By on March 22, 2013

 

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 “The assumptions they made when they published their plan are no longer valid,” said Philippe Houchois, an analyst with UBS told Reuters.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.

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54 Comments on “Go Further Down: A Proactive Ford Can’t Keep Up With Tanking Europe...”


  • avatar

    Ford made it clear last fall that if closing three plants doesn’t do the job, they’ll close more. Right now, they’re trying to preserve pricing power, which is probably the right move in a long-term-sense — but it’s costing them a lot of sales.

    Meanwhile, GM (and Peugeot, and Fiat, and just about everybody else who isn’t VW or a German luxury maker) continues to… dither, basically.

  • avatar
    NN

    How much of this is really customers fleeing Ford vs. limited availability of Ford’s models due to the shutdowns from Genk while they were in negotiations & model changeovers? New Mondeo, new Kuga, new EcoSport, revised Fiesta all coming soon or launching now.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Some the lost sales were due to strike closures at Genk – but the overall sale picture going forward looks bleak for Ford.

    If their Euro offerings mirror the US – then going overboard on the latest and greatest tech features may be stinging. The Fords of today are not cheap to build and service. Plus, there is no home team rah, rah for Ford in France or Germany.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      The European products are just starting to get things like sync. People like sync.

      I don’t think that is the problem yet. The problem is they are reducing production instead of piling tons of cash on the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        amca

        Overall sales in the EU are down 8.5 last month. In an environment like that piling cash on the hood doesn’t do all that much good. The EU needs less capacity. Someone has to cut capacity or everyone tanks on huge costs and added incentive costs. And the guys who cut capacity, they’ll survive.

        The Peugots of the world, they’ll get a bailout here, a bailout there. No facilities will close and the whole thing will wind down slowly, like a mastadon dying. Finally, one day, the needed bailout measures will simply too much, an the crisis will hit.

        And on that day, a lighter, more profitable Ford will be sprinting ahead. Sorry, but wishes and good will should not be confused sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Hillclimber

      Nicely put. US manufacturers have to work hard in Europe, including building locally. But Ford Europe, who used to be totally committed to this, increasingly imports from low cost countries like India, S Africa, and Romania while trying to sell at very (very) high prices. The buying public have cottoned on, and Ford are suffering.

  • avatar
    analoca

    I am afraid that besides excess capacity issues, Ford is facing a much less attractive product line-up than Opel nowadays…And sales count in this business.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Europe already has too many players pumping out disposable FWDs, and it’s something Ford has never been good at turning into gold anyways, even at home.

    What Europe needs is F-series, Expeditions, Mustangs and other RWDs base on the next gen Mustangs, but built at Ford’s European plants.

    If you can’t sell Europeans anything but cheap FWDs, it’s time to get out.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I am not sure if you are joking but w/gas at $10 a gallon in some places and space/parking at a premium, who is going to buy any of those cars? Ford is smart to cut and run while they can.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Not everyone in Europe has to have 50 MPG subcompacts. Europe has lots of full-size SUVs running around that we would call mid-size, but thirsty just the same. And Europe’s full-size cars are equal to ours full-size except for full boat German.

        Anyways, you can’t sell full-size trucks, SUVs, Mustangs (or future 4 door derivatives) to everyone in the America either. But that was never their intention going in.

        Also, Europeans likely have half the commute of Americans and don’t mind leaving their cars and SUVs at home when heading into large cities.

    • 0 avatar

      “Europe already has too many players pumping out disposable FWDs, and it’s something Ford has never been good at turning into gold anyways”

      Fiesta, Escort, Ka, Sierra, Scorpio, Focus, Mondeo. All FWD. Hardly disposable. All sales champions at one moment or another. Ford had no trouble turning these into gold at various times.

      SUVs and PUs are all fine and dandy, but a maker relying just on them to make it in Europe will always be a bit player. Ford was, is and will be a full line mass market player. Respectfully, I think you should go out and see the world a bit. Travel broadens the mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        Marcelo, Sierra and Scorpio were RWD. And long gone.

        • 0 avatar

          Oooppsss! True, sorry. The first Euro fwd Ford was the Fiesta. Sorry for the lapse.

