Etihad 787-9 Business Class | Düsseldorf-Abu Dhabi

Back in May, I flew from Düsseldorf, Germany to Singapore in the Etihad 787-9 business class. In essence there were two flights, one from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi and a connecting flight from there to Singapore.

Here is my video about the first part of that trip:

Although the video is quite detailed (at least in my view), I would like to take the oppurtunity to outline some more things I noticed about the Etihad 787-9 business class.

Some more details

First of all the lounge at Düsseldorf area: As you can see in the video it is nothing special and a bit dark. The interior is dated and certainly could use some refurbishing. The personnel was very friendly and the lounge was clean.

Once I was in the plane, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. The Etihad 787-9 business class is, in my opinion, one of the best business class products out there. Both the hard product as well as the service by the highly commited crew were simply more than the word great can describe. Also the service was consistently good on all the following flights with Etihad airways.

Even though I had a backward facing seat close to the aisle, privacy was good. A plastic slider on the side increased it even further. The seat was very comfortable for sleeping, but there was some hard part in it, that I found a bit uncomfortable. It was probably the “joint” of the seat. That being said, you can make the seat harder and softer, so you can diminish that problem to some degree. The length of the seat was ok, but Iberia’s seat was better in that regard, as far as I remember it.

Eat when you want!

The dine on demand concept is a significant upgrade compared to other airlines, where you have to eat at a specific time. Apart from that Etihad does not use the classic hostess trolley, instead the flight attendants bring the food to you like in a restaurant.

Etihad 787-9 business class

Main course in the Etihad 787-9 business class

On this flight the purser greeted me by name.

My conclusion

Overall it was a very enjoyable flight and I really like the Etihad 787-9 business class.

Don’t forget to read my trip report about Iberia’s business class: http://the-jetstreamer.com/iberia-business-class-the-spanish-business-class/

Iberia Business Class – where do they stand?

So earlier this month I was travelling to Omaha, in order to visit Warren Buffett’s Annual General Meeting. To get there, I flew with Iberia over Madrid to Chicago and then with a domestic flight to Omaha. As I wanted to have a relaxing trip and enough space for myself I decided to try out Iberia’s business class. Here I will give you some information about this flight and the Iberia business class. What did I like and what not?

Iberia business class

The IFE screen in the Iberia business class

If you want to see the whole experience, feel free to watch the video I made about Iberia’s business class on Youtube:

First of all let’s start with the service on the ground. I did not have much time to test the Business Class lounge at Madrid Barajas airport, because I was already late. However I could throw a quick glance at it and I have to say that it is certainly one of the better lounges. It offers a decent variety of food, plenty of space and a very good atmosphere. It can get a bit crowded, though, especially, when a lot of flights to the US and South America leave during the same time frame. By the way, you can access the lounge through a duty-free shop.

From my own experience at Barajas airport I can give the following piece of advice: Plan with enough time between your flights. The airport is huge. To get from T4 to T4s you have to perform a marathon, including many escalators and even an underground train.

The hard product

The hard product is very, very good. I would say it is better than what BA has to offer (okay, their business class faces a LOT of criticism) and absolutely on par with, let’s say, Etihad’s business suite (I will write about that later). Yes, the Iberia business class is not the same, but the overall product is very good.

You access the plane, an Airbus A340-600, through a separate bridge, which adds to the exclusiveness. I received a very warm welcome by the crew, which was very professional, but at the same time not getting on one’s nerves, by asking every two seconds if everything is alright. I absolutely liked their approach to their tasks – helpful, polite, dedicated, but not pushy.

My seat was right next to the window, 4L. This was very nice in terms of privacy, you are not bothered by any “traffic” at the aisle. I strongly recommend those true window seats if you want to sleep well.

Great food, but one downside

Foodwise Iberia did a terrific job – it was simply excellent and so was the selection of wines. I tried a Rioja, which was fantastic (see the video for more about that).

Iberia business class food

The starter in the Iberia business class

Overall this was one of the most relaxing flights I have ever had. I felt very refreshed after arriving in Omaha and the same day, I wasn’t tired at all. This tells you a lot about the quality of Iberia’s business class. I could sleep very well during that flight – and this is certainly thanks to the 2 metre fully flat seat they built into their plane.

