This Is Sick: European Auto (Non-)Sales

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Scientists all over the world are in a mad scramble to find a vaccine against the vehicular flu, commonly called “motor malaise.” Now, Europe also finds itself in the grips of the pandemic. Today ( Farago beat me to it), the European association of auto makers ACEA released their January through October numbers. Analysts from the automotive anorexia formerly known as America may envy the fact that from January to October, Europe (as defined by ACEA) fell only 5.4 percent to 12.852m units. Taking a closer look, we now know why the EU was so eager to enlarge eastwards. In the new easterly member states, there was at least an ittsy bit of growth, 2.5 percent for the first 10 months. Without the eastern comrades– make that members– the EU would be looking at an even heftier percentage-letting. Have a Maalox, or a stiff drink, and read on, if you dare ….

Whence came October, Europe got word of something called financial crisis, and people started to avoid the breeding grounds of the vehicular flu, previously called dealers’ showrooms. The result: a whopping 14.5 percent October downturn compared to the previous year. Tu felix Austria was the only Western European country to buck the dire October trend. Mountainous Austria was up four percent in October, probably in celebration of their tiny country being in control of mighty Volkswagen soon, or already, maybe not. Spain is Europe’s absolute beyond-salvage basket case, with an eye-popping loss of 54.6 percent in October. Ireland is in the reds to the tune of 40 percent. UK down 23 percent. Germany, 8.2 percent lower than the already weak October of last year. France, 7.4 percent down in October. For the first ten months, sales in Deutschland and neighboring Frankreich are relatively flat with +0.3 percent and + 2.2 percent, respectively.

If you want good news, go east, young man. The Polish market expanded in October 12.3 percent. From January to October, the Poles are up 9 percent – not a joke. The second biggest market in Europe’s East is Romania, but they screwed the idyllic picture by going down 10.6 percent in October. So where is the next shoe to drop? Lower car sales in Abu Dhabi? Entirely possible. Abu Dhabi’s National reports that even the sheiks “are cutting back their spending on luxury goods, overseas flights, eating out and entertainment.”

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  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Nov 14, 2008

    @JJ: Yes, that's him. Sorry for misspelling the name of the true inventor of the VW bus, and friend of hippies worldwide.

  • Matt Matt on Nov 14, 2008

    my friends at work have told me that if i want to find really nice empty roads, i just need to go to east germany. :-P

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Ford is near #1 in recalls in North America. Another numb-nut in the C-Suite is an attempt to avoid responsibility.Instead of spending money on another layer of mis-management, how about spending the money on the vehicles!!"STOP THE HURT""STOP THE PAIN""I DON"T WANT MY CAR SPENDING MORE TIME AT THE DEALERSHIP AGAIN"
  • Another So the United States invaded and killed Kaddaffi just so Fiat could buy Chrysler. And now Peugeot is buying out Fiat. Soon will China buy out Peugeot? Did the US not care about their critical industry that they willingly give it away even if a nice neat little war is needed to do so?
  • Dale Houston At home on a Level 2 charger. Charging at home is EVs secret weapon, for those who can charge at home. I still have to visit a gas staton roughly monthly for one or the other of our Mazdas and that process sucks.I have not used a Supercharger in over a year, but will this summer when I am taking a road trip. It's been fine, but slower than pumping gas. Best to time it with meals.I have not used an off-brand commercial charger yet.
  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)