Personal Branding: How the brand “I” makes you successful in your professional and private life

  • Personal branding means recognizing yourself and your talents, values and competencies and carrying them to the outside world.
  • No matter if you are a young professional or an executive, a kindergarten teacher or a manager – every person should have a brand “I”, says Franziska Schaadt.
  • Schaadt is an expert in personal branding and explains to you in this five-part series why this is important and how to find your personal brand.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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“Personal branding” is a term that you now encounter on many channels. Especially self-employed people, founders or people working in PR, marketing and journalism know the importance of a personal brand. But what exactly does it mean to have your “own brand”? Why is it also important for kindergarten teachers and architects to have their own brand and network? Does every person really need a personal brand?

Yes, says Franziska Schaadt. As a coach, she has already accompanied and supported more than 2,000 people in their personal and professional development.

She passes on her experience in personal branding, strategic networking and leadership to her female clients, customers and team members, as well as to her mentees and followers on social media. An economist, she has previously advised companies such as Microsoft on their social selling strategies and founded her boutique coaching and consulting agency in 2017. Since this year, Schaadt has also been training her own coaches at her Future Work Academy.

Schaadt now wants to share her experiences with Business Insider readers. In Part 1 of this career series, you’ll learn how to use your personal brand to bring out the best in yourself, both professionally and personally.

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is the “I” brand around your personality. It is the strengths, talents and competencies that make you special. With a clear position, you can position yourself specifically on social networks – but your own brand also helps you offline. Once you have established a clearly positioned personal brand, you can subsequently achieve much more without much effort and thus build a strong network.

The personal brand consists of a basis of values and characteristics that you want to embody and convey. According to Schaadt, important questions are: “Who do you think you are? What do other people think you are? And what do you think other people think you are?” The overlap of these three questions is the central message of your brand.

Both when starting your career and as a manager, you can use the targeted staging of this brand, selected presentation and self-marketing to achieve expert status and sustainable opinion leadership. An example: On LinkedIn, you are an expert on the topic of “sustainability” because it is also part of your job responsibilities. You deal with the topic, post your thoughts, interesting studies and experiences. You also network with people who are also interested in this topic. So if someone wants to get more involved with sustainability, he or she will think of your name directly.

If you make a name for yourself in public and establish yourself as an expert in something, you can convince prospective customers more easily and, in the best case, produce a pull effect on potential customers. Personal branding is primarily about becoming aware of your uniqueness and communicating to the outside world what you can do and what you stand for.

In a job interview or conversation with your boss, you can then confidently demonstrate: I know my stuff and have a network that also helps the company.

The personal brand is therefore important for your career because you become and remain visible. Schaadt explains it with the following example: Imagine you are applying for your dream job with three other people. All applicants have a master’s degree, have already gained job experience and have received a recommendation from their previous employer. But one person is already very well connected and communicates clearly what is important to her. Who do you think the company will choose? “Performance alone is not enough. When it comes to job interviews or salary negotiations, what also counts is: How strong is your personal brand? What network do you bring to the table?” says Franziska Schaadt.

But what does it mean to have your own and relevant network? Let’s take the example of a kindergarten teacher who specializes in particularly attachment-oriented education and communicates this to the outside world in this way, for example on the website and in personal conversations. Their network consists mainly of parents, parents-to-be and other educators who are interested in this style of education – and who will pass this “brand” on to others. As a result, a number of parents who share these values – and have heard about the educational method from other parents – will probably soon be looking for a place at a daycare center. The educators as well as the company benefit from the personal branding and the network of the employees.

But a personal brand not only helps you professionally, but also in your personal life. “When I know and reflect on myself, I can live with integrity,” Schaadt says. “Because then I make decisions based on my values.” That’s how your inner compass guides you, she says. That also helps, she adds, because there is then no temptation to be guided or distracted by external factors.

In her view, the decisive factor for effective personal branding is the consistent and universal implementation of your individual strengths and preferences at all levels. Personal branding is therefore not a one-time juggernaut – but an ongoing journey that requires a lot of attention and self-love.

People know who you are before they meet you.

Personal branding, however, is not about simply telling others who you are – but more importantly, about building relationships with others by sharing your values and experiences. “The key is relationships, because they build trust,” says Schaadt. “Whether it’s with colleagues, bosses or family, we always have some kind of relationship with those around us.”

When you’re present both online and offline with your values and strengths, others can get to know you better, find common ground or discover interesting aspects of your life and work that they want to talk to you about. This is how a relationship is formed without you even really talking to the people.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “My reputation precedes me.” That’s exactly what a personal brand means to you. You create and manage that reputation by positioning yourself on social media and networking with other people who are talking about you.

Imagine you want to go on a trip. You will probably first google the vacation destination, what you can experience there and whether it suits you. Perhaps you will also ask friends and acquaintances who have already been there what experiences they have had. This way you will have a first impression before you even start your trip. And that’s how it should be with your personal brand when someone finds out about you.

Your goal should be that people recognize you.