There is one little downside about Iberia’s business class: onboard internet connectivity. While they give you a voucher, it only grants you 4 MB of internet downloads – which is disappointing. And if you want to pay, there is no flat rate option, like Etihad offers for around 22 bucks. Surfing the internet you would end up paying hundreds of dollars.

For me that was not much of a problem though, because on this flight I did not want to use my laptop computer at all. I just enjoyed the great service, the good food and the possibility to catch some good sleep.

My conclusion – is the Iberia business class competitive?

Great job Iberia, it was a wonderful experience! Would I recommend the Iberia business class product? Absolutely! Would I choose Iberia again? Yes!

Want to know how to get tickets for Warren Buffett’s annual general meeting? Read my article here:

How to visit Warren Buffett’s Annual Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska 2017?

Bayer Annual General Meeting 2017, Bonn

Bayer Annual General Meeting

Bayer Annual General Meeting in Bonn, Germany

As promised here’s my report about the Bayer annual general meeting in Bonn, Germany. However, there won’t be a VLOG and I will tell you why. First of all you have to know that this year’s meeting was somewhat controversial due to the planned Bayer-Monsanto merger. For this reason, hundreds of protestors gathered at the World Conference Center in Bonn – commies, environmentalists, all sorts of political “activists” to tell you the truth. So Bayer had to react – with a rigorous security policy. And it was pretty much necessary as I’ll explain later.

At the entrance the company placed a huge tent with airport-style security checks, including x-rays. Cameras were not allowed, apart from cell phones. Also you had to respect the privacy of all participants. Hence, taking photos was a gray area (literally, regarding the age of most attendees ;-)). And doing a VLOG was practically impossible.

Nevertheless I do have some photos to illustrate the meeting, without disclosing the identity of anybody.

The Monsanto plan – controversial, but on track

As expected the Bayer-Monsanto deal was the most controversial topic out there. The Bayer management did everything to outline the good points about it. After all Monsanto is considered to be one of the most innovative companies worldwide. Mr Baumann, CEO of Bayer, told in his presentation, that Bayer has already filed the documents necessary to 30 authorities. However, even after asking, they did not really clarify how far the process is within those authorities. Anyway, according to Bayer everything seems to work out as planned. But who knows, what the future brings. The presentation of Mr Baumann was not only disrupted by some environmentalists chanting “Stop Bayer Monsanto”, but also by a guy who jumped on the stage trying to assault the board of directors, while shouting “You are poisoning our fields”. Luckily, he was quickly stopped by some security personnel.

Q&A session – is this the annual meeting of Bayer or the Communist Party?

After the speech of the chairman of the the supervisory board and the presentation of the CEO, all shareholders had the opportunity to ask questions and get answers.

And here is, where I see the real problem of that meeting. At the beginning EVERY shareholder had 10 minutes to ask QUESTIONS. Later it was reduced to only 5 minutes. The first people doing that were representatives of funds, analysts etc. – and it was really interesting to listen to them and their questions. They were mostly in favor of the Monsanto deal, while some had concerns, because of Monsantos’s reputation.

But what happened after them, is frankly outrageous: More and more lefties, environmentalists and troublemakers entered the stage. They did not have the intention to ask questions, but to use the opportunity to bring forward their political agenda. And yes, those people who probably own exactly 1 stock of Bayer got the same time for their political PR as the fund managers representing billions of $. In the end I assume that 90% of “questions” were communist speeches against global business in general and Bayer/Monsanto in particular. The questions put were purely rhetorical.

Is there a solution?

In my view this is entirely unacceptable and if Bayer does not want to see less and less real shareholders participating at their meeting, they have to find a solution for that.

I am not a legal specialist, but I suggest two options:

1) Only admit people to the annual meeting who have a minimum amount of shares. Others can use the postal vote and watch a livestream.

2) Tie the amount of shares to the time a shareholder has for questions. More shares, more importance, more time – sounds like a fair deal.

