With a headquarter moved to a low tax country Infineon would be already history. The multi millions of tax paid during the dot-com bubble helped via tax refunding to survive in the downturn afterwards. Without this refunding, that is with a headquarter in Switzerland or Singapore, an aquisition would have been on the agenda. And the possible outcome of such an aquisition, especially in those days, was at best highly uncertain. As an example a few years later a big aquisition planned by the then CEO was stopped by the supervisory board. Months later another company made the deal ... for half the price.
Corporate Headquarters is more semantics than reality.
As NXP shows, the real yardstick is where your sales are, as that will be where your smartest FAEs are posted.
'Corporate Headquarters' Bean-counters are cheap, and essentially inter-changeable.
Infineon will stay close to BMW, and other Euro car makers, as that is where their sales are.
I have seen a couple of Europe companies with headquarter in Asia. But smaller ones, not as big as Infineon. Other than expertise back in Europe most of other operations such as sales, development are in Asia.
(European) Semiconductor companies will, in the long-term, move to Asia. Or shrink to the right size to satisfy local customers only. Consider this latter possibility since some asian customers have already changed their suppliers to local one because of better and cheaper support, less time wasting with jet lag and culture misunderstanding. How many employees would STMicroelectronics have if they'd only serve european customers? How will european manufacturers address the chinese market when their local competitors reach the same products quality?
Less time wasted in supporting your customer with long emails, poor phone call quality, poor understanding of each other. Engineers believe in what they "see". When a customer says "I have that problem", the provider's team say "show me some logs, prints, blabla". And they will not start debugging this issue until someone, either the customer or the provider, move to the other place to effectively "show" what the problem's symptoms are. Without great and efficient support, ie without proximity with the customer, companies lose them in the short-term...
You should also include the part where the Munich Prosecutor's Office went after Schumacher on trumped up charges - later dismissed by the presiding judge who harshly reprimanded the prosecutor for the transgression.
Was this a setup from the bowels of the Pink Palace or retribution from the Unions [or both]?
Infineon is now an automotive parts supplier - the thought that they might relocate to Stuttgart comes to mind, though Stuttgart's order books in China seem to be having a problem right now. Best to stick in Munich for the time being...,
Yes, this story will be continued - however tortured that might be...,
The idea that intellectual property is the property of the country in which it was developed is intriguing.
It is true that the monopoly power to expoit IP in the form of a patent is conferred by the monopoly taken to itself by a country or a region (European patents and so on).
So the idea that patents might be voided if a company relocated (or didn't pay enough tax) is interesting. It is perhaps one of the few ways that "poor" countries might be able to assert power against "rich" companies.
To be continued.....
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