A strong personal brand has another advantage: people remember you better. “Starbucks” makes people think of coffee, Adidas makes them think of sports, Bill Gates makes them think of Microsoft. What do people think of when they hear your name?” Schaadt says a sharpened brand can help you find the right contacts for your life and career. That’s as true for individuals as it is for genaze companies, he says. “I don’t think Tesla would be as successful without Elon Musk. Or Apple without Steve Jobs. You associate a certain positioning with them, which then in turn pays off on the whole company.”

Dare to specialize in a particular topic. “A lot of people are afraid of rejection. They would rather have broad interests and strengths, but quality over quantity,” says the expert. After all, the clearer your profile, the more precisely you will address the people you want to reach.

Think about it: If you’re in the mood for a good pizza, would you rather go to the restaurant that offers everything from kebabs and fries to pizza and sushi – or to the Italian restaurant that specializes in pasta and pizza?

What are the benefits for companies when employees have personal branding?

“I think it will be a must-have for companies in the near future that their employees have their own brand if they want to be successful,” says Schaadt. After all, that’s how they make the company’s work approachable. “In the past, it was all about the result. But now it’s also important: Who is behind this result?” Transparency is important here. It creates trust in the person, brand and organization.

And: your employees are strong brand ambassadors for your company. “A close employee brings much more to the company than any kind of job ads or advertising,” says Schaadt. When employees have a strong network, the company benefits at the same time.

However, some people are still uncertain about what they are allowed and able to post on social networks – often there is a fear of appearing unprofessional because you show emotions. That’s why there should be more training for employees, says Schaadt. And: Managers should also set an example of openness and show their personality and values.

Personal branding needs to be learned

But it takes a little time to find and build a personal brand. So developing one’s own brand from one day to the next is not possible. “You first have to take an in-depth look at yourself,” explains Franziska Schaadt. “Then you take the personal brand to the outside world, build your network and maintain it.”

And you should also keep in mind: your personal brand develops and changes over the years. In your early twenties, different things are important to you than in your mid-thirties or late fifties. Therefore, over the years, you may also stand for something different in each case. “The process is never really finished,” says. Schaadt. “You can always discover new sides of yourself and find yourself in different phases of life.”

Next Monday, you can read about how exactly to find your personal brand and what questions you need to ask yourself to do so in Part 2.

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From the sun of the south to the lowlands of northern Germany – at VW, Matías Carnero begins work on the Supervisory Board

  • The Spaniard’s entry into the top committee is evidence of the upgrading of Seat in the Group and the Iberian Peninsula in central plans of the Wolfsburg-based company.
  • IG Metall has nominated Matías Carnero as a supervisor – the global player VW is to cultivate an international appearance even among exposed mandate holders.
  • The “E” from “Espana” also stands for the “E” in electromobility – Spain is increasingly focusing on alternative drives and is one of the most significant sales markets in Europe in perspective.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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It’s a first for VW: For the first time, an emissary from Seat is now a member of the supervisory board at the twelve-brand group in Wolfsburg. Spaniard Matías Carnero moved into the top body earlier this month. The appointment of the 53-year-old Catalan is a sign of the upgrading of VW’s Spanish Seat label, for example with regard to future e-cars, as well as the growing importance of the Iberian Peninsula and markets in Latin and Central America.

The VW Supervisory Board comprises twenty people, half of whom are on the capital side and half on the employee side. The latter has seven seats, which are filled by the company’s workforce. In addition, there are three union “tickets,” one of which is now held by Matías Carnero as successor to Kai Bliesener. Carnero, a Spaniard, was appointed by the German IG Metall union.

Carnero is a native of Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region. Close to the Mediterranean metropolis is the town of Martorell, where Seat’s main plant is located. At Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, S.A. (Spanish company for passenger cars; editor’s note), Carnero started in 1987 as an employee in vehicle assembly. In the course of time, he worked his way up to master craftsman and took on various positions in employee representation. Carnero has had a seat and a vote on the presidium of VW’s European and Global Works Councils since 2003.

As a global player, the VW Group is interested in a multicultural composition of its committees. Johan Järvklo had most recently served as the international representative of the employee side on the Supervisory Board; the Swede resigned his mandate in mid-2020 for personal reasons.

According to Matías Carnero, he wants to “continue to work for the workforce at Seat, for all employees of the Group and for the company.” As a member of the Supervisory Board, he said, the union and he himself “have the opportunity to participate in the body where the most important strategic decisions of the Volkswagen Group are made.”

This includes, among other things, the continued focus on electric drives. The factory in Martorell and the VW plant in Pamplona, Spain, are important factors in the Wolfsburg-based company’s plans. Within Europe, Spain is considered one of the potentially most important markets for e-vehicles, for example with regard to an entry-level model of the ID. model family and technically closely related offshoots of other brands. The “E” in “España” (in German: Spanien; editor’s note) gives VW a meaning all of its own. And Matías Carnero is fully behind it.