          My point though is that the list of successful FWD Euro Fords is long. And they are hardly considered disposable. In fact, they are even usually a bit more expensive than the direct competitors as consumers think they’re worth it. Focus is the most sold car in the world. I don’t think Ford is going to back away from that any time soon.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The Fiesta is a strong example. If it had been a clunker, Ford would have changed the name like they did with so many other cars that needed a fresh start to achieve their sales potentials.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey CJ. I believe you do have a point. I believe the Fiesta debuted in 1976 or thereabouts? The Ka will soon be no more for example. I believe they’ll change the name. About time too as the second, Fiat produced and 500 based, Euro Ka was a flop (mostly). In Brazil it remains to be seen as they’re now selling every one they produce. It’ll stick around for a while (I believe) and will be a thorn on One Ford’s side.

            The Escort was hugely successful until almost the end (In the UK until the very end). They changed the name to highlight the fact it was an honest-to-God, completely, new car. I understand and respect that decision. It’ll stick around for a while yet.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I didn’t mean “disposable” as in junk. They’re bought as commuters and not much else. If the trans starts to slipping or a blown head gasket, they’re scrapped. Either way, there’s just too much competition in the class, at least for Ford.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey DenverMike!

            I see your point, but from my perspective that is not very true for the ROW. Head gasket problems get fixed, alipping gears does happen but it’s usually a cheap fix as most Fords are manuals. Fords get traded if too many problems arise all at once.

            Ford has many fans in Europe and South America. Maybe Mondeo was bought as company cars but Escorts, Focus and even Kas have the famous XR versions. These were not just commuter cars.

            Ford’s differential to their competitors has Always been the handling, suspension. Better finishing. Ease of maintenance. Durability of engines.

            Fords may be “disposable” in the sense you mention, but in Brazil and many other parts of the world, even a beat up 10 or 15 year old car has value. Hardly any car gets scrapped here.

            I get though what you’re saying. But do bear in mind that the ROW is very, very different from America.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Marcelo,

          There’s nothing wrong with “bit players”. In the US, Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes are bit players, but have made obscene fortunes just from US sales. They’re not obsessed with putting a car in every driveway.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey DenverMike!

            The site seems to have eaten my response to you so if this get double posted I apologize.

            You are absolutely correct. However, I think Ford is unable to operate like that. In Europe, the US and their other traditional markets, they “need” to be one of the top players. That is the way they know how to make money.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Marcelo,

            With up to a million annual F-series and Expeditions sales in the US, it would be crazy not to think they would have a decent, if not a niche following in Europe with more than 2X the population. At least as good and the Titan and Tundra sell here except these don’t share production costs anywhere else.

            I realize Ford is looking to conquer the world and not looking for niche markets, however some European SUV/luxury/sports/supercar OEMs would be history without US sales, so should they even bother selling in Europe?

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Denver Mike!

            You make a very good point there. I’m sure Europe has a Market for this kind of car, the question is how big. The German SUVs pretty much are built in América(Merceds and BMW) right? While the larger Audi Q-whatever I believe are bult by Magna-Steyr (na outsourced company). If I’m not completely wrong here, that should tell you that even the Germans realize that building these huge cars in Europe is a colossal waste of time.

            That would be my only answer to you. I mean, if they’re going to sell in very small numbers, the mark-up would have to be great (like the Germans do in América, Brazil and pretty much everywhere else except Europe). Then the question would be: Could Ford get those huge mark-ups that would make selling tiny numbers worthwhile?

            Car makers are not stupid. They have the numbers. We don’t. If they don’t do it, it’s because the Market just isn’t there. At least that what I can logically conclude from this.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Marcelo,

            I agree and say it all the time that OEMs have done their homework and are way ahead of us. However, it’s mostly since our financial collapse that US OEMs are thinking globally with shared platforms all around. US trucks like the Ford Raptor could be highly coveted in Europe as past grey market trucks like the F-150 Lightning and the Ram SRT-10 have been. You wouldn’t think, but Mustangs have quite a cult following in Europe and Ford is only now waking up to that fact.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey DenverMike!

