BlackBerry sets the facts straight about agreement with Volkswagen Infotainment

By Bla1ze on 7 Jul 2014 04:04 pm EDT

For the past few days now there has been a flurry of news floating around surrounding BlackBerry and their agreement with Volkswagen Infotainment. Last week, Volkswagen issued a press release stating they would be taking over BlackBerry's European research and development centre in Bochum. We never wrote about it because there was a lot of information left out of the very simple press release announcement.

As time went on, BlackBerry confirmed some details of the agreement and noted around 200 employees would be transferred to AutoVision GmbH, a Volkswagen AG subsidiary in addition to taking over some of the leasing obligations of the offices and laboratories at the Bochum University Center and the Design Support Lab from BlackBerry. However, eventually the story ended up getting spun out to say that BlackBerry had included QNX as part of the deal. As part of BlackBerry's #BBFactCheck portal, they've now cleared up some of information.

BBFactCheck is setting the record straight for Seeking Alpha. Their piece appearing yesterday, July 6, 2014, regarding our agreement with Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH, incorrectly states that the deal includes our subsidiary QNX Software Systems.

The facts are that employees and R&D assets involved in this agreement have only ever supported BlackBerry product efforts. BlackBerry did not issue any communications about QNX involvement in this transaction – as they are not involved.

The inaccuracy of this piece is not limited to the incorrect QNX statements and assumptions. Seeking Alpha also references a "press release" that was in fact sourced as another news story on the topic. This is confusing to readers and blatantly wrong.

So, there you have it. The agreement does not include QNX, BlackBerry has just removed their involvement from the location in Bochum. The employees who worked there will be transferred to AutoVision and BlackBerry no longer has to worry about the leasing obligations on the locations within Germany much like how they've let loose locations in Waterloo and Halifax.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

BlackBerry sets the facts straight about agreement with Volkswagen Infotainment


Agree, BlackBerry communication is always pretty poor hence everybody can spin the news the way they want. They should be more clear and they wouldnt need fact checking blog.

Press Releases cost money and imply a material change in the company has occurred. This was not (worth) either.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

It's not particularly fantastic news to post to the press, "we are closing down/selling off/downsizing" tends to be the news you want to avoid.

Thanks Wolf.

Now I am looking forward to BGR posts just so BlackBerry can throw all their lies in BlackBerry Fact Check and shoot them down!

Posted via CB10

Seeking Alpha isn't a reliable source. I don't understand how their could have been any misunderstanding .it was clear the original statement by BlackBerry. Manipulation and contortion is the name of their game.

Posted via CB10

Seeking alpha used to be reliable? That's news to me but helps explain why retail investors are perpetual losers.

SA is filled with amateur financial analysts and not a reliable source for news. Nothing is vetted.

Posted via CB10

Seeking Alpha is what I consider a Click Where site. They sensationalize and often get things wrong, and not just about BlackBerry. They do it across subjects. Just look look at the ads that pop up around the sides and bottom of the page.

They try to pull you in to drive clicks the crap ads they have.

Try to avoid the site if you can.

Posted via CB10

Click Where should read "Click whore".

Click whore site drawing you in to get you to click on their ads.

Posted via CB10

Best thing is to unsubscribe. They distort facts since they openly said BlackBerry has failed months ago. So any information they have is distorted, thinking that will still make them credible.

Isn't Seeking Alpha a site where anyone can just write whatever they want?

I pretty much don't believe anything ever sourced from there.

Posted via CB10

Well, who'dathunkit that a Seeking Alpha contributor would get things wrong?

I've never logged in to see a Page 2 of any Seeking Alpha article, and these days, if I happen to notice that Seeking Alpha is the article being cited, I don't even bother with Page 1.

Posted via CB10

I have to give credit to the author for taking up the health care initiative in India. He jumped on it after informing him of the press release in EC.

He seems to be an okay guy, just misinformed.

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It's about time Seeking Alpha got chewed out, I used to get their BlackBerry story alerts and I can count on one hand how many reports were actually fact based and not pure idle speculation. Some of their articles are absolutely ridiculous they instantly belie belief.

