Category Archives: Business

Comprendre les effets du départ de Renault en Russie!

Renault has officially packed its bags, what next? This Monday, May 16, the French automobile giant sold all of its assets in the country. An amputation for the country, which was the group’s second customer, just after the European Union. To better understand what this departure means for the future of the Russian automotive industry, Euronews spoke with Boris Vinogradov, historian, and researcher at the University of Nantes, author of a thesis on The French Automotive Industry and Russia from 1954 to 2014 presented in 2021.

Euronews: How important was the Renault group in Russia?

Boris Vinogradov: Renault was the first car company in Western Europe to decide to enter the Russian market at the end of the 1990s, at a time of extreme difficulty for the Russian economy. The government of Russia asked the Renault group to modernize Avtovaz, the emblematic national car manufacturer for Russia. […] And to date, in any case on the eve of the war in Ukraine, Avtovaz was a very important site for the Renault group in Russia. It accounted for two-thirds of Renault car sales in Russia, compared to one-third of cars made at [the Renault plant in] Moscow.

In 2019, the group’s two factories in Russia produced more than cars per year, they were the market leader with the Lada brand, a historic brand from the Soviet Union controlled by Renault up to 67% before the war in Ukraine.

Will Russian factories be able to continue building cars without parts and without Western engineers?

BV: Currently, Renault is selling all its activities and all its Russian assets are effectively withdrawing from the market. However, the Avtovaz plant continues to operate because Renault’s level of localization and importation has allowed this manufacturer to continue assembling cars despite the disruption of deliveries of essential electronic parts. Because of the war, these deliveries are now suspended or even stopped.

So, I think the solution will be found, in particular through parallel imports. These are parts imported from abroad but without the direct agreement of the manufacturer. On May 7, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade issued a decree authorizing parallel imports of auto parts from abroad. We can forget about imports from Europe and therefore the Russian industry is instead trying to move towards Asian and Chinese suppliers.

What scenario can be envisaged for the automotive industry if Russia is permanently cut off from the West?

BV: For the moment, we do not know the future of big brands such as Volkswagen, which has not officially stopped the production of its cars in Russia. We know that the Koreans, in particular Hyundai and Kya, have not announced the production stoppage either. There is a large Chinese producer [note: Great Wall Motor] whose factories are running at the moment. So, I don’t think Russian consumers will be left without cars.

The problem lies rather in the design and development of new models. According to officials from the Russian Ministry of Industry, the Avtovaz factories will, in the coming months, continue to produce all the cars they produced before.

If contacts with Western investors and engineers are completely cut off, we could be reverting to the days when a range of cars remained in production for decades with minimal changes. Editor’s note: This 100% break remains a pessimistic scenario for Russia, insofar as Renault has negotiated to be able to take back its shares in Avtovaz within the next six years, under cover of an easing of the geopolitical situation.

Toulon: Chez Le Brasseur is increasing the pressure (s)!

Patrick Bouquet  has developed the concept of a micro-brewery with the family, with the production of its own beers in situ, behind the glass overlooking the dining areas. After the opening of the first establishment on Avenue 83 in La Valette in 2016, we now go to  “Chez Le Brasseur”  in Toulon and Cannes.

The conviviality of Patrick Bouquet belies the adage (revisited for the occasion) “  who too much breaststroke badly embraces »… And he brews « homemade » beers in his establishments with specific DNA, this passionate Toulonnais! Very comfortable in the world of catering, he decided to embark on a new type of brewery following an exceptional rugby adventure as general manager of the RCT during the triumphant years 2008-2016.

Perpetuating a family business, he relied on the experience and precedence of his cousin in an establishment in Clermont-Ferrand opened since 2000 under another brand, to develop his Chez Le Brasseur concept here. With his wife and children (trained at the hotel school), he indeed manages the micro-brewery on Avenue 83, which opened in 2016 (49 people), those of Toulon since May 19 (30 people), and Cannes since July 5 (40 people). The “small” business is gaining momentum and market share in the economic landscape, despite the period of operation in degraded mode.