            The success of the American market is mind blowing. Up till now, a car maker could make more than a good living just selling in the US. Seems like that is no longer the case. In Jeep’s case, under Italian leadership thsi problem is soubled, tripled, quadrupled. The bosses care not whether a Jeep is seen in Austin. They want to see one in Bari.

            Ford has avoided this problem up till now. Euro/ROW Fords and AmericanFords. Different beasts. Now One Ford (and I’m well aware the Ford has been playing around with this idea for more than a while) comes up and informs and limits Ford’s thinking. Something has got to give. My impression is that what will give is American Ford as US consumers have shown a willingness to embrace foreign ideas. The reverse is not true. Size, a certain non chalance over efficiency just does not sit well in other markets.

            Much like Hollywood movies are made with a more global taste in mind, so are US cars. Sure I’d love a Mujstang. If it were smaller, cheap in my termas and much more eficiente. Give me a Mustang wrapping in a more rational package and I may bite. Same is true for Expedition and f150. I admire them from afar but know they just can’t cut it in my real life. How many cars does Ford sell in América, how many elsewhere? That’s the downfall of One Ford. American Ford will pay the price. The ROW is much bigger. And growing.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo de Vasconcello
            You are correct in that the US will accept “global” vehicles more readily than the globe accepting NA vehicles. This particularly relevant to commercial vehicles.

            Even amongst the OECD economies outside of the US we use the same type of vehicles ie forward control light trucks all of the way to FWD control HDTs.

            Where I live we have massive road trains with 3 1/2 trailers almost 60m long and weigh nearly 200tonnes. More and more these are being pulled by Euro trucks.

            In the US full size pickups are most notably SUVs with a bed. That’s why they have such a poor load capacity for the size of the vehicles.

            Global motor cars in the US have been steadily picking up steam and now there is a marginal difference in size between the US and Australia. We run very similar size cars.

            But the cars are becoming more interchangable across many markets. This will lead to cheaper overheads for the manufacturers.

            You are now witnessing the beginning of a transition in the US regarding commercial vehicles. This will include HDTs.

            The people in the US must realise their industrial/agri/commercial infrastructure is not any different than most other OECD economies. Logistics as well is seeing to this, commonality globally is occuring.

            What is evident is we can more or less achieve the same goals by using less energy. Which is part of the current equation that the vehicle manufacturers must calculate.

            The problem facing the Big 3 in the US market is their money earners are a protected vehice, the pickup/SUV/Vans. If the US want to become part of the global market this will have to change.

            We are witnessing that right now. The US commerical vehicles will slowly lose their protection will the Big 3 adjust.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
        Thanks. The guy has some warped ideas and concepts about the world.

        He reminds me of the story of the Japanese soldier living on an atoll in the Pacific.

        20 or so years after the war he was found and refused to believe WWII was over.

        He finally did but it took some convincing.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    In Europe you are taxed according to CO2 emissions.BMWs have low CO2 and a must-have badge so nobody really wants a Ford / Opel / Renault etc

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Most of Europe.

      Russia taxes by horsepower. It close enough to our horsepower that you can usually interchange them when talking about it.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Uncle Mellow. There are many out there who simply refuse the must-have thing. I even believe that they are majority. Anyway, the must-have title is a fickle one. Mercedes now suffers the consequence of not being the must-have. As Audi seems to have taken the title, BMW is probably feeling it soon. A few more years and it’ll be Audi’s turn.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I live in coastal San Diego, which is a huge market for luxury cars. In the past two years, the 3-series has been usurped by the C-class Mercedes among young buyers that may or may not be making their own lease payments. There are plenty of Audis too, but they tend to be larger models. The A4 and A3 don’t seem to register as being premium with people that want to be seen as premium. Mercedes is playing a dangerous game by bringing the CLA to the US. It could ruin their credibility with the people paying for their core models, even if it brings in a few social climbers that will take an inferior Mercedes over excellent mainstream alternatives. They’ve been rebuilding their reputation since the last time they tried to compete with Lexus on value. Advertising a price leader won’t do wonders for a premium brand when people see that it’s a 4-cylinder, FWD sedan that looks like a Mitsubishi. The idea is that most people that buy expensive new cars are too busy to know anything about them. That presents two problems. People that buy expensive cars and don’t know anything may buy the cheap Mercedes instead of an E350. People that might consider moving up from a loaded Camcord will notice that a CLA is a sorry substitute for a powerful, roomy car that is built by Toyota or Honda. It will be interesting to watch, but I’d love to see Mercedes focus on their traditional products and bring BMW the sales defeat they so royally deserve.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          MB had no trouble selling its 170, 190 and 190 diesel fours from the late ’40s through the ’80s, without damaging their reputation gained by the top of the line models. If the CLA has the interior comfort, the quality materials and fit and finish of those earlier lower-priced models, it’ll sell without harming the market for the E-class and AMG models. People who can afford those models will still buy them, but they may be more inclined to buy the baby Benz for the kids to knock around in.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Those cars weren’t cheap. The W201 190E and 190D replaced the 240D in the lineup, which in turn replaced the earlier small-engined, but mid-sized models. The 240D made buyers pay for their entry to 3-pointed star ownership with glacial acceleration and industrial levels of refinement. I know. I had one. The volume W201 model was the 190E, which had a nicer interior than the W123 it replaced and average performance to make up for the loss of room. It also cost more than a 3-series BMW, maybe considerably more than today’s C-class when adjusted for inflation.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The problem with Europe is the people don’t have the money to spend on vehicles. It’s quite simple.

