Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Taken from a Pistonheads artical...
The global slump in car sales could sound the death knell for major automotive brands including BMW, with one automotive group CEO predicting only six high volume survivors.
Fiat group boss Sergio Marchionne has told Automotive News that 24 months from now the global car making scene is likely to look very different, with survival only guaranteed for groups that can build and sell more than 5.5 million vehicles a year. Currently that means Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, Ford and Renault-Nissan, and Marchionne’s view of the new global reality is stark.
‘We’re going to end up with one American house, one German of size, one French-Japanese, one in Japan, one in China and one potential European player,’ he told AM. ‘Independence in this business is no longer sustainable’.
While bigger companies can achieve cost savings and enjoy economies of scale, smaller outfits are likely to bear the brunt of the recession.
According to AM’s analysis, brands with a large ‘family-owned’ stake are at most risk – including BMW and Peugeot-Citroen, which could be put up for Sale by the Quandt and Peugeot families. Fiat is also considered vulnerable.
While some predict mergers and acquisitions as the way for European brands to survive, others are more cynical citing EC competition rules and the failure of previous ventures like Daimler’s takeover of Chrysler and the BMW Rover debacle.