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European Car Sales Plunge to 20-Year Low

Plenty of losers - but a handful of winners.

by on Jul.17, 2013

Emerging from the gloom? Land Rover was one of the few brands posting a sales upturn.

Despite hopes that the European market might have finally bottomed out, car sales for the first half of 2013 plunged to a 20-year low, according to industry data, with little sign that the downturn is about to reverse itself.

According to new data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, new vehicle registrations continued to slip with a decline of 6.3% in June, bringing total sales for the first six months of the year to just 6.44 million, a 6.7% drop.

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“Little will change until the middle of next year,” warned BMW CEO Nobert Reithofer in a German interview, predicting the market will be down about 5% for all of 2013. “Perhaps we will see a slight pick-up in Western Europe in the second half of 2014.”


European Car Sales Plunge to Their Lowest Level in 20 Years

Is the glass finally half-full?

by on Jun.18, 2013

Even with its European Car-of-the-Year, the Golf, Volkswagen took a sales hit last month.

With the continent’s economy still in free-fall, European car sales tumbled to their lowest level for May in two decades, according to the industry’s trade association.

Passenger car sales dropped 5.9% for the month compared to year-earlier levels.  At just 1.042 million vehicles, that’s the lowest recorded by the 27-country European Union since May 1993.  For the calendar-year-to-date, trade group ACEA reports EU sales are down 6.8%, to 5.07 million.

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With rare exception – sales actually rose slightly in April – the European auto market has been sharply sliding for the last half-decade, a situation worsened by the debt crisis that has threatened to plunge Portugal and several other countries into default and even lead to the demise of the common currency, the Euro.


European Car Sales Plummet in July and August

Renault and PSA Groups advance as Ford, Fiat and GM decline.

by on Sep.16, 2010

The real battle for world dominance will be in China where VW is firmly entrenched.

VW remains number one in Europe as PSA and Renault pick up share.

The European car market continued stuck in reverse this summer, according to the latest sales data released this morning by ACEA, the automakers trade association. This continues a worrisome downward trend from the 2nd quarter of 2010 when vast taxpayer-subsidized replacement programs initiated the previous year began expiring.

As in the U.S., European taxpayers appear to be revolting against an endless expansion of government spending, making further subsidies of local industries increasingly difficult.

While the results are important in themselves because they involve the world’s players and their ability to fund future products to ensure survival, it is also indicative of where the U.S. market might be heading with, say, five or more makers competing closely for the top volume rankings.

In  Europe all others fight for table scraps as smaller makers who need to play in global markets use marginal operations there to survive. It could happen here.  Once upon a time a maker could thrive in the U.S. alone – it’s now a business planning fairy tale in my view.

In Europe, new registrations fell by 18.6% in July and 12.9% in August. Eight months into the year, new cars in the EU totaled only 9,021,703 units or 3.5% less than over the same depressed period a year ago, which itself was artificially propped up by government spending on incentive programs.

In July, a double-digit collapse occurred in the main volume markets, ranging from -12.8% in France to -13.2% in the UK, -24.1% in Spain, -25.7% in Italy and a whopping -30.2% in Germany, traditionally Europe’s economic powerhouse and export giant. Overall, 1,032,893 new cars were registered in the EU, or 18.6% less than in July last year.