I don't understand why BlackBerry doesn't have R&D or some kind of EU HQ Sales, Marketing office in Ireland... Go and take advantage of the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe... Look at Apple massive set up in Ireland, no to mention, Samsung, PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Google etc etc... the list goes on... all these massive multinational company booooming in Ireland...

Z10 Vodafone Ireland

Massive setup? Two accountants in an office the size of a master bathroom? That's all it takes to avoid paying all those irritating American taxes!

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Perhaps because you actually need to make money in order to benefit from lower tax rates?

Posted via CB10

Glad to see BlackBerry starting to call out these BlackBerry bashers on sites like Seeking Alpha. It shows positively on BlackBerry when they do so and discredits Seeking Alpha in front of their readers. This will make people start to question perhaps what they read on those sites is not the gospel truth.

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Wait I'm confused. So did Volkswagen buy the research centre or not? I understand they didn't take over QNX.

Posted via CB10

Yes. They bought a BlackBerry research center and the 200 employees of BlackBerry who work there, but it was not connected to QNX ever.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

What what's it connected to? What work did these people do? Was there some form of confidentiality agreement reached to avoid research poaching here? Or is there going to be a VW linkage with BlackBerry as a result of all these employees being transferred? Seems to me there are a ton of questions left unanswered by this move.

Posted via CB10

I agree. BlackBerry's "correction" was in itself very opaque.

It still seems as if a particular division of QNX has been sold-off to Volkswagen - one of their biggest QNX Auto customers - in order to go their own way. And of course since QNX has been part of BlackBerry for about 3 years now, this of course makes it possible to say that if this German group did not exist until less than 3 years ago, their operations were "...only ever support(ing) BlackBerry product efforts")

It does not seem remotely possible that RIM/BlackBerry had an office with 200 people in it, doing auto-industry-related work, which was NOT essentially part of QNX. And 200 people is a big chunk of the workforce for a small division like QNX, I would think.

I hope it was a deliberate tactic to keep the first press release very bare bones and let the fools tire themselves our jumping to conclusions. Afterwards, clarify and let the eggs run down their faces. On hopes that they will not be so quick to run with half or non properly sourced information next time. But I doubt that.

Lol. QNX is probably worth $5-7/share at this time so all the spin doesn't even make sense. Wall Street, specifically the Bears, are dirty animals without morals and/or ethics. For them it starts and ends with $$$

Posted via secure bb10.2.1.2179

Chen plays tough with WS and the fact-chek sheet is a stroke of genius,when he said he wants to increase shareholder value he wasn't kidding.Twitter is buzzing with the real facts,from BB.

Confusing at best and too bad Blackberry couldn't have just come out in the beginning and said what was happening. Seems like they were just waiting for the bad publicity to happen. Reminds me of the "old" Bkackberry, which seemed to think that any publicity, even bad publicity, was a good thing.

BlackBerry has gone through mill in terms of inaccurate and dishonest analyst/journal/blog reports.

I've always felt that the reason has been that they were seen as a threat, hence the efforts to slurry they're reputation.

I applaud BlackBerry for setting the record straight. But surely the courts should have a role, corporate reputations are at stake here, and the Internet makes it so easy for so called analysts / bloggers / reviewers to write lazy some would say slanderous articles.
In the old days the undue slurring of a private or corporate individual in the public press was seen as a major crime, shouldn't it be any different for the internet?

Posted via CB10

Wicked example of misinformation.
Now, will those writing this false information make a statement of correction in another article .
Probably not, and I will get more BlackBerry News articles from others still saying the same thing.
Glad it's fact check portal is active.
We need a law that let's the CEO of every company that is affected this way, a clean kick to the balls of the writing offender. It would be amazing how fast they would stop spewing this stuff .
Related fact : If the offender is Female, an emptying of shoes from her closet is just as drastic a punishment as a boot to the boys. True story!
Disclaimer : True Story
Please do not fact check this true story information
Thank you

(true story)

Remember when people on this site wanted to make a BlackBerry fact site last year. There was a swarm of haters saying it was a bad idea.

