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Outsmarted by Apple: Nokia Looks to Recover the ‘Magic Dust’

December 23rd, 2010 Comments off

It seems like certain industries like airlines, automakers, and mobile phone companies get a lot of attention in strategic management accounting.  This is with good reason as they each tend to highlight several things we discuss.  In terms of the mobile phone companies, the timelines have become so compressed between product introduction to obsolescense that we get to see things happen in months that in the past would have taken decades.  Think about the most recent mobile phone you have purchased…is there any chance that the same model will be on the shelf a year from now?  Doubtful.  Fortunes change quickly and none have been impacted more than Nokia.  Faced with game-changing competition from Apple and Google, this Finnish company is attempting to stay relevant and the next year or two are going to be critical in terms of whether the company will once again dominate the marketplace. 

German magazine, Der Spiegel, does a nice job outlining the challenges faces and the path Nokia has taken to arrive at this point.  You may read more at this link: Outsmarted by Apple: Nokia Looks to Recover the ‘Magic Dust’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.

Porsche’s Marriage of Convenience Is Deeply Shaken

May 19th, 2009 Comments off

On the heels of the Fiat item I posted earlier today, here is another merger example from Der Spiegel out of Germany.  This one doesn’t even involve companies based in different countries in that both Porsche and Volkswagen are based in Germany, but it does involve pleas to the government for intervention and, more importantly, funding.

The Porsche and Piech families are locked in a power struggle over the dominance of the Porsche and Volkswagen companies. German commentators warn that if the dispute is allowed to continue, all sides will end up losers.

The World from Berlin: Porsche’s Marriage of Convenience Is Deeply Shaken. 5/19/2009. Der Spiegel/Spiegel Online International.

“Cash for Clunkers” in Britain

April 13th, 2009 Comments off

German publication Der Spiegel looks at Britain being the next company to introduce a “scrapping bonus” to provide incentive for people to purchase new cars and get rid of an old gas guzzler in the process.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,618752,00.html

Britain is expected to become the next European country to adopt Germany’s successful “scrapping bonus” to stimulate the ailing automobile industry. The program, which has seen German auto sales surge by 40 percent, offers customers a premium for trading in old cars and buying new ones.

It remains to be seen if the US introduces something similar.  Some articles have presented some other recent pieces have been skeptical of programs such as this.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see (but I feel like everyone “waiting and seeing” is part of the reason the rate of new car sales remains next to nothing).

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“Cash for Clunkers” Downside Risks

April 9th, 2009 Comments off

A report about the incentive program in Germany to promote the purchase of small cars appeared today on Spiegel Online.  This presents a bit of the counter-argument of unintended consequences related to what has been called the model for the proposed US “cash for clunkers” program.  As usual, these programs aren’t always what they are cracked up to be when the government gets involved.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,618389,00.html

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