By on September 27, 2012

GM’s Susan Docherty, who is in charge of Chevrolet Europe, is shocked by  GM alliance partner PSA Peugeot Citroen. PSA, along with Fiat, are producing “very scary numbers” with discounts of as much as 30 percent off gross sale prices, Docherty told Bloomberg. Opel’s numbers can be even scarier.

Sales were down  8.9 percent across the EU in August , and the cars that sell sell at murderous discounts.  According to stats by Automobilwoche [sub], the average discount of the 30 most popular cars stood at 18.9 percent in Germany. The Ford Fiesta changed hands at 34.9 percent off list, the Opel Astra at 34.8 percent,  the Opel Corsa at 30.9 percent, and the Renault Clio at 30.2 percent.

“Nobody can make money in Europe when you’ve got incentives at that level,” said Docherty. GM has racked up $16.8 billion in losses in Europe since 1999. GM posted a first-half loss before interest and taxes of $617 million in Europe, and wrote down $590 million of goodwill, says Bloomberg. Ford is projecting a loss of more than $1 billion in Europe this year.

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31 Comments on “GM’s Docherty Sees “Very Scary Numbers” In Europe...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I blame China.

    Why? I don’t really know… but I do know that whenever there seems to be bad reports of political or economic unrest somewhere in the civilized world, China’s got something to do with it somehow.

    Always.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      I want to LOL but I can’t tell if it’s sarcasm…

    • 0 avatar
      blowfish

      well u can boycott anything from middle kingdom.
      if GM had listened to u then the chpt 11 would have been a done deal by now.
      or soon enuf may have to be changed to Guandong motors.

      the conflict between MK & Nippon if it escalates then all these car makers will see more wheels get moved that way.

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      In all seriousness, China has really saved European car makers. There is plenty of blame to go around for the European debt crisis that has made this mess, but China isn’t one of them.

      Swimming against the tide, the Japanese automakers, which aside from Nissan haven’t done incredibly well in the region, are doubling down in Europe. Actually increasing production capacity in Europe, with absolutely no guarantee that any of those case will sell; Nissan is investing $1.45 billion to expand its Sunderland plant.

      http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/27/autoshow-paris-japan-europe-idINL5E8KRFU020120927

      Its a head-on conclusion waiting to happen. There are going to be even more hungry and desperate players fighting for meagre scraps.

      • 0 avatar
        blowfish

        is like sailing into the iceberg with full steam!

      • 0 avatar
        Tstag

        Ignore the UK it’s not representative of the rest of the EU. 2 points worth bearing in mind the Japanese have highly efficient plants here. Sunderland is Nissans most efficient car factory in the world. Honda and Nissan also design some of their cars here. Last 2 Civics were designed in the UK.

        Other factor in UK’s success right now is that JLR are pouring billions into R&d, new plant, new models, etc which has led the government to encourage enterprise to go back into the car industry supply chain. This renewed investment and te efficiency of the Japanese plants meas the Uk is doing really well now

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I would be interested in a Ford Focus if I could buy one here with the 34.9% discount that the Fiesta carries in Europe. I drove in a rental Fiesta a few months ago. Long story short – I didn’t like it one bit. No siree, not one little bit.

  • avatar

    anything and everything from “Driving Miss Docherty” should be discounted as worthless. she is clueless and utterly useless, pointless, fruitless, inconsequential, and as bad a symbol of incompetence as there is…only superseded in arrogance by the ultimate loser of automotive management, Mr John Smith.

    The Buickman

    (with emphasis on “The” to signify how I really feel)

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    haters gonna hate

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Did Europe have a C4C program?

    Seems like southern Europe is having a 2009 moment… just can’t seem to catch a break

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      Yes, they had a C4C program.

      They made their own breaks. Violent protests in Spain and Greece.
      Gimme, gimme, gimme. What do you mean no money? Must be the banksters.

      Oh well.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Docherty said that? Whew. I thought it was somebody important. Someone who had a plan. Someone who was scared at the first $1-2B lost over a dozen years ago; not this feigned scaryness $16B+ to the red and the first bankruptcy later.

    • 0 avatar

      LOL. Last fall I asked Docherty’s predecessor about the challenge of managing the Chevy and Opel brands in Europe. Of course he was confident that GM would manage the situation well, but he offered a comparison that in hindsight is more than a little terrifying: Peugeot-Citroen. The argument was that if those two far more similar brands could be sold by the same company, why couldn’t Opel and Chevy coexist? That GM and PSA now appear to be combining their similar and pressing problems in an alliance of some kind is, at this juncture, hardly a comforting thought.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Europa deflationary asset class. But not the fuel & insurance. Beneath their shady surface I reckon the Brit govt. give a vat of stool if Vauxhall lives or dies.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Maybe she needs to work another Escalade miracle and introduce the Corsa in an innovative new color, like black.

  • avatar
    Commando

    “GM has lost money in Europe since 1999…”
    Why the hell are they still there? On our nickle, no less. Afraid of losing market share? They are on a death march but don’t want to drop out because they love a parade.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    did GM ever make money in europe during the ‘salad days’ of 2004 when everything was right in the world?

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Actually, the current GM, Ford, and Chrysler profits, along with the supplier profits, are nothing more than a government prop job … the so called domestic profits are driven by government bailouts, sweet government loans, IRS tax code changes, and large scale government fleet purchases. Why do you think GM and Ford stocks are falling? Because Wall Street smells a rat. It is doubtful that the domestics will be able to compete if the government support is pulled.

      This will end in the US as it is now ending in Europe … Depression. It may be too late for Romney to fix it. The world’s central banks know this, and they are printing money as fast as possible, hoping that the fools of the world keep spending and spending …

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Actually, GM and Ford shares have been on the rise recently w/ GM stock being the biggest riser.

        From the AP story:

        “Surprise! The top-performing stock among automakers in the U.S. this quarter is General Motors.

        The company, which endured management upheaval during the third quarter and announced that it would lose substantial cash in Europe, saw its shares rise 15 percent from July through the end of September. The gain was the best since the first quarter of this year, when the stock climbed about 23 percent. GM posted strong profits in that period.

        GM’s stock outperformed all other major automakers in the U.S. including rival Ford Motor Co., which saw its shares rise 3 percent.”

        http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gms-3q-stock-rise-surprises-165928687.html

        ___________

        And the “prop job” was during the Bush administration when he kept encouraging the country to SHOP, even tho we had 2 wars, a Medicare drug plan and a tax cut for the wealthy that were unpaid for.

        The cheap borrowing, both govt. and families (thanks to China) was one of the big reasons for the housing bubble and for vibrant auto sales.

        But eventually, that bubble, like all bubbles, had to pop.

        Basically all the “growth” for those years were based on spending on credit and it was all wiped away.

        As for Romney “fixing it” – I highly doubt it since he’s for less regulation of the finance/banking sectors which is exactly what got us in trouble in the 1st place.

        And if you hadn’t noticed, govt. purchases on both the state and local level have been slashed sharply over the past couple of years so it’s not govt. fleet purchases that are driving domestic auto sales.

        But then again, it’s not like FACTS ever seemed impt. to what you were pontificating about.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I read on the intenets that all of our economic problems can be traced back to the fact that Obama is a Muslim. Who would have known?

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Docherty is kidding, right? Did anyone at GM take a serious look at PSA’s books?

    Please, someone, tell me how GM’s top managers continue to pull out these boners. It’s just sheer incompetence, and guess who’s stuck with the bill?


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