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E-bike boom in Germany: Two million electric bikes sold last year alone

  • 2020 was the year of e-bikes: Around two million people bought new electric bikes in Germany.
  • A total of five million bikes were sold, although sales of non-electric bikes were roughly on par with the previous year.
  • The sharp rise in sales of e-bikes cannot be explained solely by the Corona pandemic. There has already been a positive trend here for several years.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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Home improvement stores, garden centers, and bike stores have benefited the most from the 2020 Corona restrictions. Bicycle sales increased 17 percent in 2020, according to a recent study by the Two-Wheeler Industry Association (ZIV), though much of that was due to a 43 percent increase in e-bikes sold.

While 1.4 million e-bikes were sold in 2019, this figure had already risen to 2.0 million by 2020. Growth in sales of non-powered bikes was manageable: In 2020, bike stores sold 100,000 more bikes than the year before.

Bike retailers benefit from the e-bike boom

For bicycle dealers, the e-bike trend is bringing goldmine cheer. In 2020, dealers’ sales totaled just under 10 billion euros, of which 6.4 billion euros in sales were attributable to e-bike sales. For several years, the share of e-bikes sold has been increasing compared to normal bicycles.

The average price of a bike sold is striking: a proud 1,279 euros were paid on average, which is approximately 40 percent more than in the previous year. The ZIV sees here the trend that more and more citizens are reaching for high-quality and safe products.

Soon, half of all bicycles sold will have an electric drive.

Thus, significantly more bicycles are sold with electric drive than without, which is due to the advanced technology and the general enthusiasm of citizens. According to the ZIV, in the medium and long term, e-bikes could account for as much as 50 percent of all bicycles sold. Currently, the number of bicycles in Germany is estimated at 79.1 million with 7.1 million e-bikes, but again, the ratio is likely to change in the future.

Currently, the market is tight due to extremely high demand, and longer delivery times may occur in some cases. However, spare parts are not currently affected. The ZIV expects a further increase in the number of e-bikes sold in Germany in the coming year.

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Why German Agriculture Minister Klöckner doesn’t listen to recommendations from nature conservation associations

  • Germany alone has received around 6.2 billion euros from the EU in each of the past few years to support its own farmers.
  • Nature conservation organizations criticize that a large part flows into subsidies that farmers receive merely for their farmed areas. So the bigger the farm, the more money there is. Environmental requirements do not have to be met. They are therefore calling for the abolition of such direct payments.
  • But Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) wants to stick to the existing system and tie the subsidies only slightly to environmental requirements. Recommendations of the associations will not be taken into account.
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For years, conservationists and animal rights activists have been at odds with representatives of farmers’ and food associations over EU agricultural subsidies. The environmentalists demand that the billions in subsidies only be paid out if farmers meet environmental requirements. The farmers’ lobby, on the other hand, is sticking to subsidies without such requirements. To date, there is no consensual solution as to how the money should be distributed.

It is a contentious issue that is currently also being discussed in the so-called “Commission on the Future of Agriculture”. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) set up the body at the end of 2020 as a “forum for reconciling interests”. The 31 members are to develop new approaches to agricultural policy for the next ten years. Opponents such as nature conservationists and animal rights activists as well as farmers’ and agricultural associations sit at the table.

However, nature and animal conservationists are now accusing Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) of not listening to the expert opinions of the commission. Instead, she is stubbornly pursuing her own plans. This gives the impression that she merely does not want to scare away farmers as potential voters for the CDU/CSU shortly before the Bundestag elections.

Tax money flows partly unconditionally to farmers

Behind the dispute lies a larger problem: “Currently, billions of taxpayer dollars are being given unconditionally to farmers who poison groundwater, accelerate species extinction, and drive climate change,” criticizes Martin Kaiser, executive director of Greenpeace Germany, for example, in an interview with Business Insider. “If we take the climate crisis seriously, the system has to be changed,” he says. Otherwise, the billions in taxes that farmers receive from subsidies could no longer be justified.

In fact, Germany receives around 6.2 billion euros a year from the European Union under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to support its own farmers. But of the subsidies for Germany, a large portion (4.9 billion euros) goes to grants that farmers receive for their land alone. So the bigger the farm, the more money there is. It is supposed to secure their income, even if prices fluctuate. In return, however, they have hardly had to comply with environmental or animal welfare regulations. Farmers who do not keep their animals in a species-appropriate manner or who emit a lot of greenhouse gases also receive money.

Klöckner’s plan on agriculture could change the subsidy system

Julia Klöckner (CDU) would now have the chance to change the system. She is currently working on a national strategy for how EU money will be distributed in Germany in concrete terms over the next seven years. Since the Commission for the Future is also dealing with these issues, it would actually make sense to wait for the experts’ recommendations there first. But that is apparently not what is wanted.

According to Uwe Feiler (CDU), Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the commission is not expected to comment on current events. That NGOs publish their own maximum demands is legitimate, he said. But they should not give the impression that they are speaking for the Future Commission on Agriculture as a whole, Feiler added. After all, there is not yet a unified position on the Common Agricultural Policy and its mandate is a longer-term one.