You haters are a bad idea.

Keep up the good work BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Seeking alphalies has gotten it's insane head slapped in.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I am also tired of the misinformation from many BlackBerry haters on SA. Is their another info site out there that keeps the facts straight, whether fact or misinformation.

Posted via CB10

I wish all blatantly incorrect/misleading "articles" were called out on the 'net. It would keep the internet on overtime, though.

When I read the SA article I thought speculation(s). Thanks B for the clarification. It is nice that Blackberry and Blackberrians are paying attention and setting the records straight. To all the SA's out there we are watching and will fact check your ASS

This is all very confusing. BlackBerry Factcheck Portal (which ironically is in fact not a portal!) helps. A bit. I agree that there would be less room for deliberate or accidental misconstrued information if the original source was clearer and more concise. So it somewhat ill behoves BlackBerry to send in the righteous cavalry (as it were) on this one, because their comms dept. ought to have done a better job in the first place.

Posted via the inimitable Z10 handheld system.

Seeking Alpha is a haven for false information. I have dealt with certain individuals that blatantly lie about Blackberry. It is beyond false information or lack of knowledge. They are strategically bashing Blackberry to discredit any progress they make. Luckily Blackberry has some great supporters on Seeking Alpha who are willing to set them straight, and expose their lies.

Posted via Z10

Dear Blackberry,

How many would check your blog for a fact check?
Why can't you just simply set the fact straight right at the beginning, rather than running behind to fact-check?
By the time you make your fact check, the world has already turn to another page and you would be still busy on a closed section.
Lead the fact please, and lead the world.

Seeking Alpha lol, they have some good writers for sure, but many articles they publish boggles the mind.

Seeking Alpha is the National Enquirer of the Finance world.

Check thier story history. One headline a couple months back read "Blackberry on its last legs" while another a week later read "BlackBerry makes a comeback"...

Their only intention is to grab eyeballs, not accurately report financial news.

Less R&D means less innovation or forward movement for blackberry.
Looks like the new strategy is to always play catch up

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

They are releasing less products nowadays, hence less need for so many dev teams within their company, which is almost certainly what has been taken over here.

I wish this fact check portal was put into action two years ago....too much rope a dope, great to see them landing some back now. And for a bonus they are letting go of employees without them loosing their jobs.

A lot of misinformation to be sure, but still...this is not good news, no matter how you spin it. It's another chapter in the saga of the ever shrinking company, BlackBerry.

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

This "correction" of BlackBerry's was not particularly convincing to me.

It still seems as if a particular division of QNX has been sold-off to Volkswagen - one of their biggest QNX Auto customers - in order to go their own way. And of course since QNX has been part of BlackBerry for about 3 years now, this of course makes it possible to say that if this German group did not exist until less than 3 years ago, their operations were "...only ever support[ing] BlackBerry product efforts". Especially since clearly neither BlackBerry or Volkswagen has gone out of their way to say EXACTLY WHAT that division did or does.

It does not seem remotely possible that RIM/BlackBerry had an office with 200 people in it, doing auto-industry-related work, which was NOT essentially part of QNX. And 200 people is a big chunk of the workforce for a small division like QNX, I would think.

This makes me wonder what will happen with their BMW/Mercedes partnerships as well, especially in light of various news I've been reading that suggests that at least one of those 3 German auto manufacturers is either considering or actively in the process of rolling out a new infotainment platform that does not use QNX.

The BlackBerry Fact Check Portal should be just that. A portal. They shouldn't be using their blog as the Portal. Keep it simple for the masses. I know multiple people that aren't buying BlackBerrys because of misinformation.

On another note, when I bought my first smartphone, an Apple 3Gs, I was going to buy a BlackBerry but I was convinced that Apple was the safer bet. In the package was a sticker. BlackBerry should include stickers with their phones. It's a simple and effective marketing tactic.

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