Shut Up And Die: No EU Life-Saver For European Car Industry

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
shut up and die no eu life saver for european car industry

Brussels has bad news for Fiat and PSA, and by extension for Chrysler and GM. There will be no EU assistance for an orchestrated and painless capacity shedding, Financial Times Deutschland says. A report of an expert group puts European overcapacities at 25 to 30 percent. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been publicly lobbying for government support, PSA pressured the French government. As predicted here months ago, a lobby of German carmakers torpedoed any support from Brussels and is for Darwinian solutions instead. With carmakers at odds, European governments are happy that they don’t have to act. After all, there are more pressing problems in Europe.

Instead of a massive support program, the EU likely will announce feel-good measures with the efficacy of a band-aid. There will be the usual green programs, combined with less aggressive CO2 limits. None of this will solve the overcapacities, which will get more pressing as Europeans get more cautious with buying new cars. Chrysler’s new owner Fiat, GM’s new partner PSA, along with Opel and to some degree Ford, will be sliding deeper and deeper into the European morass.

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  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Jun 06, 2012

    Maybe they can work w/other countries to export some cars. God knows I would love an RS Clio

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    • Geeber Geeber on Jun 06, 2012

      @forraymond Each nation enacts regulations based on its own needs, and on its own time table. If I recall correctly, the U.S. was ahead of Europe and Japan in adopting definite safety standards, just as we were ahead of them in adopting regulations covering emissions. Europe was still using leaded gasoline into the 1980s.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jun 06, 2012

    Signor Marchionne is becoming an expert in asking government bailout don't count him out. Not yet.

  • Forraymond Forraymond on Jun 06, 2012

    "Shut up and Die" Isn't that the meme of the Republican Health Care Plan?

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    • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jun 06, 2012

      @doctor olds Not sure what the unions can do here. It's not cost... it's declining demand due to government overspending and banking fraud.... and oh yeah, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and likely (gulp) France.

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Jun 06, 2012

    "If you don’t like the “never enough” regulations on vehicles here, vote for the Republican’s. They are all for reigning in the out of control nanny state!" Absolutely, we rich 1% can buy safe cars, to hell with you poor 99%. But first we Republicans have to work with the Taliban to cover up women and take away their licenses to drive of course. Seriously, can the "government is always wrong" types explain why it is that we have higher speed limits and over 2x more cars on the road now than we did in the 50's and yet the highway death rate is about the same or lower? Can the "governments of the world are always wrong" types ever understand that we now have about 8 billion people on earth and not 1, 2, or 3 billion and we have to make adjustments because there are so many of us? We just don't have as much tolerance for empty/noisy/unsafe Dodge pick ups driven by pretend cowboys as we use to.

    • Geeber Geeber on Jun 06, 2012

      While you're at it, perhaps the "more regulations are always good crowd" can explain why the fatality rate per 100 million vehicles fell the year after the national 55 and 65 mph speed limits were lifted, despite their hysterical predictions to the contrary.