This is criticism that nature and animal conservationists, however, do not want to accept. With the national plan for agriculture, Julia Klöckner (CDU) is now setting the course for the next seven years, says Martin Kaiser. Billions of taxpayers’ money could be used to achieve the goals of the Paris climate protection agreement in agriculture by 2027. But if Klöckner sticks to the system of unconditional payments, as it currently looks like, these targets can no longer be achieved in time. This would also mean that further work in the Commission would no longer make sense.

The Commission was already working on a statement

In addition, the commission had been much further ahead than the ministry claimed. Accordingly, a working group of the Commission had already formulated a draft for a statement of the body on agricultural subsidies at the end of January. It stated that the current area-based direct payments should be “gradually and largely to completely” abolished and the subsidies should instead be tied to environmental protection requirements. This was a historic step, as it was the first time that environmentalists and farmers’ associations had been able to reach an agreement on this issue, at least internally. The only thing that remained open was the date on which the subsidies were to be abolished: The wording only provided for “in the course of the next two subsidy periods”, i.e. until 2027 or until 2034.

However, Klöckner apparently tried to prevent precisely this statement by the Commission, according to Commission circles. According to her own plans, she wants to continue to pay out 60 to 70 percent of the subsidies depending on the area. For it suggests environmental protection conditions, but the nature protection federation Germany (Nabu) had criticized it as insufficient. Klöckner is not talking about abolishing the area subsidies.

Klöckner is said to have wanted to prevent a statement from the Commission

According to sources within the Commission, the minister’s interference in the panel’s work is said to have gone so far that Klöckner made phone calls to Commission members before and even during a meeting in February to discuss the statement on agricultural subsidies in order to prevent a final official statement.

When asked by Business Insider, the German Ministry of Agriculture and Food does not comment on the matter.

The response only says that the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is already facing a system change. In the future, every euro of subsidy money is to be linked to environmental and climate requirements, among other things. In addition, the Commission for the Future of Agriculture is an independent commission. The members are, of course, free to agree on the transformation of direct payments.

Criticism comes from former Agriculture Minister Renate Künast (Greens): “The fact that Ms. Klöckner is not starting to systematically transform agricultural subsidies is a betrayal of young people because this sector does too little for climate protection,” she tells Business Insider. But it is also a betrayal of farming families, she adds, because she does not help them or reward them when they convert their farms to be climate-friendly.

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Crack in the German trade association: Non-food retailers like Kik criticize special treatment for food retailers

  • In light of the ongoing partial lockdown, many non-food retailers such as Kik, Deichmann and S.Oliver are complaining about unequal treatment by politicians compared to food retailers. They have therefore launched an initiative to make their voices heard before politicians.
  • As Business Insider has learned from industry circles, some members are not satisfied with the representation by the German Retail Association (HDE). The HDE, they say, is closer to food retailers than to non-food retailers.
  • The head of Kik, for example, emphasizes that the initiative was created together with the HDE, but also says that a uniform representation of interests across the different sectors is not always easy.
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German retailers have been in lockdown for months. For many non-food retailers, the situation is now “dramatic,” warned the head of fashion retailer Breuninger recently, for example. While grocery stores and drugstores have been allowed to remain open without restriction, many other businesses are facing the loss of their livelihood.

That is why tensions have now formed within the German Retail Association (HDE). “Non-food retailers fear for their livelihoods, while food retailers and drugstores are raking in record sales,” said Kik CEO Patrick Zahn when asked by Business Insider. What the textile discounter CEO particularly dislikes is that many grocery retailers have expanded their offerings of apparel and other non-food products during the crisis, he said. “This imbalance needs to be addressed equally within the association and externally,” Zahn says.

As Business Insider has learned from industry circles, some non-food retailers are not entirely satisfied with the HDE’s representation. The tenor: due to the HDE’s historically closer ties with the food trade, the association has not done enough for the interests of textile and non-food retailers. The focus here is on HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser, who as a former board member at Rewe has already represented the strong position of food retailers in the leading association for 15 years.

“Differences of interest within the association” must be balanced out

In the past, Kik has “always maintained a professional and extremely helpful exchange with the HDE’s specialist departments” and the HDE has represented its interests well, explains Kik boss Patrick Zahn. At the same time, however, he lets it be known that “the current exceptional situation has shown, however, that there is an increased need for internal coordination between the food retail sector, which is traditionally strongly represented in the HDE, on the one hand, and the non-food sector, on the other.” This wording strengthens the suspicion that there is a feeling of internal unequal treatment. This issue needs to be addressed together with the HDE, it continues. Uniform representation of interests is not always easy to establish across its large number of members and their different sectors.

The companies Thalia, Kik, ECE, Breuninger, S.Oliver, Deichmann, Garhammer, Ernsting’s family, and Katag, therefore, joined forces in February to form the initiative “Das Leben gehört ins Zentrum” (Life belongs in the center) to make their interests heard vis-à-vis politicians. Not against, but alongside the HDE, as Zahn emphasizes. The German Retail Association (HDE) and around 50 other well-known companies support the alliance, according to the website. The campaign organizers initiated meetings with the Minister of Economics and Finance, at which they presented, among other things, a 7-point plan “for safe, hygienic store opening to revitalize German city centers.”