The food 🙂

In the meantime, I had the chance to get some food, which Bayer offered to its shareholders free of charge. Now while I am not one of those people who own stocks only to get something to eat at the general meeting  ;-), I enjoyed the German sausage, the meatball and the roll. Oh and you could eat and drink as much as you wanted :D.

Food at the Bayer shareholder meeting

Food at the Bayer shareholder meeting

The bottom line of the Bayer annual general meeting

Overall I think it was worth visiting the Bayer annual general meeting. It was particularly interesting to hear about the state of the Monsanto deal. Also, the Q&A part was informative – until it was basically taken over by communists, environmentalists and everything in between.

World conference Center Bonn - security tent

World conference Center Bonn – security tent

Next stop: Omaha, Nebraska where I want to visit the world-famous annual general meeting of Berkshire Hathaway. Looking forward to it!

Hannover Messe 2017 – where robotics meet industry 4.0

Two days before going to the Annual General Meeting of Bayer in Bonn, I decided to visit Hannover Messe 2017, probably the world’s largest industrial trade fair. I was particularly interested in the robotic field, not only as a shareholder of ABB and Fanuc, but also because I believe robots along with the internet are the steem machines of our time. It’s so exciting.

Not everything intersting for me – but a lot!

But, okay, let’s get back to business. To tell you the truth: Although I walked through all 27 fair halls (man, that was some loooooong walk), I could not look at everything with the same accuracy of course. What I show here, is only a small portion of what you could see at Hannover Messe 2017. Apart from that, I’ll be honest as well: Not everything that was shown there gained my interested. Don’t forget I’m actually a med student and while I like technology, I still am not an engineer who has an almost religious approach towards pressure valves in hydraulic systems.

However, I have so much respect for all those engineers and technicians who work on or with that terribly important stuff.

The Swiss robotic “dog” – a new competitor of Boston Dynamics?

In terms of Robots there were many, many stands – and of course Kuka was practically everywhere. But the first thing that surprised me, was this Swiss robotic dog. It is called “ANYmal” and it’s made by the company ANYbots. The salesperson technician told me, that it is not only a test object any more. They actually try to sell it for various purposes.

The robot is made by a company called “Anybotics”. It is based in Zurich and was established by a group of engineers from the world renowned ETH. Their product reminded me of what Boston Dynamics/Google has in stock – so they obviously have a new competitor.

Omron – the world’s first robotic ping-pong trainer

Omron was an other company I haven’t heard of before – and this is, I have to admit, very stupid. Not only are they a leading manufacturer when it comes to industrial robots, but also I believe you could buy their stock a few years ago for a considerably low price (I believe so, only my opinion, YOU do your own research, as always. YOU know the drill by now :-)).

Anyway, they showcased a real robotic ping-pong trainer. And no, it is not some toy for trade fairs. They really put a lot of emphasis in implementing a training software: The robot always plays slightly better than the human counterpart in order to achieve a training effect.

Hiwin – “Star Wars” from Taiwan

Hiwin was another company I haven’t really heard of before. I asked one of the representative about their products and the very friendly explained to me that they are a public company and hence stocklisted in Taiwan. Also, he told me, that unlike KUKA they focus not so much on robotic welding, but more on pick-and-place, part handling, assembly and other tasks.

I liked their creative and impressive product presentation – that company is certainly on MY watchlist.

There were so many more interesting robots from Fanuc, KUKA and other companies, so many stands – and I have a lot of photos and video footage of that. But it’s simply so much that I can’t show it all! Really, I recommend to any industry and engineering enthusiast to visit Hannover Messe next year!

…and finally something relevant for medicine

Like many other universities and German research facilities, the University of Stuttgart also had a stand at Hannover Messe 2017. The used the opportunity to show a scientific robot. In short they implemented the principles of ataxia into a robot. This approach can be very in the research of neurodegenerative disorders – and to develop brain pacemakers.

robotic ataxia simulaiton

robotic ataxia simulation – University of Stuttgart

Ataxia is a disorder that can occur for various reasons and in different forms. It affects the coordination of movements. For example patients can’t sit, stand or walk steadily. In a lot of cases the cerebellum is the origin of that disorder. And that is exactly what the researchers from the University of Stuttgart simulated in this model.

