Yet another bit of bleak data from Europe relating to new car sales. A popular school of thought holds that young people’s aversion to cars is largely rooted in economic factors. When everyone under 30 is broke, living at home and wallowing in student debt, the last thing on their mind is a car. But the hope is that once things turn around, it will be time for Generation Y to get motoring again. At least in North America. Over in Europe (or certain parts of it, at least) things are much more bleak.
This yard in Athens saw an auction every month, selling cars confiscated from drug dealers or tax dodges. Now the state agency has been shut down. Half of the workforce is still there, moved to the books of a government ministry. While the costs run on, there is no more income: Paralyzed, the unit has seen just one car auction this year. It is a snapshot of Greece’s woes, distilled down to impound level. (Read More…)
Everybody has heard that Europe and the Euro are in trouble. So why does it take so long to save it? We’ll let you in on a little known secret. First, let’s go to Slovakia. The eurozone’s second poorest member quietly turned into an automotive powerhouse. Ever hear much of the Slovakian auto industry? You won’t. Global automakers such as Volkswagen, Peugeot, Kia have discreetly set up car plants in Slovakia. Parts makers followed. Wages are low – 780 euros a month on the average. Without anyone looking, Slovakia turned into the world’s top auto maker per capita. They want to keep it that way. And that’s why they don’t want to help Greece. (Read More…)
We haven’t visited Europe since the UK Royal Wedding, so this weekend we are off to troubled Greece. Car sales are in free fall there since the 2008 financial crisis, and it makes for a fascinating market. Please wear at helmet at all times.
If you have already visited one of the many stunning Greek islands and have already counted all the cars there, that’s ok, there are 154 more countries to visit in my blog, and I can tell you it is άριστη (awesome)…
After a high of 290,000 units in 2000, the Greek car market has been on a long-term downtrend during the last decade, giving us a very volatile models ranking: in the last 10 years. There’s only one car that managed to stay on top of Greece’s best-seller for three consecutive years: The unflappable Toyota Corolla.