    Sudsidising vehicle purchases is always the incorrect approach and so it protectionism, this will only inflame the situation.

    The German’s aren’t making huge money in Europe, but by exporting.

    The French aren’t so lucky as they’ve had quite an insular policy regarding vehicles.

    Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and to a degree France not as many people can afford to buy into new vehicles. The rest of Europe is flat to slightly down.

    There is no money left.

    It will take at least several years for the European situation to resolve itself. Even when that occurs sales will not be what they used to be.

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      No money is exactly the problem. Poor economy and they’re taxed within an inch of their lives.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’ve said it before, many disagree with my prediction, but I’ll say it again: While Ford’s premium pricing creep (or sprint) has worked a short term miracle under Mullaly during a time when Ford was able to cuts massive costs out of its structure (thanks to leverage on labor and the ability to cut excess manufacturing capacity due to GM & Chrysler’s prepackaged bankruptcies shedding legacy costs and instituting a two tiered hourly wage), Ford will find that it’s just not a feasible strategy over the longer term.

        We’re now in a world where major global manufacturers of large volume badged cars, such as Toyota, Honda and even Volkswagen are holding the line on price (or even cutting prices in real terms), and if a manufacturer can’t market its product as a genuine premium brand, getting consumers with high disposable incomes to buy that marketing (ala Audi), it will inevitably have to:

        a) Dramatically scale back production to maintain pricing power (and this is hardly possible for Ford, IMO, given its large worldwide manufacturing footprint),

        or

        b) Lower prices to preserve volume, and hopefully, market share.

        The latter is far and away the path of least resistance for Ford, from both a business AND a political/labor perspective.

        • 0 avatar

          It’ll be interesting to watch. So far, one of the most successful bets for the future has been Renault-Dacia/Nissan-Datsun and on an Eropean level, VW-Skoda. Bertel himself has said this is the way to the future and I believe him cause Bertel really knows the business. At this time, Ford does not seem to have any strategy like this. Maybe they will be able to pull off the whole full line One Ford thing (from subcompact to luxury), but it remains to be seen. Anyways, it’ll be fun to watch.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
            The world’s manufacturers are going through a tough restructuring (rationalisation) phase. This will require a long period of time to become apparent.

            I can forsee many buyouts, aliances and partnerships being formed. Not all will be successful.

            I do think Ford’s one vehicle model will work. It’s working for the Germans’s and Asian manufacturers and they are the one who will be there in the end.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al!

            I agree, mostly. The Japanese had to invente Acura, Lexus and Infiniti in América to sell luxury cars. They haven’t made a dente in Europe in that area. In South América neither. Hyundai may be on to something with the Genesis though.

            VW is another exception. Their luxury offerings have all had lukewarm success, except when packaged as Audi.

            However, Bertel has pointed out that Europe is dying (demographically). The future is in SE Asia, South America, India, China, the Arab world. Many of these places are growing (economically and demographically) and millions upon millions of people are buying their first cars and many millions more gream of the day they can. A low cost brand seems to be of the essence.

