Renault and Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn continues to prepare the battlefield of world opinion for a drop in Europe. According to Ghosn, Automobile sales in Europe could decline two to three percent. For Renault’s home market, he expects a drop of five to six percent, Ghosn said in an interview with France Inter radio:
“It’s going to be tough for everyone, not just for Renault. What really worries us is France, as we’re very sensitive to the French market.”
For 2011, Renault reported a 5.7 percent drop in sales in Europe, which was offset by a 19 percent gain elsewhere. Renault’s global sales rose 3.6 percent to a record 2.7 million units.
A soft Europe may be tough for everyone, but for some in particular. Opel and Fiat come to mind. Opel is for all intents and purposes limited to the European market, and will take the full brunt of a drop in sales. Fiat is heavy in Europe, and especially heavy in southern Europe, which goes through serious problems. Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler are exposed, but can more than make it up with exports to and sales in foreign markets. A soft Euro converts into high profits at home.