European results for six OEMs in 2010: sales up 12.2%, total 18.869 million units
VW Group ends in black with record sales volume, revenue and profit; Renault's sales volume and BMW'
Thanks to a dramatic improvement in business, six European OEMs have positive net earnings in 2010; VW and Renault post record sales
Six key European OEMs of PSA, Renault, Fiat, VW, BMW and Daimler sold 18.869 million vehicles in 2010, up by 12.2% over the previous year. Regardless of the pessimistic outlook in the beginning of 2010, they won demand in emerging countries such as China and Brazil, and thereby, their sales drastically outstripped the respective pre-financial crisis levels (17.926 million units in 2007). In particular, VW and Renault posted record sales, respectively. Only Fiat had a decrease in sales volume, while its revenue was up.
Four of six European OEMs had ended with negative profit in 2009. All of them turned to the black in 2010. VW and BMW had record-setting net earnings, respectively.
In 2011, these companies predict a market growth, especially in emerging countries and North America, and thus, they expect their business to continue to grow. Renault and Daimler predict about 6% growth in global markets, while PSA and Renault expect European markets to stay flat or dwindle by about 2%.
Six European OEMs' 2011 plans
|PSA||Predicting European markets to stay stable, PSA expects that Chinese, South American and Russian markets will expand. It aims for an automobile division positive recurring operating profit.|
|Renault||Renault predicts a 6% growth in global markets, while expecting the European market to stay flat or dwindling by 2%. Renault aims to refresh the 2010 (record-setting) level of sales volume, and produce a free cash flow of more than 500 million Euros.|
|Fiat||FGA's sales target is set at 2.2 million to 2.3 million units. Fiat Group's targets are set at revenue of 59 billion Euros, a trading profit of 2.1 billion to 2.6 billion Euros, and a net profit of around 900 million Euros.|
|VW||VW expects global passenger car markets to grow beyond the 2010 level, especially in emerging countries and North America. VW aims to outstrip the 2010 record levels of sales volume, revenue and trading profit.|
|BMW||BMW plans sales of 1.5 million units in 2011, aiming for record sales of three brands of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce. It also aims to refresh the 2010 earnings level (the highest mark ever).|
|Daimler||Daimler predicts a 5 to 7% growth in global markets led by China, India and US markets. Mercedes-Benz is expected to increase sales volume, and Daimler aims to drastically pass the Group's 2010 EBIT (7.27 billion Euros) level in 2011.|
Outline of six European OEMs' business results
|(Euros in millions and global sales units in thousands)|
|PSA||Global sales volume||3,428||3,260||3,188||3,602|
|Renault||Global sales volume||2,485||2,382||2,309||2,626|
|Fiat||Global sales volume||2,234||2,153||2,152||2,082|
|VW||Global sales volume||6,190||6,257||6,336||7,203|
|BMW||Global sales volume||1,501||1,436||1,286||1,461|
|Daimler||Global sales volume||2,089||2,073||1,551||1,895|
|Total||Global sales volume||17,926||17,561||16,822||18,869|
|(NOTES)||Global sales volume of Fiat represents those of Fiat Group Automobiles, which do not include medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles sold by Iveco. Sales and operating profit are those of Fiat Group including Fiat Industrial.|
PSA's sales up by 13.0% to 3.602 M units; recurring operating income and net profit turn black
PSA's 2010 global sales volume were 3.602 million units, up by 13.0% over the previous year. Its sales in Europe were 2.195 million units, slightly up by 1.7%, while sales jumped in China and South America by 38.2% to 376 K units and 26.7% to 294 K units, respectively. Increasing sales in emerging countries underpinned the whole PSA business. Sales outside Europe aggregated to 39% (50% by 2015 is its target). New models of Citroen DS3, Sport coupe Peugeot RCZ and crossover Peugeot 3008 were selling well.
PSA's revenue was up by 15.8% to 56.06 billion Euros, which passed the 2008 level. Recurring operating income and net profit turned to the black to 1.8 billion Euros and 1.13 billion Euros, respectively, both of which had been in the red for two consecutive years.
PSA predicts a stable growth in European markets in 2011, and significant growth of about 10%, 4% and 15%, respectively, in the emerging countries of China, South America and Russia. In 2011, PSA will aim to offset hiking raw material costs through the Performance Plan to improve the balance of payments, and realize the positive recurring operating income of the automobile division. In addition, spending a total of 3.0 billion Euros for capitalized R&D and capital expenditure, PSA expects to produce positive free cash flow.
