Breathing masks from the 3D printer – companies are converting their production

Dusseldorf They are usually easy to manufacture, the cost of materials is low – and yet it is currently impossible for many hospitals and medical practices to get them: face shields and face masks have developed into permanently sold-out box office hits worldwide during the corona crisis.

The World Health Organization warned in February of the imminent shortage of medical protective equipment. The warning has become a reality in recent weeks. More and more companies now want to help alleviate the scarcity and switch their production to scarce medical goods.

3D printers play a crucial role across all industries. Because with the devices, customized products can be easily and inexpensively manufactured without modifications. That is why they are used by steel manufacturers like Thyssen-Krupp and Georgsmarienhütte, but also from car manufacturers such as VW or dental laboratories and design offices used for a wide variety of applications – and increasingly converted into emergency production facilities during the crisis.

“Many users are very creative with additive manufacturing at the moment,” observes Stefan Hollaender, Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the US printer manufacturer Formlabs. His company has launched an initiative to deal with the corona crisis, which now includes 5000 devices from Formlabs customers from various industries.

“There are inquiries from companies that want to provide their freed-up printing capacities – and inquiries from hospitals and medical facilities that quickly need certain products for which the traditional manufacturing capacities are currently exhausted,” Hollaender explains the principle. Additive manufacturing shows its greatest strength during the corona crisis: flexibility.

Masks are printed based on a template

Because it only takes a digital model to produce a part with a 3D printer, industrial groups can change from a material manufacturer to a manufacturer of facial sights within minutes. For example, the steel cooker Georgsmarienhütte: On its own initiative, the company already started a few days ago to manufacture mounts for facial visors on 3D printers, which are usually used for mold making in the foundry industry.

“In the current situation, however, the printers are underutilized,” the company said on request. Last week, the Georgsmarienhütte delivered the first 50 visors to two care facilities in the region.

The design is kept as simple as possible: A plastic frame is printed based on a template that can be found hundreds of times on the Internet. The construction looks like a headband to which a plastic film can be attached like a document cover. This is intended to protect the face of the caregiver from flying viruses and thus reduce the risk of infection.

The steel manufacturer Thyssen-Krupp also produces similar visors. The Chemnitz site, which belongs to the automotive supply division of the Ruhr group, has developed its own design that also contains the Thyssen-Krupp logo. In Chemnitz, the group can print seven brackets a day, and another 40 a week are produced on the company’s 3D printers in Hagen.

Creative misuse

While the use in this country is usually limited to simple, medically harmless protective equipment, other manufacturers in other European countries are breaking new ground. When urgently needed ventilator spare parts ran out in an Italian hospital in the particularly affected Lombardy a few weeks ago, a local 3D printing company called Isinnova stepped in – and simply printed the spare parts on their own devices within a few hours.

In collaboration with another facility, the same company also developed a device that can be used to convert diving masks into emergency respirators in a few seconds, which is also used in Italy. The sporting goods retailer Decathlon took part in the development – and provided design plans and dimensions of its diving masks for misuse.

“With many products, such as diving masks, there is the possibility of using them with minor changes for other purposes – such as masks for ventilators,” observes Stefan Hollaender from Formlabs. On a special Homepage the company provides many 3D plans. If you want to help, you just have to download it – and you are immediately available as a supplier of protective equipment.

Even though hardly any company is currently thinking of investing in a new printer, Hollaender expects that the crisis will have a positive long-term effect on 3D printing. “The pioneering spirit is currently very big,” says the manager. That will change the way companies think in the long term.

In addition, “Companies are thinking about how they can make their supply chains more resilient.” Because of their flexible application options, additive manufacturing is a means of choice for many companies if suppliers should fail. “I am currently experiencing this frequently in discussions with customers – even if investments in many industries are currently being postponed due to the pandemic.”

More: The South Hessian automotive supplier Sauer has also changed its production – and is now producing protective glasses instead of plastic parts for luxury cars using 3D printing.