“  The new Toulon and Cannes projects were very advanced in January 2020, a few weeks before the onset of the crisis. Strengthened by this commitment, we did not want to back down  ,” explains Patrick Bouquet. “  Nevertheless, we have suffered a lot for 18 months, doing the big back with 7 months of closure in Valletta because of the confinements, then through the various decisions of limitation of gauge to the terraces and pass-sanitary.

This last measure, after the temporary euphoria of July, put a brake on activity  ”. Not easy when the openings are recent. However, the manager responsible has retained his workforce, reassured his staff, and tries to move forward despite adversity by being active and imaginative. ” I am convinced that restaurants are businesses that are essential to people’s lives, to their morale too. Closing them, like closing commerce in general, has left its mark on the social level. Through our presence, we are helping to overcome the difficulties of the time  ”, he pleads, jointly deploring the effects of the crisis on vocations in his sector which is already a victim of a shortage of labor, including qualified.


In this particular context, Chez Le Brasseur in Toulon was therefore placed on the baptismal font in mid-May, knowing that its official inauguration is scheduled for September 23. A chosen place, highly coveted by many professionals, on the ground floor of the Okko hotel, in place of the former Caisse d’Epargne which had for a time become the headquarters of the inter-municipal authority. The site was completely renovated, requiring an investment of 2.5 million euros for the brewery part. ”  I had wanted to open in Toulon, my city, for a long time, but I needed the appropriate and large enough location to deploy my concept of a restaurant installed in a beer factory.. These premises are perfect, in the upper town, near the train station, at the heart of the new dynamic in the city center that Toulon is experiencing. We are now participating. It is pride. In addition, we are part of a complement of offers. In our field, we must not be afraid of competition. The more restaurants there are, the greater the attractiveness. Everyone gets something out of it  ,” emphasizes Patrick Bouquet.


Its branded beers, brewed in front of the consumer thanks to complete and qualitative equipment, on the basis of Belgian malt (among other properties), contribute largely to its attractiveness, precisely. Blonde, white, amber, brown, raspberry, or fig pressures, but also seasonal (spring, summer, Christmas), also sold to take away in bottles and kegs. The decoration of the restaurant is thought of as a reminder of the concept of beer production, with its pipes and its barrels in height or its brewing room visible from the interior spaces. The atmosphere, reproduced each time, is deliberately lounge. Wood dominates, the furniture contributes to the feeling of well-being, harmoniously served by soft lights. The prices charged are very affordable, the pressure is only on the glass… Or not if you prefer wine, with an interesting selection from Provence and other regions. As for the cuisine, “  there is something for everyone and always with generous portions. This is part of the conviviality that matters to us  , ”claims the boss.


Beyond the specialty flammkuchen and personalized brasserie dishes, the menu is abundant in salads, starters, snacks, meats, fish, pasta, burgers, sauerkraut…  Here, the quality/price ratio is neat, broadening the typology of customers, from the student to the retiree, passing by the businessman. This one can also privatize the superb Raimu lounge, imagined in a bistro inclination of the 30s, paying homage, photos and quotes in support, to the famous Toulon actor. A space for 30 seats, which completes the top of the range with a total capacity of 250 seats.

Finally, Chez Le Brasseur is open 7 days a week and even from 7 a.m. in Toulon for breakfast, transforming into added value its particularity linked to its geographical location close to office activity. If we add the services from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., then from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., this actually allows you to brew, people and beers!

Apple Becomes The First Company To Be Worth US $3 trillion

Apple got off to a strong start in 2022.

The American tech giant became the first company to achieve a stock market valuation of $ 3 trillion.

The figure exceeds the joint GDP of the largest economies in Latin America.

According to the figures published by the World Bank, the sum of goods and services produced in Brazil in 2020 was US $ 1.43 trillion, that of Mexico stands at US $ 1.08 million followed by Argentina with US $ 388,000 million.