The bottom line

Was it worth visiting Hannover Messe 2017? Yes, absolutely. Even though I’m not an engineer myself, I found it very valuable to see where industry in general is heading: Towards more automation on the one hand and more communication on the other.

Industry 4.0 is not something futuristic any more, it is happening right here, right now. Things like predictive maintenance are already becoming a reality and will further improve productivity. I believe automation brings many chances not only for shareholders, but for mankind in general!

And btw, there still will be an article about Bayer’s annual general meeting in Bonn. All I can say now is that it was …strange. And I mean really strange!

Bayer’s Annual General Meeting: Tickets

Nice, so today my tickets for Bayer’s Annual General Meeting have finally arrived. Well, the “ticket” itself is not really spectacular, it’s just a piece of paper stating the shareholder’s name as well as the number of shares registered onto that name. But that’s not all Bayer put into the enveloppe they sent to me. They also included a free bus/train ticket for the city of Bonn, which makes it easier to reach the World Conference Center Bonn, which is where the event takes place.

Bayer Annual General Meeting

Bayer gives a free bus/train ticket for the Bonn area to each shareholder

How to get to Bayer’s Annual General Meeting?

That depends on how you get to Germany. Most international visitors probably arrive at Frankfurt Int. Airport, Germany’s busiest airport. From there you can take the ICE, the German high speed train (there is a stop right at the airport, called “Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof”). Some connections will go right to the central station in Bonn, others to Siegburg/Bonn. In case you arrive at the Central Station, you have plenty of options in terms of public transport:

1) Bus number 610 to Gronau/Deutsche Welle, 160m by foot from there

2) Tram number 61 to Gronau/Heussallee, 560m by foot from there

Keep in mind the World Conference Center in Bonn is located next to the United Nations facilities. And btw, there’s also a Marriott Hotel around the corner if you want to catch some sleep before going to Bayer’s Annual General Meeting.

Maybe on some future occasion I’ll write more about travelling in Germany using public transport – or the famous Autobahn :-)!

Next stop: Bayer’s annual general meeting 2017 in Bonn, Germany

My next trip will hopefully be to Bonn, Germany, where I intend to visit Bayer’s annual general meeting (April 28, 2017).  We all know the company for the most famous product – which is “Aspirin”, right? But today, there is so much more to know about this German agricultural chemistry and pharmaceutical Titan. Unlike the year before, Bayer plans to hold the meeting not in Cologne, but in the neighboring city and former capital of Germany Bonn. I have already ordered my shareholder tickets for the event. Bayer rents a hall called “New York” located in the “World Conference Center Bonn”, which probably shows where the company may see its future after the marriage with Monsanto.

The future of Bayer – “Advancing together”?

And that will be the most interesting part: How far is Bayer with that multi-billion dollar project? What return can shareholders expect? What is the outlook? Is Bayer’s pharmaceutical business unit still strong enough after investing so much money in the agribusiness? And last, but not least, what about the dividend? Let’s hope we get some first-hand answers!

After all I have heard, Bonn is a nice town to stay, although it has lost much of it importance with Berlin becoming the capital of “new” Germany.

VLOG about Bayer’s annual general meeting

This time I also would like to create a video about my trip to the annual general meeting of Bayer. You’ll be able to find it on my Youtube channel. Probably it will be some kind of VLOG, where I show a bit of Bonn and the general meeting itself, of course. Like each year, there will be a crowd of protestors. Maybe I can also catch their voice and find out what their problem with Bayer actually is. I am always interested in the views of other people. If they let me, I’d ask them some key questions, too.

I’m really looking forward to combining travel with business once again. That’s what the Shareholder Lifestyle is about, and that’s what I’d love to share with you people out there!

If you want more information on the event, feel free to visit Bayer’s website:

https://www.bayer.com/en/annual-stockholders-meeting-2017.aspx

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen, the finest of general aviation

Since I was in southern Germany anyway, I decided to visit one of Germanys’ major events in general aviation – the 25th Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen. As always it took place at Friedrichshafen Airport, right next to the wonderful Lake Constance. The exhibition features vast numbers of airplanes, from small single engine turboprops to large business jets such as Embraer’s Legacy 500.