False incentives, fraud, debt: the side effects of the corona crisis

The Chancellor is in top form in times of corona crisis. Angela Merkel explains complicated population doubling rates and reproductive numbers. But she also knows everyday things. “They have to be washed or ironed regularly, put in the oven or in the microwave,” Merkel explains how to care for respiratory masks. “Even if that sounds a bit housewife, so to speak.”

The omniscient state – embodied in the chancellor. The subjects are explained life down to the smallest detail. With this self-image, Merkel takes “measures that have never existed in our country before”. Fundamental rights are restricted, the economy is pushed to the brink and then supported with unprecedented aid.

One of Merkel’s closest confidants, Peter Altmaier, is more than enthusiastic. “An uncle who brings something is better than an aunt who plays the piano”, the Federal Minister of Economics remembers of his childhood.

And what is brought along! If you add up everything the federal government now wants to offer to combat the corona crisis, you get a gigantic sum of at least 1.2 trillion euros. No other country in the world has raised so much money in relation to its economic strength.

Germany has a full 35 percent, far more than the EU average or the USA. Federal finance minister Olaf Scholz did not understate what he promised a few weeks ago: “It is not spilled, but padding.”


The increase in importance and power is unique. Never in the history of the Federal Republic has a government intervened so quickly and deeply in public life and thus in the economy. After the financial crisis, German government debt rose by 315 billion euros in one year. The value of the federal, state and local governments will be far exceeded in this crisis. “I am worried whether we will be able to return to normal economic policy,” says Lars Feld, Germany’s top economy.

The measures to protect health are understandable. But the question increasingly arises: what side effects do the multi-billion dollar rescue programs have? The free market is disturbed, competition is distorted, prices lose their signal strength.

“As much market as possible, as much state as necessary”, the famous words of former Federal Minister of Economics Karl Schiller lose their meaning every day.

There is a risk of higher prices, inefficient companies and loss of wealth. It is significant that more and more companies are turning to the Bundeskartellamt during the corona crisis in order to be exempted from cooperating with competitors. The new spirit of state economy speaks.

Spend as much as you can. The year 2020 will be disastrous. Kristalina Georgiewa (IMF chief)

Certainly, help for companies with no fault of their own must be provided. But with the flood of support funds, the risk of misallocation is high. Capital and labor are tied up in companies with below-average productivity, less investment and innovative strength.

A few weeks ago, after a parliamentary request from the FDP for possible support from zombie companies, the Federal Ministry of Finance had to admit that “necessary market processes of creative destruction are hindered”.

The concern is justified that the state is eating itself too deeply into the economy, throwing privacy and data protection partially overboard and that the influence on the market will not be reversed after the end of the crisis.

A look at history suggests little good. The federal government is still 25 years after the IPO Deutsche Telekom still the largest single shareholder.

Fundamentally, there is a problem that is known in the economy as moral hazard: companies and citizens behave irresponsibly or carelessly due to existing false incentives. The news of fraudsters sneaking up subsidies is increasing.

“The state is a lousy entrepreneur”

The appearances of Altmaier and Scholz are characterized by superlatives. At the federal press conference, they will be presenting the rescue packages worth billions to the public with great regularity. “This is the most comprehensive and effective guarantee that there has ever been in a crisis,” said Altmaier in mid-March. “This is the bazooka, we’ll look for small arms later,” the Federal Minister of Finance said at the appearance.

The small arms that have now been added are quite large-caliber. Scholz announced a debt-financed supplementary budget of 156 billion euros. This includes an emergency fund with a volume of 50 billion euros, which is aimed at the self-employed and small businesses with up to ten employees.

The federal guarantee for the state bank KfW is increased by up to 450 billion euros. And then there is an Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) with a volume of 600 billion euros. The majority is earmarked for government guarantees to keep companies liquid.

100 billion euros are reserved for possible investments, i.e. partial nationalization of companies. The battered Lufthansa is already holding talks about state participation.

You can still hear Altmaier’s words: “The state is a lousy entrepreneur.” The Federal Minister of Economics at least dedicated the most beautiful hall in the ministry to Ludwig Erhard. But he is currently just as far away from Erhard’s mantra as the Germans are from summer leaves in Mallorca.

Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (standing) and Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (front)

The father of the “German economic miracle” throbbed to measure, he remembered sentences, the state should not be a player, but an arbitrator in the economy. Now the state is preparing to take over the entire football club.

No other industrial country is helping its economy with such large sums as the Federal Republic. This shows a new evaluation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He does not criticize Germany, on the contrary. “Spend as much as you can,” advises IMF chief Kristalina Georgiewa. The economic situation is too depressing.

The Council of Experts is now assuming that the economy will decline by more than 5.5 percent this year. This is the case that was previously treated as a worst-case scenario. The economic downturn would be worse than in the global financial crisis. 725,000 companies have registered financial difficulties and short-time work.

Including: hospitals. Health Minister Jens Spahn ordered them at the beginning of March to postpone all planned operations. For the hospital operator, this means severe revenue losses. More than a third of the intensive care beds are not occupied. With the Hospital Relief Act, the federal government created a regulation to compensate the clinics for the failures. But that’s far from enough.

This is the bazooka, we’ll look at small arms later. Olaf Scholz (Federal Minister of Finance)

Some private organizations have registered short-time work, including the Schön-Klinik group. The head of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gaß, sees the time for a “careful, gradual resumption of regular care”.

Spahn also said last week that clinics could “gradually return to normal”. “We do not want to keep 40 percent of the intensive care ventilation beds in Germany permanently”, said the minister.

The pressure on the companies is huge, the need for help is great. This year alone, the federal government is raising 156 billion euros in new debt. The federal states are also preparing an extensive flood of money for pumps.

According to a survey by the Handelsblatt newspaper among the 16 state finance ministries, they are currently planning 65 billion euros in new debt to fight the crisis. In addition to the federal government’s huge € 1.2 trillion rescue package, the federal states are also helping their companies and the self-employed. Bavaria alone has launched a fund with 60 billion euros.

The IMF chief not only welcomes the gigantic aid package in Germany, the monetary fund also calls for thorough control. “Keep the bills,” said Georgiewa. Transparency and accountability should not be put off in the face of the crisis. Whether Germany is world champion in this discipline, doubts are increasing.

Risk zombie company

The financial crisis shaped a saying by the former head of central bank in Europe, Mario Draghi: “What ever it takes”. In this crisis, it becomes a “Whatever, take it!” Aid is mostly spent without checking, the money cannot be distributed quickly enough.

According to an overview by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics, over 26 billion euros were applied for by KfW Hilfen. Almost 13,000 of the more than 13,200 applications were approved. In other words, almost anyone who wants help gets it, most likely companies that didn’t have a working business model before the pandemic.

This easily creates zombie companies that are only alive because of generous state aid. After all: With the large sums, the KfW steering committee seems to be examining it more closely. So far, around 8.5 billion euros have been approved. So it takes a little longer for the large-volume applications.

In contrast, the self-employed and small businesses with up to ten employees are suspiciously fast. So far, according to the overview of 1.65 million applications, around 1.1 million have been approved and more than nine billion euros paid out. These are not loans, but aid that does not have to be repaid.

“Speed ​​and thoroughness go hand in hand: it is carefully checked who receives the money,” Finance Minister Scholz promised. But is that true? North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin were even recently forced to suspend immediate payments because large-scale fraudsters wanted to get to the pots.

There are also problems with honest entrepreneurs. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the self-employed and small businesses are always granted the maximum amounts of EUR 9,000 and EUR 15,000 – regardless of need. This practice is not well understood in the Federal Ministry of Economics. Because a flat-rate payment of maximum amounts was actually not intended.

The aid should amount to up to 9,000 euros for companies with up to five employees and up to 15,000 euros for up to ten employees. The emphasis here is on the “up to”. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the actual amount should be based on sales and operating expenses for the next three months. An entrepreneur with zero euros turnover and 1000 euros costs would be entitled to 3000 euros in emergency aid.