The sum of these 3 GDPs amounts to approximately US $ 2.89 trillion, less than Apple’s value on the stock market.

And it is that the price of the shares of the firm has increased by around 5,800% since the co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in 2007.

The company reached the milestone during Monday’s trading session on the New York Stock Exchange , although the price ended the day falling slightly to leave the market value at US $ 2.99 trillion.

Winner in the pandemic

Experts believe that Apple has been one of the big winners of the pandemic, as the lockdowns imposed to curb the coronavirus led users to increase spending on devices.

“Hitting $ 3 trillion is another historic moment for Apple as the company continues to prove the skeptics wrong,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush .

It took Apple’s stock valuation just over 16 months to rise from $ 2 trillion to $ 3 trillion as the world’s largest tech companies saw demand skyrocket as people became more dependent on phones. smart phones, tablets and laptops during lockdowns.

The company became the first company to achieve a stock valuation of US $ 1 trillion in August 2018.

The iPhone generally accounts for about half of the company’s sales , which is also known for its iPad tablets and Mac computers.

But little by little the software division – which is sold through the Apple store – storage space through iCloud and services such as its music, television and fitness subscription platforms, have been gaining weight within the business.

“The lynchpin of Apple’s valuation continues to be its services business, which we believe is worth $ 1.5 trillion,” Ives said.

Last August, Apple CEO Tim Cook received more than five million shares of the company, upon completing ten years in office.

A company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Cook sold the majority of those shares with a value that exceeded 750 million .

  • Apple’s new business model to not depend only on iPhone sales

That payment was included in the deal he made when he replaced co-founder Steve Jobs.

The bonus depended on how well Apple’s stock had performed compared to other firms on the S&P 500 stock index.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and his business partners Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.

The company made its debut on the stock market in 1980 with a market valuation of $ 1.8 billion.

In November, the original Apple computer built by Wozniak and Jobs sold for $ 400,000 at auction in the United States.

How Many Companies In The Country Have a board of directors?

In Colombia, of the companies that operate in the country, 58.2% have a board of directors and half are family members.

This covers aspects such as property, senior management, board of directors, transparency, control, and corporate social responsibility.

There, the actions of 5,592 companies that report non-financial information to the Supersociedades are presented and foreign branches and companies that are in bankruptcy proceedings are discarded.

It concludes that 2,386 of the total companies are family organizations. Of the total, 25.9% are managed by the first generation. In addition, it is established that 58.2% of the companies have a board of directors, with an increase of 4% compared to 2019.

“ The vast majority, 46.3%, the boards are made up of three members, while 23, 3% is made up of 5 members ”, he warns. Likewise, it stands out that in these management bodies the space for women has expanded, going to 62.9% in 2020. The immediately previous year it was 58.4%.

The report details that the majority of board members are between 46 to 55 years old (42.3%), followed by 56 to 65 years (36.7%).

Likewise, it is established that the preferred communication channel for companies to communicate with their shareholders or partners is email (97.4%), followed by other channels (89.7%) and the management report (88.6 %).

Vicente Torres brings his passion for mechanics to Chicago

Life is like a car engine: if the parts are not properly assembled, it is difficult to get anywhere. Vicente Torres understands this well , an immigrant who for 25 years has been a reference for any Mexican who has problems with his car in Chicago .

The pieces in Vicente’s life seemed to come together for a long time, when as a child, in the 1960s, he played in a mechanical workshop in his neighborhood, in Mexico City. Among engine parts, oil and tools, he already felt since he was a child that there was his place in the world.

He studied industrial electronics, but his passion is automotive mechanics, so it was easy to combine knowledge and make his way. Taking into account that most of the car models are computerized, his knowledge and constant training allowed him to grow quickly.

