Carlos Ghosn Sees No European Growth For Years. There Will Be Even Less After That

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
carlos ghosn sees no european growth for years there will be even less after that

Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said today that he does not expect any sales growth in Europe over the next three to four years. He is not giving up on growth, and said that most will come from higher demand in the United States and China, Reuters reports.

What Ghosn kept to himself is that there probably won’t be much growth in Europe after those three to four years either. Most likely, there will be a monstrous contraction of the market. When with his inner circle, Ghosn often talks about a “structural decline:” This is not a just one of these cyclical phenomenons. It is simple math: Around 1970, as the pill became popular, births dropped by approximately half from their prior peak in the mid-sixties. This peak now sits smack in the middle of the prime new car buying age, which in most of Europe is between 40 and 60 years. The trailing edge of the peak already makes itself felt with lower sales. At around 2020, this peak will retire, leaving behind a drastically smaller pool of buyers.

European carmakers which at this point are not firmly established in growth markets, will be dead. If you are just beginning to establish yourself now in growth markets, it will be too late.

We did these studies in the mid-1990s, when the dip which is now heading towards its 70th birthday created a crisis in the European car market. We predicted the crisis would be over soon, there will be a huge boom at around the turn of the Millennium, after 2010 it will get iffy with premium cars (older buyers) still going strong, and after 2020, 2025, we all want to live elsewhere, or be dead.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
11 of 72 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jan 30, 2013

    I discussed this with Derek. Commenting rules will be amended. Anyone who complains about a story must have read the whole thing (there will be a quiz.) People may praise a story after just looking at the fine pictures.

    • See 6 previous
    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Jan 31, 2013

      @ Derek, thanks! Feel free to use it. @ PCh101, sorry man, this time you're just wrong. BTW Derek, you got mail.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Jan 31, 2013

    Note: We may be experiencing database problems. Some messages are irretrievably lost, some have wrong avatars etc. This is not the work of censors, but of machines gone berserk. Investigating.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 01, 2013

    @Pch101 You sound like you have a degree in the arts and should become a leftwing finance minister. If you want to sound knowledgeable on certain topics and discredit anothers observation the least you can do is respond to what you percieve as an inconisistency or just refute what I have stated, but at least detail what issue you have found inaccurate. I then will expand my argument to justify my viewpoint. You don't know what I know and have studied. The French are losing out because of the way the "French" Big 3 have been managed by government, unions and the companies themselves, similar to the "socialist" approach that the US is using to protect it's indigenious vehicle manufacturers. Study the economic history of the world and start back prior to the War of Independence and see how it evolved. Once you have done that then we might have an interesting debate. What I wrote I will stand by. Your idea on who can afford vehicles is quite incaccurate. What built the vehicle manufacturing industry is the ability of the middle class and even the working class to afford them. Read up on a guy called Henry Ford.

  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Feb 02, 2013

    "“My point remains that the Europeans could conceivably deal with this by increasing immigration.” An issue that is pretty painful at the moment in the US. European reactions are pretty similar, especially as regards illegal immigration..