But these details were lost somewhere in the confusion between the federal states and the federal states. The up to 50 billion euros are provided by the federal government. Although federal money is at stake, it is up to the federal states how much they scrutinize companies. In Hamburg, for example, a liquidity check is required. Other countries are significantly less strict so that aid can flow as quickly as possible.

In Berlin, more than a billion euros were paid out to solo and small entrepreneurs within days. And the Berlin Senate also admits behind the scenes that surely there are also deadweight effects. Since no examination was carried out, almost everyone received 14,000 euros in a combination of federal and state funds. These include the self-employed, who normally have annual sales that are significantly lower, they say.

Some recipients are now voluntarily repaying the aid for fear of sanctions. But whether a subsequent thorough examination is possible to convince fraudsters is skeptical in financial management.

Dangerous false incentives

The economic nonsense, which is operated partly in the name of Corona, is great. Governments in the federal and state governments are increasingly creating the illusion that they can regulate everything with state trillions. And more and more, government intervention and expansion is creating false incentives in all areas of the economy, which can be revenged bitterly.

Take the housing market as an example: the Federal Minister of Justice, a woman from the SPD, wanted to protect the tenants. The result is a half-baked law that gets small landlords into trouble. The law was so badly made that solvent companies like Adidas or Deichmann used the gaps and simply suspended the rent payments. Only after a storm of indignation did Adidas row back.

Take the example of KfW loans: After the institutes hesitated to pass on the subsidized loans from the Staatsbank KfW to companies because they still had to bear ten percent of the default risk, the state assumed full liability. With the danger that house banks will now be able to provide loans to companies that have long been bankrupt.

The banks don’t care, they are released from any liability, but of course they still make good money from their business. The fool is the taxpayer who has to answer for the defaults.

Example of short-time work: Short-time work allowance is a tried and tested crisis instrument. The state replaces up to 67 percent of net wages. However, the SPD was not enough. In the coalition committee on Wednesday, she pushed for an increase to 80 percent.

It is the most comprehensive and effective guarantee that there has ever been in a crisis. Peter Altmaier (Federal Minister of Economics)

However, a general increase would have significant deadweight effects: Many companies are already increasing short-time benefits from their own resources. Apart from that, the short-time work allowance is not meant to secure the standard of living, but rather to ensure the survival of companies and thus avoid unemployment.

In other areas, the federal corona strategy is rather arbitrary. The craft complained that the vehicle registration offices were closed. There is also much discussion about opening shops up to the limit of 800 square meters. This border was communicated at least improperly and caused confusion and indignation among the shopkeepers.

Now a Hamburg administrative court has declared the 800 square meter rule to be illegal. The court could not understand why opening larger sales areas alone should attract more people to the city center. Necessary infection protection measures could be followed at least as well in larger stores as in smaller facilities.

Whimsical and impractical was initially the requirement that repair shops were allowed to remain open, but the sales rooms had to be closed. Many craftsmen wondered if they could lead the customers through the sales room into the workshop. Another detail from this series of undesirable side effects of the rescue policy.

The border closures, for example with the Czech Republic, mean that the bricklayers are missing in the construction industry and the harvest workers in agriculture from Romania. The state decides a lot, but the consequences are borne by the entrepreneurs and their employees.

The argument for the state’s rapid generosity in the crisis is: rather spend more now to prevent the economy from crashing and millions of jobs be lost than have to finance mass unemployment for a long time. This approach is absolutely correct. But it also remains true: somehow the state rescue billions have to be financed at least in the medium term if the next generations are not to be overwhelmed.

Currently this is done through the use of reserves and debts. Germany certainly has scope. The Federal Republic had just pushed the debt level to below 60 percent, thereby meeting the Maastricht criteria for the first time in many years in 2019. But that will be the last time for a long time.

As a result of the corona crisis, the federal government expects a general government deficit of 7.25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year. The debt ratio as a share of all debts in GDP is estimated at 75.25 percent, as can be seen from the German Stability Program 2020.