On the one hand, the initiative calls for equal treatment with the grocery trade and for the possibility of reopening stores to be based not only on current incidence figures but also on the occupancy of intensive care beds. Representatives also called for eliminating the sales cap on Corona aid. Because the nine campaign initiators all have sales of more than one billion euros a year under normal circumstances, they previously did not receive any state compensation for losses, as this only applied to companies with annual sales of up to 750 million euros. This regulation was abolished by Economics Minister Altmaier (CDU) at the beginning of March – but only after the meeting, following pressure from the company bosses. This was an initial success for the initiative.

But wouldn’t this have been the task of the trade association?

The association defends itself. “It is more than understandable that the nerves of many forcibly closed dealers are bare. Nevertheless, we have achieved a lot for our retailers, especially in the non-food sector,” it says. For example, HDE President Sanktjohanser has represented the entire retail sector to politicians and the public in top-level talks with members of the German government and the Chancellor, such as last week’s social partner dialog. There, for example, he had called for the “necessary opening perspective and finally effective economic aid” for the closed trade in talks with the Chancellor. The association had accompanied the initiative from the beginning and welcomed it, “as creative, attention-grabbing and joint campaigns such as these, which optimally and visibly complement the political representation of interests of the HDE.”

There are even reports from non-food retailers that they are considering splitting off from the HDE. So far, however, none of the companies has officially confirmed this. The textile discounter Kik informs Business Insider on request: “Kik is not involved in such considerations and can therefore not confirm this plan.”

The non-food retailers’ own initiative could be interpreted as a solo effort out of frustration. However, no retailer wants to admit this openly, although the statements of the Kik boss also indicate this. A Deichmann spokesman also said that the initiative sees itself as a “cooperative, constructive complement to the HDE, which represents the entire industry well, and works hand in hand with it.” S.Oliver CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs also told Business Insider something similar.

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Top model with hybrid module and downsizing from 10 to 8 cylinders: This is how Lamborghini wants to accelerate in technological change

  • VW is the parent company of the noble Italian brand Lamborghini and, according to CEO Herbert Diess, is pushing ahead with the transformation from “old car” to “new car” – at full speed, without exception.
  • In view of ever-stricter emissions regulations, Lamborghini has to take vigorous countermeasures; in China, for example, the fuel-intensive twelve-cylinder engines have been dropped from the range.
  • Sustainability in the production of its supercars is also rapidly gaining importance for Lamborghini and the company’s customers worldwide.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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Around the globe, people sit up and take notice as soon as Automobili Lamborghini is mentioned. The neighbors, for example, who had been sleeping until then – when an owner of the top model Aventador with at least 740 hp starts its roaring twelve-cylinder engine at an early hour in the morning.

The customers of the Italian luxury label with the fighting bull in its logo are mostly solvent – even more so when the executives of the Wolfsburg-based Lamborghini parent company VW talk about the engines of the future.

This was also the case on Tuesday of this week when Herbert Diess analyzed the course of the 2020 financial year. “Electromobility has made the running,” the VW CEO emphasized. Diess added, “But the transformation will not happen overnight. It will take two life cycles to move from the ‘old car’ to the ‘new car’.”

“Old car” – that is, at least with regard to the powertrains of the sports cars from Sant’Agata Bolognese, what most Lamborghini fans expressly want: whether internal combustion engines with eight cylinders in the SUV Urus, with their ten in the “small” two-seater Huracán or even with twelve in the “big” Aventador – the classically designed internal combustion engines of the Italians are unquestionably among the most important purchase criteria for the Lamborghini clientele, alongside the edgy design of the cars.

But that is precisely a problem. And a big one at that. This is because legislators around the world are imposing ever-stricter fuel consumption and emission limits. This is also the case in China, which together with Macau and Hong Kong is the third most important sales region for Lamborghini (after the USA and Germany).

As Business Insider has learned from VW Group sources, Lamborghini’s top product, the Aventador model family, can no longer be offered as a new car in the Middle Kingdom.

The background: homologation of the twelve-cylinder models, which are as powerful as they are fuel-thirsty, for China has become too expensive for Lamborghini in the meantime, because the Aventador, which has already been in production since 2011, is nearing the end of its life.

The manufacturer quotes a combined consumption of 18.0 liters per hundred kilometers of distance for the top-of-the-line Aventador SVJ Roadster. Its emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 – also determined in the WLTP test cycle – are no less than 448 grams per kilometer.

“The dirty dozen” in the rear of the Aventador could be adapted once again to Chinese emissions regulations by Lamborghini engineers led by development chief Maurizio Reggiani at great technical expense. However, the costs for this would be so immense that the controllers around Federico Foschini, Lamborghini’s Chief Marketing & Sales and Procurement Officer, wave them off.

Especially since the successor to the Aventador is expected to be launched on the market in two years’ time. And then with a hybridized drive system that combines a new twelve-cylinder engine with an electric module. Lamborghini has already shown how this can work with the two-seater Sián FKP 37. With its “E-Turbo” (Lamborghini term) based on supercapacitors, the limited-edition flounder has a system output of 819 hp. In addition, the two-door car with a speed of more than 350 km/h is considered a holy grail among Lamborghini collectors due to its name after VW patriarch Ferdinand Karl Piëch, born in 1937, who died in 2019 – hence FKP 37.