            In Brazil, Ford can sell from the Ka to the Fusion in good numbers. Fusion is a luxury car here, almost on par with the Germans. With the advanatage of being more discreet. However, our Ka has nothing to do with the Euro one as soon the Brazlian VW Up will share little with the European one except for the sheetmetal (here, it’ll seat 5 for example). I really can’t make my mind up anout One Ford, but something tells me Ford will be forced to change that.

            Don’t worry, it won’t affect you. It’ll be our loss.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
            I agree with the prestige Japanese manufacturers, except I do think Lexus has a better chance of maintaining success over the others. The US is their main market.

            I see only the German’s (even then maybe 2 will be left), Fiat, Renault/Nissan being the only Europeans left in the end.

            Ford will eventually grab GM (that’s my crystal ball). This comment will cause a stir.

            And the smaller Japanese players will be bought out, maybe even by the Koreans or Chinese or by Toyota.

            Nissan/Renault will buy PSA and then maybe Mitsubishi will go to them.

            And the Chinese, who knows what will happen there. It’s like the world vehicle manufacturing market in the 40s at the moment. But it will rapidly transform.

            That’s my crystal ball guess at the moment (subject to change:). Some may not choose to believe.

            I made a big call:) We will see.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al!

            I just took a peek into my Crystal ball and saw remarkably the same things! The only major discrepancy is that I saw GM independente from Ford. The rest, is pretty much the same.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
            The reason for the Ford/GM call is the US will want to have a mega manufacturer to maintain as much a monopoly of the industry.

        • 0 avatar

          hey big al,
          oh, now i see. Economic nationalism is on the rise in Americans, so i see your point.
          I think fiat will be more interested in suzuki, cause of india, than in mitsu.
          Bmw will be sold as soon as family loses interested.
          Mercedes, i have no idea.
          Chinese too murky yet to tell.
          The rest i agree with you.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
            The auto industry is 20+ years behind the aviation industry in restructuring, but it will follow a similar path. Maybe as not nationalistic.

            The vehicle industry will also have several more dominant players than in the aviation industry.

            The civil aviation big players are now Boeing, EADS, Bombardier and from your country Embraer (a couple more, but more military). In the 70s their was at least 20 players in the aviation industry, now 6 biggish ones.

            Just like the aviation industry you will end up with common standards for vehicles globally.

            Maybe 6-8 manufacturers will end up owning and controlling most vehicle manufacturers.

            This doesn’t include the Chinese.

            There are several causes for this, one is the cost of developing technology. The setting up of future massive manufacturing hubs ie Thailand. This is to maintain competitiveness. This is going on now.

            Just like the aviation industry components will be more global than now and sent to where ever required.

            I work in the aviation industry more or less on the ‘coal face’ on the mechanical side of the business.

            But I find the motor vehicle industry interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            BMW will go to Toyota. For two reasons, first Toyota has the cash and lots of it, second BMW and Toyota are working together with light diesels and hybrids.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Big Al,

            BMW, in its current form, has no where to go but down over the long term. They are collaborating with Toyota, have collaborated with Peugeot and Chrysler for diesels and smaller gas engines. I think the Qandt family should really think of selling it off pretty soon. Wait a while until not only Toyota, but others like Ford, Fiat Renault-Nissan are flush with cash and they could have the deal of the century. If they wait too much and the ticking time bomb of European demographics takes its toll, they might be left with a rich history but no means to compete (a la Jaguar or Land Rover before the takeovers).

            In our hasty analysis we forgot Tata and Mahindra. I think that because of their origin they too will become bigger over time.

            I agree with the aviation industry, but there’s one key difference: there are many more buyers. We may have hundreds of airlines, but car buyers are in the millions. I think that guarantees space for at least 10 or 12 world players, big and small. But there does seem to be a strong consolidation movement in that the big players (Toyota, VW, Renault-Nissan and even Ford, Fiat-Chrysler and GM) are getting bigger and the mid players (PSA, Honda) are going no where, with Hyundai the possible exception (all it takes is a few botched launches for them to become vulnerable again).