“The projection is currently subject to very high levels of uncertainty,” says the current report. In other words, the debt level could be even higher. This mainly depends on how high the losses are that the federal government will incur from its guarantees and sureties.

Given the huge commitments, some in the grand coalition are trying to put the brakes on. “I don’t like the fact that we almost always get new suggestions every hour, what else can you do,” said Union leader Ralph Brinkhaus. “All of this must also be paid for.”

In a crisis, the state’s money is loose. Some sense their chance to finally implement long-held plans.


Corona crisis: Zero hour: How a responsible restart of the economy succeeds

The fight against the corona virus saves lives. But the standstill threatens the existence of many companies. Can normality return? .

How can business and health be reconciled?

The largest automobile plant in the world is dead in the April sun. No worker far and wide. Up to one million vehicles can be manufactured in the Wolfsburg halls every year. At the end of the bridge over the Mittelland Canal, only one of the guards greets you VolkswagenSecurity team. He keeps his distance. “Corona,” he says with defensive hands.

The blast furnaces of Salzgitter AG are located not far from the Autostadt in Lower Saxony. The group has cut steel production, hardly a cloud leaves the chimneys towards the sky. Why too? Steel for cars is not in demand right now.

The aircraft of Frankfurt Airport are parked on a tarmac at Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa. Hundreds of onlookers stand at the fences despite initial corona restrictions. The silence on the four runways is unusual, historical. Most flight attendants and pilots’ duty rosters remain empty these days.

They are the scenes of a country at a standstill. Streets without cars, sights without tourists, trains without passengers. Everything is subordinated to the fight against the corona virus, social life, culture, the economy: for the first time since the end of the Second World War, Germany’s assembly lines have been standing still. It’s zero hour, if you will.

The shutdown saves lives. But Germany also pays a price for this: the Ifo Institute calculated exactly 42 billion euros per week. These are “astronomical costs,” says Ifo President Clemens Fuest. “This roughly corresponds to the German defense budget”.

The first month of standstill will soon be over. And that raises a few crucial questions: How long can a rich economy endure such a situation? What can a way back to normal look like? And above all: how can companies prepare for the time after the crisis?

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a third of the companies are threatened with a lockdown after three months. Another third could last four to six months. During this time, the companies would lose so much substance that they would hardly be able to start again.

Starting up, however, is much more difficult than driving down: Every new business, every additional euro of sales after the start, costs the company money – for example, for the purchase of preliminary products.

With these numbers, the pressure on politics increases. The first easing measures could be decided at a federal-state conference on Tuesday, the first step on the long road to normalcy. “We need a clear road map that will get public and economic life going again,” says Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and candidate for the CDU party chair.

Health is the top priority. For a successful restart of social life, clinics need sufficient protective equipment and beds – medical capacities so that doctors can care for patients. The return to normality is “a question of judgment and not a trade-off between human life and the economy,” says BayerChief Werner Baumann.

Lufthansa aircraft park in Frankfurt

In a previously unpublished paper, the Institute for Research on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises calls for the exit from shutdown to be handled with particular care. You only have one attempt, after that there is no turning back. The start-up of the economy had to be flexible in phases and regionally. Priority should not be given solely on the basis of the economic contribution, but on how quickly a company can start operating again – and how important the products are for everyday life.

Corporations like Volkswagen, Salzgitter or airbus have plans for the restart already in the drawer. But the new era cannot be planned in detail. In many cases, the supply chains are too complex and complex, and hardly anyone can say when they will function smoothly again.

An important first step would therefore be the end of border controls in the European Union, says Gabriel Felbermayr, President of the Institute for the World Economy.

BCG and McKinsey management consultants unanimously demand that companies need a time perspective for the restart as early as possible. Because they have to prepare their company and their supply chains with a lead of several weeks or even months. The earlier the restart in the supply chain can be communicated, the better.

Business unrest

CEO Herbert Diess has been stuck in Wolfsburg for some time. With the exception of one machine, VW keeps its entire aircraft fleet on the ground. No employee should be infected on the otherwise regular commuting flights within VW’s own network.

