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AlixPartners: As the global automotive market recovers more slowly than anticipated, China is rapidly emerging as an industry superpower

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Chinese car manufacturers now lead the world in export volume as the traditional western car industry is running out of time to defend its historic domestic market share.

LONDON, June 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — With supply chain bottlenecks and raw material shortages becoming a thing of the past, the global market for automobiles is growing once again – but at a significantly slower pace than many experts expected.

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As a result, sales figures in Europe will be more than 15% below pre-Covid levels in the longer term with the UK fairing slightly better at c.10% below pre-Covid levels but levelling off at c.2.4m vehicles sold annually by around 2026.

At the same time, European OEMs are also increasingly under pressure in their home markets from Chinese manufacturers, more and more of whom are pushing into European markets with electric vehicles. In the first quarter of 2023, China replaced Japan as the world leader in automotive exports – an astonishing advancement from sixth place as recently as 2019.

These are among the key findings from global consulting firm AlixPartners 2023 Global Automotive Outlook, a regularly cited source of reference for the OEMS, suppliers and industry commentators alike.

Automotive market continues to grow, but at a slower pace

  • China drives global automotive market growth
  • Growth slows in other regions – contrary to earlier predictions
  • Sales figures in Europe are predicted to be more than 15% below pre-Covid levels in the long term
  • UK Sales figures are expected to fair slightly better plateauing at c.10% below pre-Covid levels
  • Battery costs not falling fast enough and threaten to dampen the rapid increase in sales of electric cars over the next three to five years and extending ICE lifetime

China is increasingly becoming an automotive superpower

  • In 2019, China was the world’s sixth largest automotive exporter. As of Q1 2023, Chinese OEMs have replaced Japan as the export world leaders for the first time
  • In the Chinese domestic market in 2023, and for the first time in decades, Chinese brands will surpass foreign brands (51%) and are predicted to reach a market share of 65% by 2030
  • While the industry has hitherto focused on Tesla as a single marque threat, now is the time to prepare for future competition from Chinese BEV imports from an ever-growing roster of manufacturers

Increasing pressure on margins and liquidity of European OEMs and suppliers

  • OEMs’ earnings situation will deteriorate in a low growth market – with margins of OEMs and suppliers converging again
  • Suppliers’ net debt rises to record levels (+27% since 2018) due to operational liquidity requirements; however, OEMs’ debt has decreased (-8% since 2018)
  • Rising capital costs and ongoing record investments due to the switch to electric cars require active management of cash flow and liquidity, especially for suppliers

In the UK, investment in battery manufacturing capacity has not materialised at the levels seen elsewhere – increasing the UK’s reliance on China and recent drops in raw material costs have reversed yet again due to rising Chinese demand, remaining between 30-80% above pre-Covid levels.

“While UK sales volumes are expected to plateau in the long term, we do see conflicting tensions between continued lower scrappage rates and increasing average vehicle age in the car park being offset by sustained population growth and steady rates of car ownership per person”, said AlixPartners automotive expert Tom Beard regarding the UK picture. “Keeping an eye on changes to these trends will be key to understanding the real long-term impact in the UK”.

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China continues its growth trajectory not only as an attractive sales market but also as an exporter and producer in equal measure. This is also reflected in the Chinese domestic market: in 2023, for the first time in decades, Chinese brands will surpass foreign ones (51%) and are predicted to reach a home market share of 65% by 2030.

Commenting on China’s increasing importance Andrew Bergbaum, a Partner & Managing Director in the Alixpartners Automotive practice, said, China can now really be regarded as an automotive superpower. UK & European OEMs, on the other hand, are increasingly taking on the role of defenders of market share in their traditional, and shrinking, home markets. At the same time, having enjoyed some recent pricing power, they are now coming under pressure with tightening margins in the face of a low growth global market and increasing competition. For the UK, the proposed accelerated transition away from pure combustion engines by 2030 is going to position lower-cost Chinese imported BEVs as attractive alternatives”.

At the same time, costs are escalating and becoming a critical factor for OEMs and automotive suppliers alike. Raw material costs will not return to pre-Covid levels and have recently risen, yet again, to 30-80% of pre-Covid levels. With China’s continued market growth, forecast to achieve 117% on pre-covid volumes, AlixPartners does not foresee battery capacity catching up with demand and, in jurisdictions such as the UK, requirement, in the near term.

