Car market ailing until 2019

Car market ailing until 2019

The Western European car market will not grow until 2019, says company advisor AlixPartners. This means we can expect the closure of more car factories, but also for retail it seems the glory days are over.

No recovery this decade

In 2012 13.2 million cars were sold in Western Europe. This year that won’t be better, and next year sales will drop to 12 million cars. Afterwards it will stabilise a bit, but a rise is not for the near future.


A recovery to the level of 16 million units before the crisis is not on the books before the end of the decade, says co-chairman Stefano Aversa of AlixPartners in a talk with the Financial Times.


Multiple trends thwart car sales

The current sales of new cars is about a quarter lower than the number of 2007, when the economic crisis hit and unemployment started rising in Western Europe.


Those levels from before the crisis can be put on the back burner, also because of a few other trends: the population is getting older and has less use of a new car, young people don’t necessarily need one and the cars that are sold, last longer.


Factories do not break even

The lower sales also have their consequences for production. Peugeot, Ford and GM/Opel for instance want to close five factories by 2016 to better align supply and demand.


Today only 42 of the largest hundred car factories are working at more than 75% of their capacity, the number often seen as the point where factories break even. In Italy, which was hit heavily by the crisis, the average capacity utilisation rate is at 46%.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors

Order at Starbucks from a Ford car


Car manufacturer Ford revealed that its cars with SYNC3 voice technology can place orders at coffee chain Starbucks directly.

Dieselgate: Renault in trouble, search warrants for Audi and VW


The storm surrounding the dieselgate scandal may have passed, there is still an ongoing investigation: in Germany, investigators went to several Audi locations and to its parent company, Volkswagen. In France, a leaked report spells bad news for Renault.

Peugeot buys Opel from General Motors


French car company PSA Peugeot Citroën has paid 2.2 billion euro to acquire German car brand Opel from its current owner, American General Motors. Thanks to the deal, PSA Peugeot Citroën will become Europe's second largest car manufacturer.

Investments push Tesla into new losses


American electric car manufacturer Tesla has posted a 121 million dollar (115 million euro) net loss for its fourth quarter. Its previous quarter had resulted in a 21.9 million dollar (20 million euro) profit.

Peugeot confirms merger talks with Opel


French automobile group PSA, which owns brands like Peugeot and Citroën, is in preliminary talks with General Motors to see whether it can merge its own activities with two of GM's brands, German Opel and British Vauxhall.

Dutch Pal-V opens reservations for its flying car


Five years after its first test flight, Dutch Pal-V announced it is ready to start commercially selling its flying car, called Liberty. Not everyone will be able to afford it, because its cheapest model costs more than 300,000 euro.

Back to top