The European car market took a sharp turn for the worse in May. Registrations declined 9% from a year earlier as “cash for clunkers” schemes that were in place last year expired. It was the second straight monthly decline.
The latest trend has negative financial implications for all of the Detroit Three – directly in the case of Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, and indirectly for Chrysler Group because of Fiat’s decline.
Renault group with a 1.5% increase in market share to 10.5% displaced Ford Motor Company (9.4%) to become Europe’s third largest carmaker after number one Volkswagen (22.1% share) and second place PSA/Peugeot-Citroen (13.9%). Fiat Group was fifth (7.9% share) and suffered a 23% sales decline.
“Our primary focus at Ford is to improve our profitability – and we successfully achieved this in the first quarter of the year” said Ingvar Sviggum, vice-president of Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford of Europe. Ford is saying the market will be in the 14-15 million unit range, down from 15.9 in 2009.