The engine of the Huracán successor was also adapted to the new car world. In the not too distant future, Lamborghini plans to replace the ten-cylinder engine it has been using with an eight-cylinder unit developed in-house. In addition to this downsizing, the new entry-level model, which is expected in 2024 at the earliest, is likely to be hybridized. A plug-in hybrid version of the Urus SUV is expected much earlier.

In the long term, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann revealed in an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper, the Italians will only manufacture purely electrically powered supercars. VW’s premium brand Audi, with which Lamborghini is organizationally docked, is in the midst of its electrification offensive, as brand boss Markus Duesmann recently explained in an interview with Business Insider.

Automobili Lamborghini is also upgrading technology at its main plant. A 17,000-square-meter photovoltaic system on the company premises in Sant’Agata Bolognese contributes to the company’s sustainability, as does the state-of-the-art paint shop for the Urus. Already, 95 percent of the paints used there are water-based – a comparatively environmentally friendly technology. The Italians wash out the majority of potentially harmful solvents with a cleaning system that they operate using waste heat from the production process anyway.

Not far from the main plant, the so-called Lamborghini Park was inaugurated in 2011. “It is dedicated to the initiative ‘Lamborghini for Biodiversity – Oak Forest Research Project’, in the framework of which more than 10,000 young oaks have been planted in the municipality of Sant’Agata Bolognese in an area of approximately 70,000 square meters,” the company said. “It is an experimental study to investigate the relationship between plants, their density of cultivation, climate, and CO2, carried out in collaboration with the municipality of Sant’Agata Bolognese and the universities of Bologna, Bolzano, and Munich.”

All Lamborghini fans who would like to find out more details about the eco-balance of the Italians are recommended to read the collection of materials “Automobili Lamborghini Environmental Statement”. On 84 pages you can read how the Italians have reduced the electricity consumption per new car in their factory from 2017 to 2019. Or what is planned in Sant’Agata Bolognese for the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles.

All Lamborghini fans, on the other hand, who are worried about the desirability of the noble label’s engines, may be reassured by a promise from Arno Antlitz. The designated CFO of the VW Group emphasized at the aforementioned financial year analysis: “There is no question that strong individual brands will continue to be a differentiating factor in the future.

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Luxury made in Germany: Millionaires travel in these motorhomes

  • Camping is booming. Every year, new registrations of caravans and motorhomes reach new records.
  • Volkner Mobil, a company based in Wuppertal, Germany, specializes in luxury-class motorhomes.
  • The motorhomes cost between 400,000 and two million euros. They are custom-built for each customer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

The motorhomes that Volkner Mobil makes cost more than most single-family homes in Germany. They are custom-built for each customer – and no luxury has to be sacrificed in the process.

Camping is booming. Every year, new registrations of caravans and motorhomes reach new records. In 2020, there were 107,000 – an increase of more than 40 percent compared to the previous year. At the same time, the industry generated 12.5 billion euros in Germany, according to the Caravaning Industrie-Verband. And manufacturers are optimistic about the future because younger people, in particular, are interested in camper vacations.

“Camping used to mean brushing my teeth at the sink with 20 other people and someone going to the bathroom behind me,” says Stephanie Volkner, who runs the Wuppertal-based company with her husband, in an interview with Business Insider. “Today, camping means flexibility and freedom. You can cook your own spaghetti bolognese for dinner one day and go out to eat at a fancy restaurant the next.”

Company founder Gerhard Volkner had the right instinct. Originally, the trained locksmith manufactured trailers and commercial vehicles. One day he bought his parents a motorhome. But he was dissatisfied with it when he used it himself, as his wife tells it. That’s why he simply built one himself, based on a truck chassis. “In 1997, he exhibited it for the first time at a trade show,” Stephanie Volkner says. “And then it took off.”

Most campers cost between 1.1 and 1.8 million euros

The first models still had a rear garage in which a car could be stowed away for joyrides at the vacation spot. Volkner later redesigned the vehicle: the garage came in the middle, the engine in the back. The entrepreneur patented the center garage. “Unlike the rear garage, this way there are no restrictions on the interior space,” Volkner says. The garage can be extended and used as a patio. A retractable wall – called a wall-out – also provides more living space.

Stephanie Volkner has been with the company since 1998, and the couple has two sons together. Last year, the eldest started an apprenticeship as a body and vehicle builder in the family business – voluntarily, as the mother emphasizes.

Volkner does not want to reveal how many motorhomes the company builds each year. Only this much: “We get more orders than we can deliver.” It takes two years from the first contact to delivery of the vehicle.

Such motorhomes have their price. Customers have to put down at least 400,000 euros for them. Most of their campers, however, cost between 1.1 and 1.8 million euros, according to Volkner – a good ten to twenty times that of a normal motorhome.