As a result, it is becoming increasingly apparent that combustion engines and electric vehicles will exist in parallel for longer than originally expected. The lengthening ICE lifetime is helped by the fact that the drawn-out decline in the cost of batteries will significantly dampen the pace of the transition to electric mobility in the medium term. This ‘twin-tracking’ prevents the establishment of rapid economies of scale and in turn further increases the acute financial pressure on the industry.

“The UK is already 3 to 5 years behind the rest of Europe in terms of building EV battery manufacturing capacity. This gap is widening, with the possibility of Europe largely removing its reliance on China by 2027. Even if additional UK investments were confirmed in the very short term, the challenging ramp-up process means the UK could still be reliant on importing more than a third of its batteries by 2030, adding further cost pressures to UK-built vehicles”, AlixPartners EV and battery expert Ken Henderson said of the UK’s EV conundrum.

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Rising capital costs round off the negative scenario. Automotive suppliers are confronted with a rapid increase in net debt due to their sandwiched position (+27% since 2018). The chance of passing on further manufacturing cost increases from material and labour through to OEMs is low and yet at the same time the transition to electromobility requires a high level of operational liquidity.

AlixPartners Automotive and Restructuring Partner & Managing Director Nick Parker said, “The stress phase for suppliers, which has endured now for several years, will persist and continues to pose existential challenges for many of them. The debt of the supplier industry is currently at a record high, while at the same time the cost of capital and liquidity requirements for current business and investments are rising. The pressure on margins remains high. Cash flow and liquidity management must therefore be a top priority for suppliers. We expect that this situation will also lead to further consolidation in the supplier industry and the continued divestment of combustion engine-related operations”.

Notes to editors

About the Global Automotive Outlook

2023 is the 20th year of the AlixPartners Global Automotive Outlook. The globally recognised study is considered one of the most important trend barometers of the automotive industry worldwide, allying industry data with the unique insights of AlixPartners Automotive experts. For the study, the global consultancy evaluated the financial results of more than 300 automotive manufacturers and suppliers, undertook consumer surveys, and conducted almost 100 expert interviews.

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About AlixPartners

AlixPartners is a results-driven global consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses successfully address their most complex and critical opportunities. Our clients include companies, corporate boards, law firms, investment banks, private equity firms, and others. Founded in 1981 in Detroit, AlixPartners is headquartered in New York, and has offices in more than 20 cities around the world. For more information, visit www.alixpartners.com.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2141789/AlixPartners_Logo.jpg

 

 

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Blockchain Press Releases

Howe-Baker International Signs Memorandum of Understanding with D.Energy to Pioneer Clean Hydrogen Production Using Blockchain Technology

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TYLER, Texas, July 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Howe-Baker International, a leader in design and engineering for the energy sector, is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with D.Energy, a layer 1 blockchain pioneering clean energy protocols. This strategic partnership aims to advance the research and development of implementing blockchain technology in the generation of clean hydrogen.

Under the terms of the MOU, Howe-Baker and D.Energy will collaborate to explore and develop blockchain-based systems to enhance the efficiency, transparency, and security of hydrogen production processes. The collaboration aligns with both companies’ commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability in the energy sector, heralding a new era of clean hydrogen production powered by blockchain technology.

Key Objectives of the Collaboration:

  1. Efficiency Enhancement: Utilizing blockchain technology to optimize hydrogen production processes, reducing costs and improving overall efficiency.
  2. Transparency and Traceability: Ensuring transparent tracking of hydrogen production from renewable sources to end-users, enhancing trust and accountability in the supply chain.
  3. Security and Data Integrity: Implementing robust blockchain solutions to safeguard data integrity and prevent unauthorized access or tampering.
  4. Sustainability Goals: Contributing to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions by promoting the adoption of clean hydrogen as a viable and sustainable energy source.

Comments from Leadership:

“We are thrilled to partner with D.Energy on this groundbreaking initiative,” said Layken White, president of Howe-Baker. “Combining our extensive experience in energy infrastructure with D.Energy’s blockchain expertise, we are poised to revolutionize the clean hydrogen production industry. This collaboration not only supports our sustainability goals but also positions us at the forefront of technological innovation in clean energy.”