Even today Vicente is one of the few Latino mechanics with university technical training, who even with his more than 30 years of experience, participates in at least two or three seminars and courses with industry experts annually. Technology keeps changing and he knows he has to be on the cutting edge. Because it is not just about understanding how a car’s engine or electrical system works, but also about learning about each update of equipment and tools that a workshop needs, in order to offer a better service to its customers.

Thanks to the invaluable support of his wife Yolanda (originally from Mezquitic , Jalisco, whom he met in Chicago), seven years after working for others, Vicente Torres fulfilled his dream of opening his own business. Since January 1996, Tecnicentro Automotriz Inc offers the Mexican community honest and quality work, committing in writing to each client to give what they promise. In this way it has managed to compete with most of the large car dealerships. 

Your family is an essential part of the business. Yolanda is the one who attends to the clients and handles the administrative management. His daughter Inan is in charge of everything related to new technologies, social media management and marketing. And his son Edgar, who has already finished college, continues to train to become an expert like his father. He will be the one to continue the business. 

Ease of decision making, cost savings, human resource specialization, and more effective communication. This is what Vicente learned that an efficient family business must have to compete with larger companies.

Torres (Right) is a believer in Santo Toribio Romo and annually participates in the pilgrimage in his tribute in La Villita. SPECIAL

Devotee of the “Saint of Migrants”

Legend has it that a migrant who had been lost for several days in the desert between Mexico and the United States suddenly found a tall young man, with white skin and light eyes, who offered him water, helped him find the way, and even lent him a few dollars. . When he asked how he could pay the money, the stranger asked him to look for him in Santa Ana de Guadalupe, in Jalisco. 

Years later, the young man traveled to Mexico to pay off his debt, but when he arrived in town he discovered that his savior had been a priest, he was assassinated in 1928 and his image was venerated in the town’s chapel.

The name of that stranger is Toribio Romo González, murdered during the Cristero War that occurred between 1928 and 1931, when the Mexican government prohibited religious worship in the country. Toribio was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

Vicente Torres and his wife Yolanda are devotees of Santo Toribio Romo, the so-called “Saint of the Migrants” and they participate annually in the pilgrimage in his tribute that is held every year on 26th Street in the neighborhood of La Villita.

Union make force

That need to combine solidarity aid and constantly continue learning led Vicente Torres to found, 10 years ago, “Together We Grow” (TWG, an acronym for the English expression that means Together We Grow), which is the first business organization in Illinois. that exclusively brings together Latino auto shop owners.

His idea was as simple as it was effective: create a network in which all workshop owners benefit from sharing knowledge and also learn to grow their business, beyond technical issues related to mechanics. 

TWG is the only association of Latino mechanics that has signed agreements with academic institutions, such as the University of Illinois at Chicago, which also helps them understand business administration.

Every year the market launches increasingly sophisticated auto models. The organization understands that egos should be put aside and seeks to mix the experience of the most veteran with the knowledge of young technicians updated in new technologies. “That’s the only way that customers don’t end up at a dealership and keep going to their trusted mechanic,” Vicente says.

TWG partners, on Vicente’s initiative, have had a code of ethics for years. Because, as he himself says, honesty is the most valuable piece of the business.


Long career

  • When he was playing in his grandfather’s workshop in Mexico City, Vicente Torres discovered that his passion is automotive mechanics.
  • Upon emigrating to Chicago, and after several years of work and effort, in 1996 he opened Tecnicentro Automotriz Inc.
  • A decade ago he founded the first business organization in Illinois of Latino auto shop owners.  
  • TWG is also the only Latino mechanics association that has training agreements with institutions such as the University of Chicago.


Jalisciense at heart

The family of Yolanda, wife of Vicente Torres, has been the connection of the businessman born in Mexico City with the Jalisco community in Chicago.

In fact, Torres was vice president of the Federation of Jaliscienses Clubs of the Midwest and president of the Club of Natives of Mezquitic (the municipality where his wife is from). The mechanic was always concerned about ensuring that the works committed through the “3×1 program” (which takes that name because, for each peso contributed by a migrant organization, an additional one was provided by each of the municipal governments) were carried out. state and federal through Sedesol).

