France Is Going Down On Us

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
france is going down on us

If anyone is hoping for a turn-around of the European car market, be it Opel, PSA, or Pch101, January definitely was not the month it happened. Some people, who get paid a lot of money for a very long-term vision, believe we have to wait years for the turn-around. The French car market dropped 15 percent in January, with “Volkswagen and U.S. carmakers leading the drop ,” Reuters reports. Massive sales subsidies of 2,000 euros ($2,700) per car, reintroduced in October in Spain, could not reverse the Spanish market. It dropped 9.6 percent.

In France, sales of PSA Peugeot Citroen, were down 16.7 percent. PSA’s partner GM “fared worse,” says Reuters. Combined French registrations by General Motors dropped 21.2 percent. Ford sales plummeted 35.3 percent in France. Volkswagen group sales were down 23.9 percent.

Renault did beat the market with only a 7.4 percent drop. Reuters says this was due to “a 9.9 percent gain for its low-cost Dacia brand, as scarce buyers gravitated to “crisis cars” such as the no-frills Sandero compact and Duster SUV.”

Sales in Italy fell 17.58 percent in January to 113,525 vehicles.

Germany will publish sales on Monday.

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8 of 16 comments
  • Reclusive_in_nature Reclusive_in_nature on Feb 01, 2013

    I wish my wife would take a page out of France's book and go down on me...

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Feb 01, 2013

    The thing that gets me is that there's no magic to the Dacias. Just good but obsolete platforms using basic tech and no frippery. Sell it at a decent but not outrageous markup. So where are the others? Every co. has something that they can leverage to get into that space. I was amazed that VWoA canceled the City concept in Canada. It looked like a huge success going by how many I see in Toronto and area. Same idea, decent car, excellent pricing, sell tons.

    • See 1 previous
    • Extra Credit Extra Credit on Feb 01, 2013

      Don't be amazed that VWGC cancelled the City models. It wasn't their choice. Older platforms can be sold economically as long as they remain older platforms. As government regulations change from year to year, older platforms require varying levels of engineering support to remain compliant. At some point, the cost of achieving compliance exceeds the market value, and the product disappears. It's sad, but apparently we're all safer, healthier and happier(?) because our government is looking out for us.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 01, 2013

    It's obvious what Europe needs: more cheap credit! That's how they pumped their housing boom, and now it's the auto industry's turn. 1% financing, no money down, no credit check. With autos leading the way, housing prices will recover, people will start refinancing again, the banks will do banner business and Europe's economy will boom again! I think they call it 'pulling yourself up by the bootstraps'. The first tug is the hardest, but like pushing a stalled Peugeot, once you get moving, it's much easier.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 02, 2013

      @Bertel Schmitt Solving the debt crisis with more debt doesn't work? Oh, NO! That was the Federal Reserve/Treasury Department plan!

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Feb 03, 2013

    According to stock and bond markets everything is fine in Euro Kingdom. Is it ripe for surprise? How Koreans and Chevrolet sell in France? How many cars are burned in France daily - does it affect market?