Sergio Marchionne accuses Volkswagen of exploiting the European crisis to gain market share by offering aggressive discounts, the New York Times writes. “It’s a bloodbath of pricing and it’s a bloodbath on margins,” the Fiat and Chrysler CEO told the paper.
Indeed, the European market share of all Volkswagen Group brands climbed from 22.6 percent in the first half year of 2011 to 23.9 percent in the same period this year – unavoidable when groupwide sales dropped only 1.5 percent while the market sunk 6.8 percent.
If you want a car at discount in Europe, now is the time. “Never were there bigger discounts than now,” reports Germany’s BILD Zeitung. However, when looking for the biggest discounts, the paper finds someone else than Volkswagen:
“The biggest discounts can be had for Fiat Punto (30.6 percent), Opel Corsa (31.3 percent) and Opel Astra (30.9 percent.)”
Current ACEA president Marchionne wants the EU to help:
“What they should do is coordinate a rationalization of the industry across the producing companies. The ones that really have not acted on this are the French and the Germans, who have not taken out any capacity at all.”
That won’t fly with the French who call a PSA CEO on the carpet when he closes a plant, and especially not with the Germans who have to farm out car production to Finland because they can’t keep up with the demand.