In general, travel activities at the global corporation have been suspended since March 16. This remains at the headquarters and no longer commutes to his family on weekends in Munich, as in the period before the crisis.

If the management conference, then only in large rooms. “We will then be seated with enough space between us,” says VW HR Manager Gunnar Kilian. Most of the time, however, the panel joins in via video. “This is the best protection,” says one of them. competitor Daimler leaves his board of directors in two groups to avoid taking risks.

No economy in the world can endure such a state of emergency in the long term. Werner Baumann (CEO Bayer)

Caution is a must: a number of top decision-makers had to go into quarantine because they had come into contact with people infected with corona. Especially in times of crisis, an illness at the top of the company can have fatal consequences.

Also Osram-Chef Olaf Berlien has almost stopped working. Despite the corona crisis, he goes to the office every day and wants to show presence. Most employees in the administration in Munich city center wear gloves and protective masks. Berlien himself, he wants to create trust. But business is getting more and more difficult. The demand for lighting technology is weak, six of the 26 Osram factories are shut down.

The CEO sees the Federal Government’s measures in the fight against the corona virus as appropriate. But it is also clear that “we cannot keep the stores and factories closed for three months. We have to start up again as soon as possible. ”

Berlien is not alone in such considerations. “We need a good strategy when and how we can return to a regular, normal everyday life,” says Bayer CEO Baumann. “No economy in the world can endure such a state of emergency in the long term.”

The infection had to be managed, fellow citizens with special risks had to be protected – so that large sections of the population could go about their everyday lives again. “How exactly that can be done has to be analyzed very carefully and made responsibly,” says Baumann.

Support comes from politics. “We now have to give people and companies a perspective on when we will gradually loosen which measures,” says Carsten Linnemann. If it is up to the chairman of the middle class and economic union of the CDU / CSU, then in the weeks after Easter “under strict conditions” production should start up again, transport routes should be easier and some of the shops should be opened.

The federal government can only answer the big question of when Germany will flip the switch again in consultation with the federal states. A decision could be made on Tuesday after Easter during the conversation between Merkel and the Prime Minister.


These companies are the winners and losers of the corona crisis

Ventilator from Drägerwerk

The company benefits from the rapidly increasing demand for medical technology.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich Many listed companies are particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic standstill. Only a few benefit. If the situation normalizes, the flights of fancy will soon be over – but not for everyone. We present three winners and three losers of the crisis.

Drägerwerk: In demand medical technology

Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.


Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.



The corona crash destroyed 19 trillion euros on the stock exchange

Bull and bear in front of the Frankfurt stock exchange

Historically unique losses in global equity markets.

(Photo: Oliver Ruether / laif)

Dusseldorf The money could be used to repay all of Europe’s public debt, and there would still be five trillion euros left: the 50,805 listed companies worldwide lost 19.4 trillion euros in just six weeks, according to Handelsblatt calculations. In such a short time, this decline is historically unique.

The courses worldwide lost 24 percent, in Germany the 755 listed companies were hit even harder with a loss of almost 30 percent. All local companies together currently cost 1.4 trillion euros. Alone Apple and Microsoft reach a total market value of 1.95 trillion euros.

Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.


Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.



Financial investment: These are the largest capital wipers on the stock exchange

This ranking should be a warning sign for investors in the corona crisis: DSW lists the stock market crashes for 2019. The problems facing these companies are likely to worsen. .

Audi dares to restart with Markus Duesmann

Audi plant

The corona crisis forces the VW subsidiary to close factories around the world.

(Photo: ddp / Xinhua / Sipa USA)

Munich, Dusseldorf When Markus Duesmann starts his new job this Wednesday, a ghostly scenario awaits him. Only a small remaining team will be the new one Audi– Receive boss, at least 1.5 meters away.

At the top of the agenda is the crisis briefing by Production Director Peter Kössler. The Audi plants in Europe have been idle for more than a week. In Germany alone, the carmaker has sent around 26,000 people on short-time work. Nobody knows when the locations in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Belgium, Hungary and Italy will build cars again.

