If you want to know in how big a trouble GM is in Europe, look at Ford. Ford’s European unit sales are similar to those of Opel. They also are likewise beleaguered. Ford’s EU sales were down 21 percent in February, Opel was down 15.8 percent. The big difference: While GM does not seem to be able to shed capacity anytime soon, Ford had taken swift action.
“Ford’s plan to cut jobs and close plants, once hailed as proactive, may not be enough to halt losses in Europe,” Reuters says today.
Initially, Ford was praised by analysts for closing three plants and laying off 6,200 workers. “But less than five months later, Ford’s slumping sales show it still has some way to go and may struggle to win back business from competitors as it rebuilds profitability,” Reuters says.
Ford sales are dropping faster than estimated. In the first two months of the year, they dropped more than twice the market decline. “The assumptions they made when they published their plan are no longer valid,” said Philippe Houchois, an analyst with UBS told Reuters.
If a proactive Ford can’t keep up with tanking Europe, if three pl;ants are too little too late, imagine indecisive Opel which has lost time and money for years.