During the last six months, auto sales throughout the European market have taken a shocking downturn, strongly suggesting that the European world community may be on the verge of a double dip recession in the auto business. Hardest hit were new auto sales in Greece, down by a shocking 49.9% in the last six months. However, sales also have been down in Spain by 27.3%, Germany by 17.8%, Italy by 18.9%, the UK by 8.9% and France by 8.2%. Bucking this trend have been better auto sales figures from China, the U.S. Russia and Brazil.
China is posting gains of around 7% this year. The October U.S. auto sales hit the best sales increases of the year, with many companies outside of Toyota recording double digit gains. In Russia, government incentive policies where autos should have a 30% Russian-built domestic content are helping to both provide employment as well as to inspire pride in Russian-produced products. As far as U.S. auto sales go, industry analysts don’t see the same signs of a double dip recession for the industry as Europe is currently witnessing.
Interestingly, while Fiat is witnessing a 21% supply drop in their domestic European vehicles they are providing the new U.S. Chrysler company with technology for a new line of automobiles which should eventually help the Italian brand overall. But, the European branches of Ford are witnessing lagging sales, which contrasts with the big domestic uptick in sales for the U.S. produced Ford products. Ford is expected to improve their market share in the U.S. to around 19% for the year.