Shafi Rafi, founder of D.Energy, added, “This MOU marks a significant milestone in our mission to integrate blockchain technology into the energy sector. By partnering with Howe-Baker, we aim to develop scalable and secure blockchain solutions that will drive the future of clean hydrogen production. Together, we are committed to creating a more efficient and sustainable landscape for On-Chain Real World Assets (RWAs).”

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About Howe-Baker International:

Howe-Baker International is a global technology company providing engineering, fabrication and construction services for the energy industry. With a rich history of delivering innovative solutions, Howe-Baker is dedicated to driving progress in the energy sector and supporting the transition to cleaner energy sources.

For more information, please contact: 
Reem Ellafi
[email protected]
www.howebaker.com

About D.Energy:

D.Energy is a layer 1 blockchain that specializes in tokenizing sustainable Real World Assets (RWAs). Its platform supports a wide range of applications, including trading climate assets, enhancing the efficiency and security of renewable energy production, and promoting the integration of sustainable energy technologies.

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For more information, please contact: 
Luke Potter
[email protected]
www.d.energy

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Blockchain

Artificial Intelligence takes Center Stage at Blockchain Futurist Conference 2024 in Toronto

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 The highly anticipated Blockchain Futurist Conference, Canada’s Largest Web3 Event, is set to return for its sixth year to Toronto this August 13-14, 2024, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence as a core theme. This year’s event promises to offer sessions, panels, and sub-events centered around AI, highlighting how these technologies are transforming Web3 and reshaping our world. The dedicated AI segment is scheduled for Wednesday, August 14, 2024, and is accessible with all conference passes.

AI and Web3 technologies are rapidly converging to create a future that promises to revolutionize the digital landscape. AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data, and automate complex processes, complements Web3’s decentralized and transparent framework. This integration enables more secure, and equitable solutions across various sectors.

At this year’s event, attendees can hear from top industry leaders in AI such as:

  • Anthony Di Iorio, Founder, Ethereum, Decentral, Andiami

  • Ben-Zion Benkhin, CEO, WOMBO

  • Ashley Nandan, Google Canada, Startups

  • Ari Juels, Chief Scientist, Chainlink Labs

  • Christopher Johnson, Developer, Bad Idea AI

  • Trevor Koverko, Co-Founder, Sapien

  • JD Seraphine, CEO, Raiinmaker

  • Breeze Liu, Founder & CEO, Alecto AI

  • Christopher Obereder, Investor, Startup Chris Ventures

  • Adam Benzine, Creator & Oscar®-Nominated Filmmaker

AI Futurist Conference will also host multiple sponsors dedicated to AI organizations, such as Inference Labs, a Gold Sponsor at this year’s event.

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Inference Labs specializes in developing advanced infrastructure and products for AI on Web3. Their lab focuses on AI inference interoperating on the blockchain, an essential step for building a future where anyone can access AI without counterparty risk.

Ron Chan, Co-Founder of Inference Labs, and a visionary entrepreneur dedicated to pioneering the future of Decentralized AI had this to say:

“In all my years navigating tech cycles, I have never witnessed the level of developer interest in Artificial Intelligence that we see today. We’re at an inflection point where Internet traffic is roughly split 50/50 between humans and machines. I firmly believe that inference will soon become the dominant form of Internet traffic.”

With two decades of experience as a serial entrepreneur, Ron Chan has successfully navigated the ever-evolving tech industry, leading multiple technology and infrastructure startups to successful exits. His expertise spans architecting data centers, defense projects, and developing mission-critical civil aviation applications, showcasing his versatility and adeptness in managing complex, high-stakes ventures.

Futurist Conference will also host multiple sub-events and meetups for the AI community throughout the venue on both days. These include:

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  • Crypto x AI Book Signing: Ari Juels, Chief Scientist of Chainlink Labs and author of “The Oracle,” will discuss Crypto x Artificial Intelligence on the Main Stage, followed by a book signing.

  • AI Ethics Roundtable: A critical exploration of the ethical implications of AI and the transformative role of Web3 technologies.

  • AI Web3 & Robotics for Kids: A fun and interactive workshop for kids to learn about AI and Web3, with hands-on experience with robots.

  • Robots Live Onsite: Witness jaw-dropping innovations in action and experience the thrill of future technologies before your eyes.