            That leads to an interesting question. Honda. They also need to grow, and fast. But like Ford, they seem unwilling or unable to dwell into the low cost brand strategy. In its current form Honda remains vulnerable.

            Thanks for all the speculation. Gazing into the crystal ball is always fun, and harmless for us with no real stake in the game.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            @Big Al-

            Neither BMW nor Toyota will ever be acquired by any other manufacturer, IMO, barring a most exceptional crisis that literally shakes the globe in a truly unforeseen way.

            BMW and Toyota are both symbols of nationalistic pride in their respect countries of origin, and even though BMW isn’t nearly as large as Toyota, is has de facto backing for whatever it will ever need from the German government.

            I can see the sharing of motors, hybrid systems or other things, but these two will never merge, nor will Toyota ever be able to acquire BMW, assuming it even would want to.

        • 0 avatar
          Hillclimber

          Absolutely and totally correct Deadweight, every word. The message to these guys is: “It’s a Ford – when it comes down to it, it’s all about the PRICE”.

    • 0 avatar
      Dimwit

      I just love these sorts of speculations. Don’t rush too much in writing BMW off. With MINI and RR they’ve shown that that they can compete without the BMW name. Add to that that the BMW name is worth a *lot* worldwide they are not in any sort of crisis on a worldwide basis. As long as they can keep the finances under control they’re future looks ok. Honda is about in the same headspace except there’s not the branching out except for Acura.

      Toyota acquiring someone is interesting. When they took over Fuji Heavy Industries I was amazed but I think that they only have a chunk, controlling interest probably, but not a total take over. I don’t think that Toyoda himself would like anything not close to him to have to rule over. I can’t see Toyota being comfortable owning a European company.

      I have been surprised that there haven’t been more Magna-Steyrs pop up world wide. As the cap-ex gets reduced I’m sure someone will offer up that sort of solution to the automakers as they need to ramp up production on particular models. Maybe Ford will see this as their future in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Dimwit
        Roll’s and Mini’s are powerful brands without the assistance of BMW.

        BMW only bought them because of their stature as brands.

        Really, any manufacturer could have made Roll’s and Mini work, if they had the engineering to support the brands.

        BMW does have exceptionally good engineering.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Ford sells garbage in Europe and sales tank. So what does Ford do? Sell that same garbage here.

    Bold moves indeed.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    Ford is rolling the dice and betting that some of the other ditherers will remove enough capacity to allow Ford to grow again. Unfortunately, the buggers just won’t die. Will they allow themselves to hang on or will they bite the bullet and shrink more?

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
    On my last trip to Europe in 2010,(EIGHT Countries were toured) I counted SEVEN US Pickups. SIX Dodge Rams and a broken down F250 in Greece.
    Going on another European sojourn this year. Most interesting aspect was seeing SIX US Diesel Pusher Motorhomes and TWO US 5th Wheelers last trip. Previously I saw a lone Kenworth HDT from Romania. The expression as rare as “Hens Teeth” we use in Australia, does apply to US vehicles in Europe. I have yet to see a Corvette, but one must be there.

    • 0 avatar

      American cars in the traditional sense are very hard to see. In Brazil, except for the Fusion, which is the leader in its category, they are hard to see. What I can see from time to time are Ford: Edge and I’ve seen 3 Mustangs in all my life here. GM: I’ve seen 2 Malibus, 2 Corvettes, some Camaros though Captivas are easy to see. Chrylser: a few Town and Countries, 2 Wranglers, 1 Durango, though there was a time JGC were common I’ve never seen a current generation one (though they are sold here it seems), 2 or 3 Compasses. Oh, I’ve also seen about 2 Liberties, interestingly, I saw one on the road today. I guess people really can’t buy them because they’re too expensive and don’t have a place to put them. However, Hyundai ix35s, Kia Sportages, VW Tourans and Touregs, BMW and Mercedes and Audi cars and SUVs are common. Ferrari you can see at least one every month or two. Lamborghini I’ve only seen once, and I’ve never seen a Cadillac or a Lincoln. Oh now I remember I’ve seen one Navigator. Dodge Rams and F250s are relatively common here.

      Anyways, that should be food for thought for some as to why American cars and SUVs are so rare and, in reality, irrelevante in our Market.


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