Daimler third-quarter profit falls on diesel engine upgrades

Earnings before interest and tax at the German automotive group plunged 14 percent to €3.46 billion in the July-to-September period. (Reuters)
Updated 20 October 2017
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Daimler third-quarter profit falls on diesel engine upgrades

BERLIN: Daimler’s third-quarter operating profit declined, as the cost of making diesel engine cars run cleaner and other special items outweighed record sales of Mercedes-Benz luxury models.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at the German automotive group plunged 14 percent to €3.46 billion in the July-to-September period, Daimler said on Friday, in line with the €3.43 billion consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages.
Daimler last quarter spent about €220 million to update over €3 million current and older Mercedes diesel models in Europe to curb pollution and help avert driving bans.
The cars and trucks manufacturer stuck with its guidance for a significant increase in group EBIT this year. It said it now expected EBIT at its trucks division to also significantly exceed year-ago levels, having previously guided for flat EBIT.


Japan prosecutors charge Kobe Steel in fake data scandal

Updated 13 min 55 sec ago
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Japan prosecutors charge Kobe Steel in fake data scandal

TOKYO: Japanese prosecutors charged major steelmaker Kobe Steel Thursday with violating laws overseeing competition in a massive faking of product data.
Kobe Steel, which has repeatedly apologized for the practice, said in a statement that it took the allegations seriously and was working to prevent a recurrence.
“We once again deeply apologize,” it said, without elaborating on specific charges. “The entire Kobe Steel Group is working together sincerely.”
The systematic misconduct spanned years, affecting products sent to more than 680 companies, including aluminum castings and copper tubes for autos, aircraft, appliances and trains.
The scandal, which surfaced last year, has set off a class-action lawsuit and an investigation in the US.
Kobe Steel has said a zealous pursuit of profits, unrealistic targets and an insular corporate culture were behind the scandal.
There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the fake data.
Charges were not filed against any individuals, though the company has said managers who knew of the wrongdoing intentionally looked the other way.
The systematic faking of data took place at various plants throughout Japan, according to the prosecutors and the company. Kobe Steel launched an internal investigation and released the findings earlier this year.
The scandal was a major embarrassment for a famous brand in a nation built on quality “monozukuri,” a phrase likening manufacturing to a craft or a science.
Kobe Steel has promised each employee will return to “the roots of monozukuri” to win back trust.
If found guilty in a court, the company could be fined. It is not clear how much.
The chief executive at Kobe Steel and several other executives resigned over the scandal. Some managers took pay cuts.
Quality control woes have been rife at other top Japanese brands, including Nissan Motor Co. Nissan has acknowledged that illegal vehicle inspections occurred for years at its plants in Japan.