Unobtrusive on the outside, luxurious on the inside

From the outside, the vehicles usually resemble normal coaches. Inside, however, you’ll usually find a fully equipped kitchen complete with a dishwasher, a large seating area, a bathroom, and a bedroom.

Despite their size, motorhomes can be parked on normal campsites or pitches. In some countries, they are also allowed to stand free for a night. Their motorhomes are completely self-sufficient, Volkner says, and hold 750 to 1,000 liters of fresh water. During construction, the entrepreneurs make sure that nothing can go wrong on the road: “Basically, the motorhomes are built like airplanes. Nothing must fail during the flight. That’s why all the important units are duplicated. That way, the vacation can continue after no more than a few manual operations.”

Volkner delivers their motorhomes worldwide, although the main focus is in Europe. Their customers, he says, are very diverse, from young to old and from different industries – from professional athletes to politicians. Even the military has ordered. “But the bulk is clearly entrepreneurs who want to travel freely and flexibly,” Volkner says. Some also use it for business, to drive to different locations, and travel in comfort. Then the camper is also used as a mobile office.

Fancy special requests, on the other hand, are ordered by her affluent customers much less often than many people think. “Basically, anything goes, but most customers don’t want any frills at all,” the businesswoman says. “Of course, we’ll install a whirlpool if that’s what’s requested, but most customers would rather go to a wellness center for that. It’s less hassle.”

Racers, however, like to have a walk-out roof deck from which they can watch the track. Others want to have a pull-out kitchen outside, complete with a beer tap, or a place to store their boat.

A truck driver’s license is required to drive the motorhomes. In Europe, owners usually drive their vehicles themselves, while this is unthinkable in other countries, says Volkner. There, people prefer to hire a driver: “But sometimes drivers take the motorhome to a certain place, Stockholm, for example, where the owners can fly there and then start a trip through Sweden, Norway, and Finland.”

Many customers send travel greetings to Wuppertal from the road. One has just spent four weeks driving through northern Norway at minus 20 degrees, while another sends pictures from southern Spain, the entrepreneur says. For couples, however, the classic division of roles still prevails: “The man takes care of the technology, the woman takes care of the interior.”

Taking vacations themselves is part of the Volkners’ job, so to speak: The family tests the motorhomes themselves. “Otherwise they wouldn’t be as good,” says the boss, laughing.

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Starting today, Germany will again vaccinate with AstraZeneca – a with risk warning

  • Germany will resume vaccinations with AstraZeneca’s Corona vaccine from this Friday. This was announced by Health Minister Jens Spahn.
  • Vaccinations had been suspended for a few days to check for an accumulation of rare cerebral venous thrombosis after vaccinations. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had given the green light to AstraZeneca on Thursday after a review.
  • In Germany, people are explicitly warned of the risks before being vaccinated with the drug.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

Germany is resuming vaccinations with the active ingredient from British manufacturer AstraZeneca this Friday. They had been suspended for a few days after a spike in rare complications and deaths following vaccinations to check for a possible link. On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) initially gave the green light to AstraZeneca’s Corona vaccine. “The vaccine is effective and safe,” the EMA announced. In the evening, Health Minister Jens Spahn then announced the resumption of vaccinations with a corresponding warning.

In recent days, the EMA had evaluated new data on cases of rare cerebral venous thrombosis possibly linked to AstraZeneca vaccines(read the background here). A link between the diseases and the vaccine has not been found so far, they said, and further investigations will follow: But: the benefits of the vaccine clearly outweigh all known risks.

Several EU countries had previously suspended vaccination with the active ingredient from the British manufacturer. On Monday, the Federal Republic of Germany also decided to do so after the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is responsible for vaccines, issued a corresponding recommendation.

On Tuesday, the EMA stated that it considered the benefits of vaccination with AstraZeneca to be far greater than the risks associated with the cases of thrombosis that had now occurred. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization had also recommended continuing to vaccinate with AstraZeneca.

We explain what this means for the vaccination campaign in Germany.

To whom does the EMA recommend vaccination with AstraZeneca?

Everyone, without exception. The drug agency on Thursday formulated no exceptions for specific groups of people

Are there any restrictions?

No. However, the EMA recommended that doctors in EU member states provide the following information to patients: 1. AstraZeneca’s Corona vaccine does not cause a higher risk of thrombosis, according to the EMA’s findings.

2. There have been rare cases of certain types of thrombosis associated with vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Almost all of these occurred in women younger than 55.

3. Because coronavirus is a serious and common disease, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh any known risks of adverse events.

4. Anyone who experiences breathlessness, chest or abdominal pain, swelling or coldness of the arms and legs, severe and worsening headaches, and blurred vision, persistent bleeding, increased abrasions, reddish or purple spots, or blood blisters under the skin after vaccination with AstraZeneca should seek medical attention.

When will Germany start vaccinating again?

Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said that vaccinations with AstraZeneca will resume in Germany starting Friday. The education about the possible side effects of the vaccine in relation to thrombosis diseases could also be done temporarily by hand.

At the conference of health ministers on Thursday, it was initially discussed not to vaccinate again until Saturday. In a preliminary draft resolution, two approaches had been proposed for discussion:

1. “Vaccinations with AstraZeneca will continue, all vaccinees will be explicitly informed about possible risks.”