Apart from that you can expect helicopters, drones (look at the video) and everything associated with aviation – jet engines, communication equipment etc..

Why did I visit Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen?

Everybody has different motives to visit the exhibition. You can see a lot of people, who are aviation specialists or hobby pilots, but also clients like airlines and HNWIs. Well, for me, as a shareholder of various companies in the business, it was a good opportunity to feel the sentiment in that market, to look out for new opportunities – and to have some nice days in Friedrichshafen. I love what I call “shareholder travel”, because you visit some of the most beautiful places in the world AND do something for your portfolio.

Drones, drones, drones – everywhere drones!

When I first entered the place, there were massive amounts of drones. Some for rescue, some for the police and some, yes, some were quite pointless, to tell you the truth. But one thing is for sure: There is a LOT of competition in the market now and UAVs have become a mass product.

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen Drones

Big Brother is watching you – Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen

Because of that, companies that want to survive have to come up with some sort of innovation. Judging from what I have seen there, I believe drones will become much more important in the field of security than they are now. There are many concepts of UAVs that stay at one place over a long period of time. This is ideal for surveillance, intelligence and security. Like it or not, but sooner rather than later camera drones will have the role of mobile video security systems.

The only differences: They are now able to cover much larger areas and with AI improvements it’s realistic they will have an “understanding” of the situation on the ground. So for me (yes, for me, YOU make YOUR own assessment!) it is cleear, that the market for UAV surveillance equipment will rise constantly. With all the things happening around the world, it is logical that governments and private individuals will use the new opportunities. UAVs will be around us all the time, they will watch us all the time.

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen

Constant surveillance is already possible!

Embraer – a company I have watched for a long time

Now back from Orwell’s 1984 to the more exciting and funny parts of Aero 2017 in Friedrichshafen. I was particularly interested in Embraer’s portfolio of corporate jets, since I consider to buy some shares of their company. While I have already made a fundamental analysis of their business, I think it is always a good thing to see the products of a company not only from glossy prospects and shiny websites, but in real life. Sure, I have already flown some time ago with an Embraer E-190 airliner, but I have never been in one of their business jets so far.

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen

The Legacy 500 – Let me in, I will own you, well, at least a tiny part of your company 😉

Having said that, I was determined to get my way into the nice Legacy 500 Embraer had there on display. That’s easier said than done, because they don’t let just anybody board their plane, apart from clients and accredited media. I know a sure way though, to clear every obstacle: be friendly, be kind – and everything will be allright :-))). At least in this case that was true.

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen

Cockpit of the Legacy 500 – state of the art avionics from Rockwell

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen Embraer Legacy 500

Want a coffee? Galley of the Embraer Legacy 500

Making my way aboard the Legacy 500

Embraers’ employees were kind enough to open their plane for me and let me take some photos. This was very, very nice! Thank you so much Embraer! Inside I could see a very modern cockpit, with state of the art avionics by Rockwell (another great company in my opinion). The flight cabin was obviously made with great attention to details, fine leather seats, gorgeous wood – and even a tall person as I am could stand there! Yes, that convinced me. Embraer is absolutely on a par with other manufacturers! And that’s what I am looking for as a shareholder: innovative, reliable businesses. My impression was that I found it right there. But remember, YOU have to make YOUR OWN assessment, and YOU are responsible for YOURSELF.

Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen Embraer Legacy 500

Interior of the Embraer Legacy 500 – Notice the flower 🙂

Avanti, avanti!

Piaggio P.180 Avanti Aero 2017

Piaggio P.180 Avanti – the most elegant plane

The most elegant plane showcased at the Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen came from… Italy, of course! But the P.180 Avanti from Piaggio is also very impressive from a technical standpoint. High cruise speed for a propeller plane, comparably low operating costs – that’s what everybody likes. As 100% of shares are controlled by the Abu Dhabi based Mubadala Development Company, Piaggio Aerospace is not relevant for me as a shareholder on the constant lookout ;-).

Piaggio P.180 Avanti Interior

Piaggio P.180 Avanti Interior – get in!