Futurist Conference aspires to be more than just an event; it aims to create a future world within a conference, immersing attendees in the cutting-edge technologies that will shape tomorrow. By offering interactive experiences, and live demonstrations, the conference allows participants to see, feel, and engage with the latest advancements in AI, Web3, and beyond.

Futurist Conference is the perfect place for these industries to convene, providing a unique platform for thought leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts to explore the transformative potential of AI and Web3 technologies. Get ready to step into the future this August.

The post Artificial Intelligence takes Center Stage at Blockchain Futurist Conference 2024 in Toronto appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Blockchain Press Releases

Zilliqa makes blockchain history by buying a racehorse

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SINGAPORE, July 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Zilliqa, the long-established layer-1 blockchain and market leader in Web3 sports and entertainment, is proud to announce its venture into the world of horse racing through the acquisition of a racehorse.

Aptly named “The HRSE Horse”, the racehorse’s unique moniker is a nod to $HRSE, the recently-launched fan token of The Winners Circle, an innovative new loyalty platform that uses Web3 to redefine the racing fan experience.

The ownership will see The HRSE Horse sporting community-selected colours and branding when racing, generating mainstream exposure for both The Winners Circle and the Zilliqa blockchain.

The HRSE Horse is the first racehorse to ever be owned by a blockchain company, and its unusual name was not chosen only to prick up the ears of the established horse racing community, but also to demonstrate how The Winners Circle is combining the physical world of horse racing with its core tenet of digital ownership unlocked by harnessing the capabilities of the Zilliqa network.

Launched by Racing League and powered by Zilliqa, The Winners Circle is a fan engagement platform supercharged by Web3 that features a free-to-play prediction game where fans are rewarded with $HRSE tokens by correctly choosing the winners of real-world horse races. These tokens can then be used to influence the decisions of teams competing in the exciting Racing League competition while also unlocking exciting features such as discounts on racehorse ownership shares, tickets, merchandise, and more..

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The Token Generation Event (TGE) for $HRSE was concluded on July 17th, with the token now listed on participating exchanges such as MEXC and Pancake Swap.

Zilliqa’s foray into horse racing goes beyond sport; it is an opportunity to bridge the gap between physical and digital realms, echoing The Winners Circle’s vision of embracing opportunities in both spheres.

The HRSE Horse is trained by former National Hunt jockey and globally renowned racehorse trainer Jamie Osborne, whose mission to reinvigorate the world of horse racing and attract a younger demographic is aligned with the innovative fan-first approach taken by The Winners Circle that leverages Web3 to redefine the fan experience. Osborne’s extensive knowledge of horse racing and bright sense of humour birthed the idea of finding a horse for Zilliqa to own and naming it The HRSE Horse.

With a global presence amplified by the audience of this thrilling sport, Zilliqa aims to capture the imagination of communities worldwide, celebrating the spectacle of horse racing while promoting meaningful innovation powered by the Zilliqa blockchain and The Winners Circle.

Commenting on the announcement, Zilliqa CEO Matt Dyer, said:

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“We are thrilled to announce our ownership of The HRSE Horse, who we hope will turn heads for his speed as well as his unique name. In becoming the first blockchain to own a racehorse, not only do we showcase the potential for The Winners Circle to redefine fan engagement in this age-old sport, but we also demonstrate how the HRSE token brings the real and digital worlds together. We’ve bought a racehorse, and by signing up for The Winners Circle, fans can have the chance to own a share of one, too.”

Commenting on the announcement, Trainer Jamie Osborne, said

“I am excited by Zilliqa’s ownership of The HRSE Horse and excited to see him perform on the race track. Horse racing needs to embrace new technologies to attract a younger demographic, and I believe The Winners Circle has the potential to drive a new generation of racing fans to this thrilling sport, which is why I’ve supported their mission from the start. Hopefully The HRSE Horse and Zilliqa will achieve great success and make this season be remembered as the Zilliqa summer, on and off the track.”

About Zilliqa

Zilliqa, the industry-recognised layer-1 blockchain founded in Singapore in 2018 is a high-performance, high-security, and low-fee blockchain platform. Designed to scale with the demands of global businesses, the blockchain serves as a versatile foundation that facilitates a broad array of Web3 applications and services across a multitude of sectors, providing a robust platform for emerging developers and established enterprises alike. The next evolution of the network, Zilliqa 2.0, is currently under development and offers a user-centric platform designed for ease of use and customisability.

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