternative. China is the leader here, with 400 electric car options on the market; in Europe there are six. The biggest electric carmaker in the world is China’s BYD. China, Japan, and South Korea are leaders in battery production. Tesla has a Gigafactory in Nevada, and one under construction near Shanghai.

Europe is currently at the mercy of Asian suppliers. Volkswagen and BMW have announced plans to produce their own batteries, in co-operation with Goldman Sachs, Ikea, and a small Swedish battery pro-ducer Northvolt — but the first examples will not be ready until 2022.

The transition to electric cars will also have an impact on the workforce. Electric cars are less complicat-ed, requiring fewer workers. A typical electric engine has just 200 components; a diesel engine has 1400. By 2030, as a result, it is estimated that 300,000 manufacturing jobs will be lost in Europe. More will be lost indirectly. The industry currently employs 13.3 million people, 3.4 million of them in manufacturing.

European carmakers are feeling the pressure. The CEO of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, recently said that the European car industry could mirror the demise of that in Detroit. That seems an extreme scenario, as European carmakers are now making swift, bold decisions. The industry has a long history, and is de-termined to have a bright future.

See more at CFI.co Blog