His work earned him the recognition of former Governor Aristóteles Sandoval, who visited him in his workshop in Chicago during a work tour he did in this city in May 2016.

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Amazon postpones face-to-face return of employees until January 2022 due to pandemic

The giant Amazon decided this Thursday to postpone the mandatory return of its employees to the office until January 2022, following the example of large American companies that adjust their rules in the face of the new wave of infections by Covid-19.

Amazon decided that workers who had to return to a face-to-face mode regularly from September 7 will do so from January 3. The slogan applies in the United States and other countries, but the company did not specify which ones.

“We will follow the advice of local authorities and work closely with the best health professionals, accepting their advice and recommendations, to ensure that workspaces are adapted in the best way for the safety of our employees,” said the group.

Amazon is far from the only one to make this decision. Microsoft also postponed the full reopening of its offices at the beginning of October, even leaving the possibility for employees who are in charge of vulnerable people, or who are parents of children who cannot be vaccinated, to continue teleworking until January.

Following in the footsteps of Google and Facebook, the computer giant also announced that vaccination is mandatory for anyone who comes to its offices.

These decisions come as the pandemic for the Delta variant of the coronavirus rebounds and local authorities take new sanitary measures.

Andy Poppink: “Real estate investors are very interested in Madrid”

Poppink, who leads JLL’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says companies want offices with more common areas

The American Andy Poppink has directed JLL’s business in the EMEA markets (Europe, Middle East and Africa) since January, a position held by Guy Grainger since 2016. The appointment is the product of various corporate changes adopted by this international real estate consultancy – which invoiced $ 16.59 billion in 2020, 7.7% less than in 2019, and it has a global workforce of 91,000 people – to align various businesses and challenge the pandemic.

Poppink, who in his youth was captain of the Stanford University basketball team and played in Turkey, Japan and Spain, where he signed for the Rosalía de Castro club of Santiago de Compostela, knew very well that he was going out on the court in a moment complicated party. When the pandemic had turned the global real estate market upside down, he had to take charge of driving the strategy and results of the advisory business and delivering a connected approach to the company’s clients across the region.

But if there is one thing that motivates this six-foot-tall American, it’s team building and leadership. A motivation that comes from the days of basketball. “Basketball and real estate have a lot in common. At JLL we work as a team and, in addition, real estate in a very competitive sector ”, he sums up.

In January he left California to settle in Zurich (Switzerland) and direct the real estate business of the consultancy in 26 countries and 120 offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a region in which JLL had a turnover of 3,092 million dollars in 2020 and has 15,000 employees.

His way of understanding work, and almost life itself, is reflected in a poster that presides over his office and that reads: “I’m still growing.” “I believe that the desire to continue growing on a personal and professional level is the foundation,” he adds. With these wickers, Poppink has faced the COVID crisis, the third it has experienced. Before, it suffered from dot-coms in 2001 and financials in 2008. And not just anywhere. He began working in Silicon Valley real estate in May 2001 at Staubach Company, a Californian real estate brokerage that JLL bought in 2008, at which point it became the leader in the western United States.

Although skilled in tackling, he acknowledges that the pandemic has been the hardest. “It is a community crisis that has given us challenges on a personal, professional, emotional, psychological level … This crisis has been completely different.” The only positive reading he gets from the pandemic is that now “everyone has a clearer idea of ​​the real impact that the real estate sector has on their daily lives and the relationship it has with where they live, where they work and where they play. ”.

Poppink recounts the damage in the sector. Two of the most affected segments have been offices and retail .