Starting the belts on day X can only be justified with large safety distances for the employees, say the occupational physicians. If the shutdown is too long, it will be difficult to activate the supply chains, warn the logisticians.

All in all, resuming production even in a few weeks is “shaky but feasible,” is the assessment of the daily crisis team. But at the moment it is all pure theory.

At the moment they are busy distributing the breathing masks required for production to the local hospitals and nursing homes. Nobody wants to work at Audi if the clinics and old people’s homes next door lack the essentials for the fight for the life of seriously ill corona patients.

Icon in the car world

The 51-year-old would never have dreamed that Duesmann would start at zero in the middle of an unprecedented crisis at Audi. He has been waiting for this day for more than a year and a half. So long ago that he quit his board position at BMW and then had to serve a bill of exchange, which his angry colleagues in Munich imposed on him.

There it is considered unforgivable from which BMW-Change board to Audi. Duesmann was the purchasing director in Munich, the next step should have been to take over the important development department, from there it could have gone to the top after three more years.

But then his old superior, Herbert Diess, lured him by offering to take over Audi immediately. It is a task that is irritating: despite the diesel crisis, it is the one that has struck VW-Gold daughter still an icon in the car world.

Duesmann’s arrival has many hopes in Ingolstadt. Audi has fallen deeply: the diesel crisis has first damaged self-confidence, then sales. Half a dozen development boards have come and gone in recent years.

Markus Duesmann

The manager will lead Audi in the future.

(Photo: BMW Group)

With the arrest of the former CEO Rupert Stadler in June 2018, the VW subsidiary reached its preliminary low. Business also went downhill.

If Audi sold even more cars than Mercedes and BMW in 2013, its competitors are far from hasty in terms of sales. A few years ago, Audi was still able to advertise with the slogan “Advancement through technology”, but now it is the electrical pioneer Tesla, whose battery technology and software sets the standards.

At Audi, it was only enough for quick shots. When Stadler was arrested and BMW blocked Duesmann’s move, the supervisory board agreed on the previously virtually unknown Bram Schot as head of transition. The ex-sales director kept the business and the mood alive, but the Dutch lacked the technical expertise for a fundamental change of course.

You quickly put together an electric SUV with the Audi E-Tron, but you don’t have a real Tesla rival. Even before the corona crisis, E-Tron production in the Brussels plant came to a standstill because Audi ran out of battery cells.


How a billion dollar bet by Ray Dalio made profits in the Dax

Ray Dalio

The Bridgewater boss speculated on falling prices with comparatively stable Dax values.

(Photo: Reuters)

Dusseldorf Hedge fund Bridgewater contributed its billion dollar bet on falling stock prices Dax– Companies significantly reduced. That goes from the information of the “Federal Gazette” and the corresponding database of the Handelsblatt forth. As a result, the world’s largest hedge fund was largely responsible for the turbulent trading in the Dax on Monday and Tuesday, as an analysis of the Handelsblatt shows.

Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in the

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.


Read on now

Get access to this and every other article in the

Web and in our app for 4 weeks for free.


Our newsletter for better decisions about your finances


Thyssen-Krupp agrees collective agreement for steel division


The steel company has decided on a “Corona crisis package”, which is also intended to implement shorter working hours.

(Photo: Reuters)

Dusseldorf Thyssen-Krupp has agreed with the employee representatives a long-term collective agreement for the weakening steel division. Around 3,000 jobs are to be cut in a socially acceptable manner by 2026; compulsory redundancies are excluded until March 31, 2026, the company said on Wednesday.

The agreement also includes a “corona crisis package” including reduced working hours, which will be implemented in the coming weeks.

The agreement for the approximately 27,000 employees of Thyssen-Krupp Steel Europe had become necessary after the plans for a steel fusion with Tata Steel Europe failed.

Before the end, IG Metall had agreed a future contract with the board of directors, which provided for extensive commitments to secure the locations and employment. The contract was linked to the Tata deal.

More: Thyssen-Krupp is also feeling the effects of the corona pandemic and is cashing in its annual forecast