Bad omen for Europe: The German car market, considered one of the healthier in Europe, was down 10.5 percent in February, compared to the same month in the prior year. News from other European volume markets are worse. (Read More…)
With Nissan bringing Leaf production to Japan and the United States, the next stop on their localization train is Europe. The Sunderland, UK plant will begin in the spring, and along with European production will be a series of tweaks for that market.
European new car sales had their worst January in recorded history. The European manufacturers organization ACEA started recording in 1990, and it had never seen a January as bad. New car registrations were down 8.7 percent to 885,159 units in the EU. (Read More…)
The United States and the European Union will begin talks on a free-trade agreement, which may take as long as two years to complete. The deal is expected to be worth some $613 billion annually, and could have some interesting implications for the auto sector.
The next generation Fiat 500 will no longer be hecho en Mexico for the North American market. Faced with a modern plant and unused capacity, Fiat will consolidate all of its 500 production to its site in Tychy, Poland, in 2015. So what does this mean for Mexico?
BMW’s 3-Series is always the benchmark, always the target, and always on a pedestal. So when GM announced Cadillac would once again “complete head-on” with BMW’s money-maker, the world yawned. Then an interesting thing happened, publications started fawning over the ATS, proclaiming the 3-Series has met its match. Could such a thing be true? Even our own Michael Karesh was smitten by the ATS at a launch event. To find out how the ATS matches up with its German rival, Cadillac tossed us the keys to a loaded ATS 3.6 AWD. Can Cadillac beat BMW at their own game? Let’s find out.
Now that almost all official data for the Full Year 2012 is available (Middle East is still to come in my books), and just as we are starting to get a feel for what 2013 could look like, I thought I would do a little summary for you of what happened in 2012 in the biggest markets in the world. We have gone through the Chinese market already, now let’s have a look at Europe….
Europe not your thing? That’s ok, you can check out the best-selling models and brands in 172 countries and territories on my blog. Enjoy!
Back to Europe. And it has been a difficult year for European sales, with only the UK among the Big 5 (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain) managing to gain ground vs. 2011. But the favourite car and carmaker on the continent are the same as last year…
New car registrations dropped a painful 16.3 percent in Europe in an acceleration of a long, and initially slow a downward trend. The European carmaker association ACEA calls the decline ”the steepest recorded in a month of December since 2008.” For the year the EU market was down 8.2 percent to 12,053,904 units, which is the “lowest level recorded since 1995,” says the ACEA. (Read More…)
Continental Europe’s car sales may be in the toilet, but the UK’s new car market was up 5.3 percent in 2012, with the Ford Fiesta leading the sales charts.
Like their products or not, Ford has been on a roll. It all started when the blue oval financed their metamorphosis by mortgaging everything that wasn’t nailed down a year before the bankocalypse. Next came a wave of new products like the Astonesque Fusion, Prius fighting C-MAX and the Euro-derived Fiesta and Focus. Ford’s recovery plan hinges on unifying their worldwide lineup rather than making unique vehicles for every market. Ford calls this plan “One Ford,” while I call it “Ford’s Euro love affair.” The latest warrior in the Euro invasion is none other than the Ford Kuga, you’ll know it as the new Escape. It would appear Ford’s timing couldn’t be better since they just lost the small-SUV sales crown to Honda. Can the European soft-roader take back the crown? Or has Ford gone too far by ditching the boxy Escape for world-wide homogeny?
The 2013 Fusion is a critical car for Ford. Despite the rise of the Koreans, an Americanized Passat, refreshed GM and Chrysler products and a dip in Fusion sales between the 2012 and the all-new 2013 model, the Ford is still the fourth-best-selling mid-size sedan in America. Michael was invited to a regional Ford event in September where he revealed his opinions, but what most readers seem to recall is Derek’s proclamation that the 2013 Fusion is a “gamechanger.” To answer the question once and for all, Ford tosses us the keys to the volume-selling SE model with Ford’s recall-beleaguered 1.6L Ecoboost engine for a week.
If you are an automaker, and you know that something can blow up and poison your customers, then you are in deep trouble if you put that stuff in your cars. In Germany, you are in in deep Scheiss if you don’t. Daimler may have to pay high fines if it continues using an old refrigerant in 2013, instead of the new HFO-1234yf, of which Daimler says it can fry and kill you. If Daimler continues to resist, it may lose the European type certification for the A and B Class. Which could kill the company. (Read More…)
Up till now there hasn’t been a “real” Prius alternative on the market. Sure Honda has the Civic and Insight, but their real-world MPGs can’t hold a candle to the green-car poster child and Honda’s IMA hybrid system is far from smooth and refined. The Volt is more of a novelty with its lofty price tag and the last time we tested one we revealed a lowly 32MPG average when running gasoline only. This brings us to the blue oval. Despite Ford using essentially the same technology as Toyota for their hybrid systems, Ford resisted creating a dedicated hybrid model. Until now. Meet the 47MPG 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid. Of course we’ve all heard the news that the C-MAX doesn’t hit 47MPG, so click-through the jump to find out what we averaged and whether or not that should matter to you.
Car sales accelerate their decline in Europe. The market for new cars was down fourteen months in a row in November, dropping by 10.3 percent compared with November 2011, says the European manufacturers association ACEA. From January to November, 11.25 million new cars changed hands in the EU, 7.6 percent less than in the same period a year ago. Sales in Europe have not been that bad since 1993. (Read More…)