Rethink where to work

With the real estate leasing and transaction market coming to a halt in 2020, JLL found a safe harbor. Advice to tenants and occupants of buildings, especially offices, has been a lifeline for the international consultancy since the beginning of the pandemic. All the business that had to do with the world of users has exploded. This is one of Poppink’s professional specialties, which recognizes that some companies are rethinking the strategy around their corporate headquarters, are rethinking how much space they need and where they want to be located. “It is true that there is a desire to reduce space by teleworking, but nevertheless there is also a greater need to have more common areas for people to interact, collaborate …”, says Poppink, who personally prefers to go to the office because it brings dynamism and his team gives him energy. “Connection is a human need.”


According to a survey carried out by JLL in May (before the expansion of the delta variant), more than 75% of employees said they had missed being in the office at least part of the time, and about 80% of their customers prefer Take a hybrid approach. The study shows that working three days a week in the office is the ideal formula. “We are facing a very dynamic situation and we are prepared to provide support to our clients regardless of the model they choose,” says the manager.

Although the manager does not like the term hybrid because “it can be a divisive element within the corporate culture.” He prefers to speak of an elastic environment, because “after all, a company is an organism and we have to be able to act together.”

In the retail sector , the most affected along with the hotelier, the manager believes that the time has come to evolve. The rise of e-commerce has put this segment on the ropes, in which there is only one way to go. “Those who do not offer an experience in which the consumer can enjoy and only dedicate themselves to selling products will have to focus on distribution logistics, become a last-mile store if they want to move forward,” he says.


The other side of the coin is the logistics market, “one of the most popular”, and the residential market. Both are in the crosshairs of international investors, “very interested in Spain, especially in Madrid,” says the manager, who the day before the interview had met with two investment funds, based in the US and in Italy, with the intention of entering the Madrid real estate market. According to JLL, 59% of investors are willing to increase their contributions in European living assets in order to diversify their portfolios and seek new markets, that is, in rental housing, student residences, residences for the elderly, coliving …

Poppink believes that it is a time of change that must be exploited, especially in terms of the environment, technology and innovation. He is impressed by the interest shown by his clients, both the investors and the tenants and occupants of the buildings, in environmental issues. It should not be forgotten that construction and real estate account for more than a third of global carbon emissions and there is strong momentum for the sector to think about a sustainable future.

The JLL consultancy itself has committed to achieving a model of zero net carbon emissions by 2030 in all the buildings it occupies. And in 2040 for all customer and supplier assets.

Chicago: Tax Agency Determines To Return Taxes To Trump

An Illinois tax agency determined that former President Donald Trump should be reimbursed $ 1 million for the 2011 tax bill for his skyscraper in downtown Chicago, but local authorities are trying to prevent the return.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, the point in question is the Cook County Board of Review’s estimate of the value of the rooms and retail space at the Trump International Hotel & Tower. In June, the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board approved a 5-0 downgrade of the building’s commercial property.

The result of the vote implies that Trump is owed $ 1.03 million, money that would come from property taxes and destined for the Chicago City Council, the Chicago Public Schools and other government agencies. The Cook County state attorney opposes the refund and has filed a lawsuit with the Illinois Court of Appeals in hopes of blocking it.

The dispute is the latest chapter in a long-standing legal battle surrounding Trump’s tax bills that began more than 12 years ago and resulted in more than $ 14 million in tax breaks in his favor. The dispute involves not just a former president who is at the center of a number of court battles but a Chicago councilor whose own legal troubles have made headlines in the local press for months.

Councilman Edward M. Burke, whose former law firm Klafter & Burke obtained tax breaks for Trump, has been indicted on federal charges for preventing companies from obtaining city permits unless they hired that firm. Burke has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

The dispute over the tax bills related to that property has its own long history. Originally, the state agency rejected Trump’s argument that the vacant stores were worthless because it couldn’t find someone to rent them. A hearing officer at the state agency rejected Trump’s argument that vacant stores at the property were worthless because they were not rented. However, a staff member later wrote in a report that Trump was entitled to reimbursement.

The tax agency postponed the proceeding of the case until Trump left the presidency and in June approved to reduce the valuation on the commercial property of the building.