MODON to allocate lands for 600 factories

Updated 04 July 2013

MODON to allocate lands for 600 factories

Saleh Al-Rasheed, director general of Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), says lands have been allocated to establish 300 factories during the first half of this year. With these, the number of factories will double to 600 one by the end of the year.
Al-Rasheed confirmed that some lands were withdrawn from investors as it turned out that they are not serious in their efforts to invest, or for reasons out of their control.
MODON has withdrawn more than 100 pieces of land from investors during the first quarter of this year. The aim behind this move is to limit arbitrary trading in the industrial lands, and compel investors to build the factory on the allocated land, in compliance with the contractual terms and conditions. The program for following up the operations starts from the moment of allocating the land, until the production phase.
"The most prominent achievements of MODON for this year is the establishment of factories fully equipped for the benefit of small and medium enterprises," Al-Rasheed said, adding: "MODON has taken this initiative to encourage SMEs."
In a statement issued recently, MODON explained that it achieved in the past year an increase in terms of developed land in the industrial cities, with a total of 142 million square meters. "This is translated to an increase of 28 percent against 2011, where the total space area of lands was 111 million square meters provided with the necessary infrastructure and the supporting services," said the statement.
Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, citing the annual report of MODON 2012, said that MODON is seeking to realize its strategy by acquiring 160 million square meters of fully developed lands.
Al-Rasheed said the revenues of MODON increased to SR 352 million in 2012, against SR 304 million in 2011, a growth of 16 percent in revenues. The number of factories, he added increased to 4,718 factories employing more than 250,000 persons and investments of more than SR 300 billion.
The annual report showed that lengths of connecting roads have doubled as well to 230 km, with an increase of 130 percent against 2007. The same is true for water networks, where it increased from 262 km in 2007 to 720 km in 2012.
Electricity power has grown in MODON also, to 3,360 megawatt, with an increase of 110 percent against the year before, where it was only 1,600 megawatt.
MODON embarked on the first investment of its kind, which is building ready-to-operate factories and lease them to industrialists. It signed also contracts to build residential and commercial complexes, hotels, a hospital, fuel stations and logistic facilities.

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

Updated 26 May 2020

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

  • Scandal has already cost firm more than €30 billion; ruling serves as template for about 60,000 cases

KARLSRUHE, Germany: Volkswagen must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost 5 years after its emissions scandal erupted.

The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to return vehicles for a partial refund of the purchase price, serves as a template for about 60,000 lawsuits that are still pending with lower German courts.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating in emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has already cost it more than €30 billion ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the US.

US authorities banned the affected cars after the cheat software was discovered, triggering claims for compensation.

But in Europe vehicles remained on the roads, leading Volkswagen to argue compensation claims there were without merit. European authorities instead forced the company to update its engine control software and fined it for fraud and administrative lapses.

Volkswagen said on Monday it would work urgently with motorists on an agreement that would see them hold on to the vehicles for a one-off compensation payment.

It did not give an estimate of how much the ruling by the German federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), might cost it.

Volkswagen shares were 0.5 percent lower. The BGH’s presiding judge had signaled earlier this month he saw grounds for compensation.

Costs mount

“The verdict by the BGH draws a final line. It creates clarity on the BGH’s views on the underlying questions in the diesel proceedings for most of the 60,000 cases still pending,” Volkswagen said.

A lower court in the city of Koblenz had previously ruled the owner of a VW Sharan minivan had suffered pre-meditated damage, entitling him to reimbursement minus a discount for the mileage the motorist had already
benefited from.

The court at the time said he should be awarded €25,600 for the used-car purchase he made for €31,500 in 2014.

“We have in principle confirmed the verdict from the Koblenz upper regional court,” said BGH presiding federal judge Stephan Seiters.

Volkswagen had petitioned for the ruling to be quashed altogether by the higher court, while the plaintiff had appealed to have the deduction removed.

A Volkswagen spokesman said that outside Germany, more than 100,000 claims for damages were still pending, of which 90,000 cases were in Britain.

The carmaker also said it had paid out a total of €750 million to more than 200,000 separate claimants in Germany who had opted against individual claims and instead joined a class action lawsuit brought by a German consumer group.

The carmaker said last month it would set aside a total of 830 million for that deal.

In a separate court, Volkswagen agreed last week to pay €9 million to end proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of withholding market-moving information before the emissions scandal came to light.