Not only Italy means bad sales figures for Fiat Group. Most of big European markets are facing tough times and Fiat is part of them. France, European second most important market for the group (not in terms of units sold but in terms of market share) is doing bad, but not as bad as Italy. YTD numbers indicate that the whole market has dropped 13,4% or 200.000 units less than in the same period of last year. Of course the big 3 French feel the fall with Renault losing 21%, Peugeot 20,5% and Citroen 18,6%, more or less the same fall that Fiat is having in its native Italy. In August French market fell 11,4% but Fiat brand dropped a massive 34,4% due to the spectacular fall of best-seller Fiat 500 (-32%) and Fiat Punto (-51%). The new Panda is down a worrying 23% and sold less units than VW Up!. Lancia did better with a fall of ‘only’ 16%, while Alfa continues its drop down 29%. Only Dacia, VW, Nissan, Toyota, Audi and the Koreans are gaining market share.
In Germany the situation is the same. Fiat brand’s sales fell almost 15% in a whole market that fell only 5%. And again the same reason: Punto’s drop (-67%) which did not compensate the good result got by smalls 500 (+38%) and Panda (+5%), very good numbers taking into account the good results that VW Up! is having over there. The 2 Alfas did very bad as the MiTo dropped 14% and Giulietta 27%. Lancia was the only one with positive results, up 23% not thanks to Ypsilon (-40%) but to the Voyager which was the brand’s best-selling model with 65 units. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was up 68% (256 units compared to 152 last year) and the Wrangler up 19%. Even though Lancia and Jeep had splendid results, they are still marginal brands with really small numbers.
But in the other 2 main European markets, the UK and Spain, Fiat Group had positive results. In Spain, where there was a positive growth (+3,5%) in car sales during August, Fiat brand was up 13% with 824 cars thanks to the Punto (+19%) and the 500 (+8%). Lancia sold 127 cars, 41 more than August/11. Alfa sold 208 MiTo (36 units vs. 55 one year ago) and Giulietta (161 vs. 167 units). In the UK (+0,2%) Fiat brand was up 11% and had the best market share so far this year. Chrysler sold 109 cars, up 40%, and Alfa was down 30%. At the end Fiat is losing market share in France but is not doing bad at all in Germany, the UK and Spain. Lancia and Jeep continue their sales growth but are still far away from big numbers. And Alfa Romeo is doing the opposite it got one year before with Giulietta model, which had a wonderful start but is now suffering because of the lack of Station Wagon body type and more competition.
A totally failure by Sergio Marchionne.
Without new cars, the market share in Europe is collapsing.
It is not Marchionne the problem. Fiat is facing 2 problems in Europe: the economic crisis of the continent (which is also the main problem for Renault, PSA, Ford and Opel) and the big power and lack of competitiveness of the labor forces in Italy.
nice article felipe, its useful for me in these days that im very busy to read a short outlook about whats going on
dewitte.. im sorry but the article doesnt show any failure by marchionne..
i mean: are brands with new models going into a bright future??
ask peugeot.. they have just launched the brilliant 208 and they are down 20%
Nice to see your comments again Dario. As I told DeWitte the problem is not Marchionne, who I think is Fiat’s best ‘asset’, but the lack of competitiveness of Italian labor force plus the economic crisis of the continent.
im sorry, i forgot a ‘dot’ after ‘going on’ 🙂
Sorry but can’t agree with you about the lack of competitiveness of italian labor force.
Clearly you don’t leave in Italy and don’t know actually the true situation and the true cost of a worker for a company (far less then in France or Germany).
New Peugeot 208: -20%
Old Fiat Punto: -40/50%
Who is dominating the european market? Group VW and is invesnting heavily in new cars, also Seat cars.
Who is losing continously market share and is fighting with BMW!!! for 6th place? Fiat.
Actually Marchionne is a big asset for Chrysler but is become the big problem for Fiat Europe (=Italia)
i said peugeot is down 20% (not the 208 that was not on sale last year), and if you compare it with fiat you will see it is just the same!
also fiat is down 20%! the difference is that peugeot is down 20% in a market down 11%, while fiat is down 20% in a market down 20%..
talking about vw.. they surely do wisely investing in new cars.. since they sell mainly in a (quite) healthy country like germany.. how do you expect fiat to invest the same to sell cars in a country that can go bankrupt tomorrow!!
and i say that because i live in italy..
Yes, Fiat is losing market share everywhere in Europe. The Punto is getting old and does not offer anything different from fresh products like the Peugeot 208 or the Yaris. It is also true that VW dominates Europe and will soon dominate the entire world. That’s the reality now and Fiat is facing it with less investment in Europe.
But have you ever asked why Marchionne is interesting in America and no more in Europe? it is not only because of European debt crisis. Italian workforce is certainly good and it has been able to achieve great products. But it has not been able to understand that the world changed and those privileges of the past are not profitable for a global company. Of course it does not mean Italian workforce must become a slave force, but it must undestand that if it wants to survive in this competitive world it must change and evolve. It is not possible that some labor unions go on strike just to watch a futbol match, http://sports.yahoo.com/news/fiat-slams-strike-overlap-italy-182724479–sow.html, or go on strike the same days the new generation Panda is to go on sale in all European markets. Or just look at Italian workers absenteeism compared to other European countries. Or why do you think no other car maker is investing or creating new factories in Italy? why do you think Fiat selected Poland to produce the 500 and Ypsilon? not only because the labor force is cheaper over there (Poland is part of European Union so European Labor law in terms of rights for the workers applies over there). Fiat chose Poland because they can produce good products in less time with less problems.
And yes, I do live in Italy, and that’s why I have been able to see how great Italians are, how kind they are and what a nice country they have. But at the same time, I have been able to see what a big challenge they have when it is about thinking of the future.
I tend to agree with Dewitte about the focus on the US being detrimental to Fiat’s aspirations. It is amazing Marchionne is praised so much but has not been able to keep talent like Luca De Meo. Marchionne has certainly helped Chrysler. But the commitments he made in one of the big investor meetings in 2007 (300k alfa romeos) is a big flop. This is DESPITE new exciting products that were promised. Why? Well Fiat has not achieved the economies of scale it always promised and it made an opportunistic move into the US no more honoring its commitments. The agnellis’ are happy because their empire and asset base is growing but not really improving the health of the company nor meeting commitments made to general investors, the country or the workforce.
Most of the targets that car makers had before financial crisis are still far away from reality. Marchionne may be not honoring his commitments but he made something that saved Fiat from being absorbed by another car maker. He anticipated the crisis in Europe so he bought Chrysler when things were bad in America and good in Europe, so Chrysler could save Fiat when things got bad in Europe. And that is what is happening now. Of course European debt crisis is taking more time than what we all thought and several plans for European brands are being delayed. Agnelli are happy because the company is not burning money in a difficult moment. But certainly it means less maket share and more difficulties in the future.
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