Imagine (sorry) you are on your death-bed, surrounded by your friends and families, who are divided in two camps. One group bets big on how soon you will die. The other group calculates how much your body-parts will bring after you are cut up. Now you know how PSA poor Peugeot Citroen must feel. (Read More…)
Mired in the same overcapacity crisis as the rest of Europe’s auto makers, the founding family of PSA is reportedly willing to give up control of the company that owns Peugeot and Citroen in exchange for a fresh infusion of capital from GM, which currently owns 7 percent of PSA.
As we all know, the European car market is in bad shape. France, one of Europe’s volume markets, is especially hard hit. The month of May was no exception. The French market was down 10.3 percent. Red ink and nose blood was running just about everywhere. Everywhere except Fiat. Fiat, the Italian patient, looks amazingly alive in France. Their passenger vehicle sales were up a whopping 12.3 percent in May and 6 percent for the first five months. In a market that tanks, just staying afloat would be a big deal. Double digit is huge. It was, until the scrappy auto site 7pm-auto.fr started digging. They found that the growth was made by dealers buying their own cars. (Read More…)
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.
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…)
The situation in Europe is so desperate that a 5.2 percent drop of French car sales in April gave reason to rejoice. “The plunge seems to be halting after the double-digit declines of previous months,” Francois Roudier, spokesman of the French CCFA industry association, told Reuters. (Read More…)
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.