EU Car Market Falls 15%, NY Art Sale Augurs Supercar Collapse

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
eu car market falls 15 ny art sale augurs supercar collapse

Can you believe that GM used to claim that their foreign ops would prop-up the sinking North American market while they got their shit together? I mean, these are the same guys that were busy touting the advantages of a world car. Anyone who doubted that it’s a small world after all should have a gander at October sales stats across the pond [via Bloomberg UK]. “Registrations dropped to 1.13 million vehicles last month from 1.33 million a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said today in a statement. Sales for the first 10 months fell 5.4 percent to 12.8 million vehicles, accelerating from a 4.4 percent contraction through September.” And who got whacked the hardest? “GM’s sales in Europe fell 25 percent to 94,479 vehicles, with the Saab brand reporting a 28 percent plunge… Registrations in Europe by Toyota slumped 24 percent to 54,612 cars. Asia’s largest carmaker, leading GM in global auto sales this year, posted a 69 percent plunge in quarterly net income on Nov. 6. Deliveries of its Lexus brand fell 32 percent.” So, that’s the mass market, then. How about the top end?

Lamborghini, Maybach, Ferrari, Aston and the like tender their sales stats with a little less alacrity than the volume automakers. And the majority of the hyper-priced auto-exotica shuffles through the auction houses. Or at least it did. “A Damien Hirst painting of four skulls that was tipped to fetch at least $3 million at Phillips de Pury & Co.’s New York auction didn’t sell, the biggest upset of last night’s auction that missed presale low estimates by more than half,” Bloomberg reports. “It was the third sale this week to disappoint art dealers and may herald a decline that tracks the drop in stock markets.” So much for those who say that the top of the market is immune from the swings and roundabouts of an outrageous free market economy.

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  • Jjdaddyo Jjdaddyo on Nov 14, 2008

    Sorry to be a nerd, but it is "augur" not "auger", unless you are saying that a supercar auction will be attacked by a giant screw-shaped digging machine. Hey, get Hollywood on the line!

  • Charly Charly on Nov 14, 2008

    The decline in the European car market is more a regional affair than one which is broadly carried. It is true that almost all markets are declining but most are only declining a few percent while some are declining much more than 15%. So firms that are strong in the UK see a large decline while companies that are strong in Old Europe see a decline which isn't that steep.

  • Olddavid I cannot understand the Audi demographic. The powertrain requires technical gymnastics to make it merely acceptable and I've never known one to get past the warranty period w/o an extended stay at the dealer. Granted, I haven't owned one since the Jurassic period, but nothing I have seen or experienced would change my mind. I was given a Q6 (7,8?) as a courtesy car while being fleeced by their retail mechanics and it didn't even make the return trip without a journey by hook. Then I was treated to the pitch of the eight computers making sure I had no earthly needs unaddressed while driving the vehicle. Key word - driving - seemed beyond their capability. Didn't all the OEM's tout direct injection and coil-on-plug combined with more computing power than Apollo 11 as the end of driveability concerns? I'm somewhat reluctant to throw out the baby with the bathwater because I have had excellent performance from my "fleet" that are equipped with OBDII, but the simplicity of vacuum advance and dwell meters and a handy Uni-Syn have me considering the change. Realistically, I soon expect to no longer be able to get out my jackstands and tools and go to work. My former brother-in-law always said "fail to plan is planning to fail" and really practiced what he preached. I guess a little realism won't hurt me. End of screed
  • Luke42 I'm only interested if it has a plug.For cars, I'm EV-only.For a truck, I can see the utility of a PHEV, or an EV with a ridiculously long range -- for towing a travel-trailer.A PHEV pickup truck would be very interesting.
  • Jkross22 Most cars would be better with a manual. Maybe not the large SUV/sedan classes of cars, but everything else would be better/more enjoyable. Everything smaller than a Camry would drive better with a manual.
  • Tassos this "tease" is not worth the paper it's printed on. As is the vast majority of such "teases" that do not reveal a single spec or decent photo of the vehicle.
  • Tassos Even when new, these were tiny, worthless, unsafe, unstable pieces of JUNKTO ask.. $7,200 (don't forget the $200) for this utterly worthless 38 year old rustbucket is a testament to what a total fool must one be to be buying any car today. My advise to all of you who are eager to buy anything today is W A I T. Wait two years. Keep what you have, it could not possibly be worse than this worthless piece of excrement.Oh, and BTW,, I DID drive this worthless thing, had to rent it on a 5 day vacation on an island in the Mediterranean. So don't tell me I don't know it.