Automakers Forecast European Industry Slowdown in 2012

While the US and China have been going from strength to strength, it’s Europe that’s the most at risk of a return to recessionary behaviors. While demand in Germany has been decent in some months of this year, other markets aren’t doing as well. The only big hope right now is Russia, where the’re plenty of room for growth.
According to Bloomberg News, Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne believes the market will straggle in 2012, adding they might delay the introduction of some new models. The rest of the industry is with him on this one, as Ford’s European head believes next year’s figures to remain largely unchanged, while VW is revising estimates as well.

“Europe is facing a period of weak growth or even recession,” PSA Peugeot Citroen CEO Philippe Varin said at a briefing at the Frankfurt International Auto Show.

Lack of confidence in the industry can also be seen in the market, as Fiat has dropped 46 percent this year, while Peugeot is has a market value of below €4 billion, despite having €56 billion in revenue.

“For 2012, we see a higher likelihood of a slowdown of growth rather than a recession,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said to reporters at the Frankfurt motor show. “Our order intake has been unaffected, which means a continuation of very strong demand for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.”

“Right now we have no indication of a decline in the market, but if it comes we are more prepared than in 2008, with respect to our financial strength and flexibility in our plants,”
Volvo Cars CEO Stefan Jacoby said.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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