Piaggio P.180 Avanti Interior Leather Seats

Piaggio P.180 Avanti Interior – fine leather seats

All things considered I enjoyed visiting the Aero 2017 Friedrichshafen. In a way it is similar to the Geneva Motor Show: You see many different products, you can ask specialists, you can see the topics that move the industry. The only problem: I liked the planes so much, especially the bigger ones such as the Legacy 500, that I want to fly one :-).

Next aviation exhibition I plan to visit: MAKS 2017. Looking forward to going to Moscow/Zhukovsky!

Crazy German bird drone – AERO 2017 Friedrichshafen

As I have announced earlier, I visited the Aero 2017 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It is an exhibition about all aspects of general aviation. UAVs were also an essential part of it and before I start showing you all the beautiful planes and helicopters, I have to share this video of, well, a crazy German bird drone! This piece of technology was the first thing I saw at the exhibition in Friedrichshafen and I have to say it is jaw-dropping. Look:

The bionic drone is made by a German company called Festo from Esslingen. Festo is a global leader in control and automation. This bionic bird, called “SmartBird” is what Festo created together with a network of universities, research insitutions and other companies. To make that possible, they actually decrypted the way seagulls fly and transferred the idea to a body made of polyurethane foam and carbon fiber.

You can find more about this on their website: https://www.festo.com/group/de/cms/10238.htm

Festo is not listed, it’s a “Kommanditgesellschaft”

What makes me unhappy however, is the fact that Festo is not a listed corporation, but rather a “Kommanditgesellschaft”, so I can’t invest in it directly.

But, well, you can’t have all. Anyway I find this an incredible piece of engineering and coding, that I really wanted to share this with all of you.

Coming up next: Aero 2017 – General Aviation, Embraer Special Report

Hi, my next article will be about business aviation, as I visit the Aero 2017 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. I am particularly interested in the product of Brazilian aircraft giant Embraer, which I consider adding to my portfolio of stocks I own. I hope, I will be able to take some nice pictures. Above all I look forward to talking with Embraers’ representatives about the future of General Aviation and the role their company wants to play! Stay tuned!

Euro 6c fine dust regulations for gasoline engines

Right now everybody is talking about the future of Diesel engines, but what about gasoline engines? With Volkswagen’s Diesel scandal in the USA and growing problems in Europe this thinking is very much understandable. Even in the homeland of Diesel engines, Germany, city/regional parliaments are under pressure to decrease fine dust levels with driving bans for cars, which do not comply with Euro 6 standards. But with the Euro 6c fine dust regulations you better be prepared for more!

Diesel? Gasoline eninges are probably next!

But there’s a new, very similar problem appearing on the horizon that practically nobody discusses: Starting from this year, there will be new fine dust regulations for gasoline engines. And since they actually emit more fine dust than most Diesels, it is very well possible that some cars will be the next victim of policymakers and regulators. Here’s why!

Ford Mustang Geneva Motor Show

Certainly a nice car, but what about Euro 6c?

To better understand the problem, you have to know that over the past decade CO2 reduction has been the main goal of most automobile makers. This has largely to do with REGULATION (EU) No 333/2014 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 11 March 2014. It is, as you may have expected, a very complex administrative order. To sum it up, the EU declared that until 2021 the fleet fuel-economy of the car manufacturers in terms of CO2 has to drop to a maximum of 95g CO2/km.

Direct injection: good for fuel economy, bad in terms of fine dust particles

The automakers took several measures, one of them was building engines with direct injection. This is a way to reduce fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions. Nice. However, it creates a massive new problem, namely fine dust particles which are even smaller than those a diesel engine blows out.

This fact wasn’t in the spotlight so much – until now. An increasing number of cities in Europe report fine dust levels in the air that exceed EU regulatory targets. Right now, everybody blames the diesel engine for everything. But it is a fact, that gasoline powered cars contribute even more to that problem.

What about Euro 6c fine dust regulations?