2. initially – until the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) has revised its recommendations on AstraZeneca – “only people older than 55 will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine.”

Now it is clear: The health ministers of the states and Spahn ultimately agreed on the first variant and the vaccination restart as early as Friday.

What will happen to vaccination appointments that were canceled because of the vaccination freeze?

After Spahn’s announcement of the vaccination freeze for AstraZeneca, the federal states had to cancel tens of thousands of vaccination appointments per day for their citizens. How the rescheduling of canceled appointments will proceed is now also up to each state.

In Berlin and Bremen, canceled AstraZeneca appointments were partially replaced by appointments for vaccinations with vaccines from manufacturers BioNTech and Moderna. Most of the federal states canceled appointments for AstraZeneca without replacement. Those affected will thus probably have to book new appointments.

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Adidas closes 2020 with sales slumping despite upswing in online retail, pins hopes on 2021

  • Adidas was able to recover a bit from the consequences of the Corona pandemic in the fourth quarter of 2020. Above all, the online business grew. The increase amounted to 43 percent.
  • The sporting goods manufacturer posted a slight increase in sales on almost all continents. Only in the European market did it decline by a full six percent.
  • This year, the group expects growth of up to 19 percent and a profit that should be between 1.25 and 1.45 euros. The US subsidiary Reebok is to be sold.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

Adidas has published its figures for the fourth quarter of 2020. Apparently, the Franconian sporting goods manufacturer was able to recover from the Corona crisis towards the end of the year. And this despite the fact that half of all European stores were closed. The traditional company focused more on the online business. With success: sales in online retailing rose by a full 43 percent in the last three months. Over the year as a whole, the increase in this area was as much as 53 percent. Discount campaigns such as Cyber Week have also contributed to this growth.

This enabled the Group to largely offset the impact of the Corona restrictions. The bottom line is an overall currency-adjusted growth of one percent compared to the same period of the previous year. However, in view of the ongoing negative currency effects, total sales fell by five percent to 5.548 million euros. In 2019, it amounted to 5.935 million euros.

Significantly downhill in Europe

Despite the pandemic, Adidas posted slight growth on almost all continents in the fourth quarter. The North American business grew by two percent, while Asia was up by one percent. The company in the Far East benefited in particular from the noticeable recovery of the economy in China. Sales in the Middle Kingdom rose by seven percentage points. Only the European market continued to struggle. Compared to the same period last year, sales here were down six percent. Adidas cites the stores closed due to the Corona measures as the main reason for this.

Adidas looks to 2021 with confidence

With around 95 percent of Adidas’ international stores currently open, the group expects sales to increase by around 14 to 19 percent this year, as well as gross margin to recover to around 52 percent. The operating margin is expected to be between nine and ten percent. In addition, profits are expected to be between 1.25 and 1.45 billion euros. This does not include the profits generated with Reebok, as the American subsidiary brand is to be sold this year.

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Despite vaccine shortage: EU exported 25 million doses of Corona vaccine abroad in February alone

  • The EU exported 25 million doses of Corona vaccine to 31 countries around the world last month – including the U.S. and Britain.
  • That’s according to the New York Times, citing internal EU Commission documents.
  • The Times further reports that the EU had asked the U.S. to lend Europe ten million doses of the vaccine made by Johnson&Johnson. The request, it says, was denied.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

For months, the European Union has been criticized for its slow procurement of vaccines against the coronavirus. Now, The New York Times reports, citing internal documents, that despite a vaccine shortage, vaccine manufacturers exported 25 million doses of vaccine from the EU last month alone.

According to the Times, eight million doses of vaccine alone went to Great Britain – the very country with which the EU is currently in dispute over supplies from the British manufacturer AstraZeneca. According to the New York Times, another three million doses were exported to Canada, 2.7 million to Japan, 2.5 million to Mexico, 1 million to Saudi Arabia, 800,000 each to Chile and Singapore, as well as 660,000 to Malaysia, 651,000 to the USA and 600,000 to Australia.

According to ZDF journalist Stefan Leifert, the export volume continued to grow in March. EU officials had confirmed that pharmaceutical manufacturers had shipped 34 million doses of Corona vaccine from the EU around the world since Feb. 1 – 9 million of them to the UK, 1 million to the US.

EU reportedly asked the US for a loan of Corona vaccines

The New York Times further reports that the EU has asked the U.S. government for a loan of 10 million doses of Corona vaccine from U.S. manufacturer Johnson&Johnson. Government officials in both the EU and the United States would have confirmed that this request was denied.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be approved by the European Medicines Agency (Ema) on Thursday. However, as Business Insider reported Tuesday, the drugmaker is facing significant difficulties in meeting its delivery promises to the EU for the second quarter of 2021. Deliveries of the vaccine might not begin until May, according to the report. EU circles also cite the de facto ban on vaccine exports from the United States as a reason. The government of President Joe Biden announced only on Wednesday to order 100 million more doses of vaccine from Johnson&Johnson.


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