We can’t help it that there is so much crummy news about GM, but here is something decidedly positive: GM “has no plans to make additional investments in its French partner PSA Peugeot Citroen SA which is subject to the depressed European automobile market,” Dow Jones Newswire says via NASDAQ. The wire heard it from Dan Akerson himself, so it must be true. (Read More…)
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.
The UK, infamous for having lost most of its former automaking glory, and supplier of the short-lived “American Leyland” moniker for GM (“Government Motors” stuck) is roaring back. The island nation is set “to overtake France as Europe’s second largest automotive producer within the next five years if UK car sales and exports maintain current strong growth,” Reuters says.
Imagine the embarrassment in Paris! (Read More…)
Renault chief Carlos Ghosn is reaching out, forging foreign alliances with a heavy emphasis on emerging markets. “Faced with the slump in the European markets,” writes the French Figaro, Renault is “edging closer to Mitsubishi.” Nothing is official, and if you ask on the record, you get firm denials, such as the “this is not true,” told to Reuters by a Mitsubishi Motors spokesman. Behind the scenes, there are traces of heavy petting. Let’s look into them. (Read More…)
The EU is very stingy when it comes to financial support for its automakers, and it prohibits most monetary assistance given by EU states to their industries. Of course, there are exceptions, and one such exception makes possible a $516 million loan to Renault. (Read More…)
Folks who are not intimately familiar with the peculiarities of the European auto industry often call Renault a similar basket case as its French rival Peugeot. January through March, both are down in Europe, PSA (-15.3 percent) more than Renault (-8.3 percent), but the big difference is that Renault has a much wider international footprint. What’s more, Renault owns 44.3 percent of Nissan. This international footprint helps Renault solve problems in ways Peugeot can’t touch. For instance, by making Nissans. (Read More…)
After one World Roundup interruption last week, let’s resume our ‘what the XXX bought in 2012′ series. After going to China, Europe, Russia, India, Israel, Italia and Indonesia, this time let’s see what the French bought in 2012.
Not interested? That’s fine I’ve got it all covered and prepared the best-selling models and brands in 172 additional countries and territories on my blog for you. Enjoy!
Back to France. And 2012 was a transition year for this market, with best-sellers that we will not see atop the ranking in the future anymore…
A bit of light reading for everyone wishing they were in Geneva, munching on some pain au chocolat while paying $8 for a Nespresso. CAR magazine contributor Stephen Bayley has a very entertaining essay entitled “The End of the French Car“, in which he laments the demise of the quirky, compact French automobile.
The French government is planning on raising taxes on diesel fuel, branding it a “health issue”, much to the chagrin of consumers and the country’s auto industry.
Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government.
Okay, that’s direct, but it’s not the most direct thing Maurice Taylor said regarding the possibility of investing in a France-based tire manufacturer.
Prevailing wisdom today holds that small cars, manufactured in developed economies are some of the least profitable cars in existence. So why do companies like Peugeot, Citroen and Renault persist in producing them?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Unlike the poorly interpreted plans for Mazda to be a “premium” brand, PSA really is planning to take Peugeot upscale, despite having zero brand equity, an upscale Citroen line and zero exposure to the profit center of the future, low-cost cars.
After approving a $1.6 billion loan guarantee for PSA’s captive finance arm, the European Commission demanded a restructuring plan for all of PSA within six months.
The French government is denying that it plans to acquire a stake in PSA, but France’s Prime Minister told reporters that mechanisms for providing government assistance have already been vetted.