How does the EU intend to solve that? Well, the same way they always do: by creating new regulations. In this case it is called Euro 6c and it targets the fine dust emissions of gasoline engines. Until the very last moment the automotive companies tried their best to weaken these rules, but now it becomes clear that implementation will begin this year. Starting from September 1, 2017 newly released models have to comply with it. And from September 1, 2018 every new car has to be ready for the new Euro 6c fine dust rules.

The problem for any car buyer: If you order a car right now it will only meet Euro 6 requirements. But what if the environmental watchdogs do the same thing with gasoline powered Euro 6 vehicles like they plan to do with Euro 5 diesel engines? Remember, you could buy a Euro 5 diesel car in 2015 and starting from 2018 you will not be allowed to drive into inner cities! At least this will be the case in Stuttgart, Germany.

You buy a car and are not allowed to use it?

Imagine you spend a lot of money for a car and then, two years later you are told that you are only allowed to use it somewhere in the desert? Doesn’t sound too good, so I decided to use the opportunity at the Geneva Motor Show 2017 – and ask some of the major car companies, especially those I am a shareholder of, what they plan to do about this. Since I believe this does not only affect me as a consumer, but also as a shareholder, I would like to share with you, what I heard from the car manufacturers.

Mercedes-Benz

The first company I asked about Euro 6c fine dust regulations in Geneva was the famous automaker from Sindelfingen, Germany. I have been a Mercedes driver my entire life, so I was very excited to hear their opinion on this. The normal employees at their exhibition stand had not idea what I was talking about – no wonder, they were Swiss and Euro 6c is not much of a trend in this beautiful country. But they did their best to help me, made call after call, until they finally reached the person they wanted: A tech specialist appeared who immediately started with a lecture about engineering.

He explained every detail about the process of combustion in a direct injection engine. But what about Euro 6c fine dust rules? Well, he told me they are working on a solution like they already utilize in the S500. There Mercedes-Benz uses a special filter from a French company called Faurecia. Nevertheless I did not get a clear answer on when they equip older models like the E400 4Matic with it.

Summary: The S500 already uses the filter, other moters will be equipped with the filter later. So, when you buy a car right now, you are only ready for Euro 6 as far as I understood.

Mercedes E-Class Plug-in Hybrid

Mercedes E-Class Plug-in Hybrid – is it ready for Euro 6c? Right now it’s licensed under Euro 6

Volkswagen: no reliable answer

After that I went to Volkswagen and here I have to say I was both surprised and disappointed. Suprised, because after their tiny little environmental problem in the US, I expected them to be better prepared when it comes to emissions. Disappointed, because they had so many people in Geneva, but apparently not the right ones. First I asked one of the consultants which were there all over the place. He did not know anything about it, so he started to use Google.

VW Arteon Geneva Motor Show

VW Arteon at the Geneva Motor Show 2017

However he didn’t find an answer (although I know now he could have, with better search terms). Then he decided to go to VW’s “stronghold”, an office complex where even more employees gathered. So he handed my question over to them. Different people, same result, though. They haven’t heard of Euro 6c obviously. And since Euro 6 is the standard right now, I could perfectly buy one of their cars, they proclaimed.

Not convincing! Maybe they should read more of their tabloid newspaper “Bild” which reported that VW wants to build in a particle filter, starting with the Tiguan (EW 888). Yes, Volkswagen is aware of Euro 6c.

Audi: Are you from Greenpeace?

Audi had to call their big boss for Switzerland. I explained my question, the problem with direct injection engines and received the following answer: “Are you from Greenpeace?”. No, I only want to buy a car that is future proof :-)! A very nice guy, who explained the situation in Switzerland, which is different from the EU. He said I should better talk to a representative there. But I found out many other things: Did you know Switzerland is one of Audi’s biggest markets for high-powered cars? Who cares about Euro 6c fine dust regulations, when you should have fun driving :-).

BMW: Finally somebody who knows what he’s talking about!

Here I don’t have to write very much: I asked about their new BMW 5 series and I got a quick and professional answer: “Under the norms discussed for Euro 6c, the new 5 series is ready to meet them”.

Conclusion

The carmakers know about Euro 6c, of course. They have very different plans on how and when they make their engines ready. As the situation is unclear, you have to ask specifically for each model, whether it’s Euro 6c compliant or not.

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