Car-free Paris, France.
Last time I annoyed you with my stats, we went through a worldwide whirlwind for the July 2013 Roundup. Today we focus on Europe, where apart from one main island of growth (literally and figuratively: yes I am speaking about you the UK), the new car market recession seems to know no end.
Not interested in the old, grumpy continent? That’s totally fine, I have prepared something else for you: you can check out sales stats for 176 additional countries and territories on my blog. Go on, I think you’ll like…
Back to Europe.
I have to admit, I’m a fan of the Fiat 500. Yes, I know it’s just a Fiat Panda with bubbly sheetmetal. Yes I know it’s a little peculiar. Yes I know it’s trying to ride on MINI success. It doesn’t matter, the wee Fiat makes me grin every time I drive one. Whether it’s the slow-as-dirt standard 500, the ludicrously loud Abarth, the almost-convertible 500c or the totally impractical 500e, the Cinquecento knows how to brighten my day. I was therefore excited when Fiat announced the 500′s success would spawn a four door stable-mate for 2014. Is the 500L 40% more smiles for 20% more cash?
Europe’s car market is still a good half-decade away from making a recovery, according to Ford’s top man in Europe. Reuters quotes Stephen Odell, Ford’s European CEO, as anticipating a $1.8 billion loss in Europe this year, stating
“There are indications that an end of the decline may come in the second half of this year. However, a recovery of the market, we estimate, will take at least five to six years.”
After closing multiple plants and cutting thousands of jobs in response to major overcapacity issues and declining demand, Odell stated that he anticipated no further restructuring moves on the continent.
Chevrolet will be launching the 2014 Camaro coupe for the European market at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, which is probably the reason why Chevy is using the same show for the debut of the 2014 Camaro convertible, rather than introduce it in a few months at the Lost Angeles or Detroit shows.
According to a Reuters poll of 30 economists, data to be released next week will show that the recession in Europe has ended, but that the euro zone will not start growing significantly until 2015. The consensus prediction for the second quarter of 2013 was 0.2% growth.
The Volkswagen Group announced that global July sales for VW branded vehicles were down half a percent from last year, to 466,100. July joins March 2013 as the second monthly decline this year.
The new diesel engine that is expected to arrive in the Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee (which, we hear, has been pushed back a few times already) has had an interesting life. The 3.0L twin-turbo diesel engine never was intended for Chrysler or Fiat products, but rather, Cadillac.
Though Ford, VAG’s Seat brand, and Renault’s low-cost Dacia posted gains, overall car and light truck sales in June in Europe were down 6.3% compared to June of 2012, weighed down by declining sales at VW, Opel, Fiat and PSA. Only 1.18 million new vehicles were registered in the EU and EFTA, the lowest they’ve been in two decades.
Amid labor unrest in Korea, and a desire to utilize capacity in Europe, GM is moving production of the Opel Mokka (aka, the Buick Encore, and Canada’s Chevrolet Trax) out of Korea and into a facility in Zaragoza, Spain.
Nissan and Renault co-CEO Carlos Ghosn still sees a future in the electric car, it’s the European market that doesn’t have great prospects of a turn-around as far as Ghosn is concerned. (Read More…)
Despite being one of the most antiquated vehicles in Renault’s lineup (at least from a technology standpoint), the Dacia Duster is still its most popular. Through the first 5 months of the year, the Duster sold 155,729 units in Europe, besting the Clio (139,397 units) Megane (133,116 units) and Sandero (124,918).
The sagging EU economy led to the worst car sales since 20 years (cause and effect could also be the other way round.) With so much riding on car sales, France’s La Lettre Auto K7 found a way to predict them with greater certainty: They simply ask car dealers how many orders they received. Most volume brands in Europe are built-to-order, and even in the worst economic climate, that takes a minimum of 4 weeks until the car is ready to be registered. That’s when usual statistics recognize the sale.
Reuters has received an advance copy of the new prediction. (Read More…)
Hopes of a bottoming of the European have been frustrated, and the small April uptick turned out as a flash in the pan.
We warned in April not to read too much into car data, caused by a curious confluence of calendars. We predicted two weeks ago that the EU market will continue on its downward trajectory. And so it does. (Read More…)
Just as Suzuki prepares to wrap things up in the North American market, their global product line is set to be revamped entirely, with a focus on vehicles like the Nissan Juke.
The next generation European-market Volkswagen Passat will be delayed until at least the end of 2014, as Volkswagen follows an industry-trend in Europe of neglecting their slow-selling D-segment cars.