PSA's global sales by region
|(Units in thousands)|
|Total of finished cars||3,234||2,952||2,845||3,125|
Source: PSA Full Year 2010 Results
PSA's consolidated business results
|(Euros in millions)|
|Recurring operating income||1,752||550||(689)||1,796|
Source: PSA Full Year 2010 Results
PSA aims for positive recurring operating income of both Group and auto division in 2011
|Market outlook||PSA predicts stable growth in European markets, and about 10%, 4% and 15% growth in the expecting emerging countries of China, South America and Russia.|
|2011 targets||* PSA will generate the positive recurring operating income of the automotive division (it was 620 million Euros in 2010). It will attempt to improve the balance of income and cost by 1.1 billion Euros through the Performance Plan, and offsetting hiking material costs. * Divisions other than the Automobile will commit to increasing recurring operating income. * Generate positive free cash flow, spending a total of 3.0 billion Euros for capitalization of R&D and capital expenditure.|
|Progress on our ambitions||* PSA made progress on its ambition for 50% of sales outside Europe by 2015 (32% in 2009 to 39% in 2010). * PSA will enhance brand images of Peugeot and Citroen, and their price competitiveness. * The objective in the 3.3-billion Euro Performance Plan 2010 - 2012 to improve the balance of income and cost was revised upward. PSA will pursue a 3.7 billion-Euro profitability boost.|
|Source: PSA Full Year 2010 Results|
|NOTES: 1.||The Progress on Our Ambitions is a corporate strategy unveiled when the 2010 first half business results were released.|
|2.||In 2010, improvement of the balance of payments was targeted at 1.1 billion Euros in the 'Performance Plan 2010 - 2012'. PSA delivered the result of 1.5 billion-Euro ahead of the target. This difference of 400 million Euros was loaded on the top of the objective by 2012 from 3.3 billion to 3.7 billion Euros.|
|3.||PSA plans to amortize the outstanding French State Loan of two billion Euros by one billion by the end of February 2011 and the other one billion by the end of April. (Of total three billion Euros, it has returned one billion Euros earlier in September 2010).|
Renault has record sales of 2.626 M units, and positive operating and net income, aiming to sell 3 M units in 2013
Renault's 2010 global sales volume marked record high, up by 13.7% to 2.626 million units. By brand, sales of Renault brand was up by 13.7% to 2.116 million units, Dacia up by 11.9% to 348K, and Renault-Samsung up by 18.6% to 162 K units. The Renault brand C-segment Megane series and new LCV Master, and the Dacia brand small off-road Duster were selling well. The region having more sales was outside Europe; particularly in the Americas including Brazil, Renault had strong sales of 317 K units, up by 39.1%.
The 2010 revenue was 38.97 billion Euros, up by 15.6% on a year-on-year basis. Thereby, operating and net income turned black by 1.1 billion Euros and 3.49 billion Euros, respectively.
Renault predicts 6% growth in global markets in 2011, while expecting the European markets to stay flat or dwindle by 2%. Yet, Renault aims to outstrip the 2010 record sales level and realize a free cash flow of more than 500 million Euros.
A long-term plan by 2016, "Renault 2016 Drive the Change" was unveiled in February 2011. Mid-term numerical targets by 2013 were laid out at sales volume of three million units, a free cash flow of two billion Euros and an operating margin of 5%.
Renault's global sales by brand and region
|(Units in thousands)|
|Source: Renault Earnings report 2010|
|(Note)||Europe includes Western and Central Europe. Euromed includes Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, etc.), Turkey and North Africa. Eurasia includes Russia and CIS countries. Asia-Africa includes Oceania and Middle East.|
Renault's consolidated business results
|(Euros in millions)|
Source: Renault Earnings report 2010 (Note) The 2010 net profit includes the gain of 2 billion Euros on sale of securities of truck manufacturer Volvo AB.
Renault to pursue sales over the previous year and a free cash flow of more than 500 million Euros in 2011
|Market outlook||Renault predicts a 6% growth in world markets, while expecting the European markets to dwindle by 2%, and France to notably reduce by 8%.|
|2011 targets||In 2011, Renault will pursue sales beyond the 2010 record level. It also aims to generate a free cash flow of more than 500 million Euros with a ratio of CAPEX and R&D at 9% of revenue.|
|Long-term targets||In February 2011, Renault unveiled its long-term plan by 2016, "Renault 2016 Drive the Change." Numerical targets by 2013, when a mid-term report will be issued, are laid out at sales volume of three million units, a free cash flow of two billion Euros and an operating margin of 5%.|
Source: Renault Earnings report 2010, Renault Press Release 2011/2/10
Fiat Group demerges business to automobile Fiat SpA and capital goods Fiat Industrial; Fiat SpA's revenue up despite decrease in unit sales
Fiat demerged business to automobile sector and capital goods sector in January 2011. Automobile divisions such as Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) were integrated into Fiat SpA, and IVECO, agricultural and construction equipment divisions into Fiat Industrial.
In 2010, FGA sold 2.082 million vehicles, down by 3.3% over the previous year. European sales significantly slowed down (by 10.7% to 1.166 million units), since the governmental new car incentive schemes ended. Particularly, sales plummeted by 42.6% over the previous year in Germany, and down by 13.3% even in its home Italy.
Despite decrease in sales volume, the automobile division (Fiat SpA) had sales of 35.88 billion Euros, up by 9.8%. This is because the product lines were shifted to a higher price range, and currency fluctuation gave a positive impact. In total, Fiat Group posted revenues of 56.26 billion Euros, up by 12.3%, a trading profit of 2.2 billion Euros, up by about two times, and net profit of 600 million Euros. As a result, the Fiat Group's business turned to the black.
FGA's 2011 sales target is set at 2.20 million to 2.30 million units, while Fiat Group set 2011 targets at revenues of 59 billion Euros, a trading profit of 2.1 to 2.6 billion Euros and net profit of around 900 million Euros.
Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA)' global sales volume by region
|(Units in thousands)|
|Rest of the world||264||249||97||155|
|Source: Fiat Q4 & FY 2010 Results Review|
|NOTES: 1.||Fiat Group Automobiles comprises Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat Professional and Abarth brands.|
|2.||Sales volume of 2010 includes 140 K units sold by Chrysler Group in Europe.|
|3.||Data of Europe before 2008 are sales volume in Western Europe.|
Fiat Group's consolidated business results
|(Euros in Millions)|
|Trading profit||Fiat SpA||-||-||736||1,112||900~1200|
|Net profit||Fiat SpA||-||-||(345)||222||~300|
|Source: Fiat Annual Report 2010|
|NOTES: 1.||The revenue data of Fiat Group include the eliminations between the above two companies.|
|2.||The data of Fiat Group of 2011 plan were not released by Fiat Group, but simply totaled figures of two companies' plans.|
Fiat Group set 2011 targets at revenues of 59 bn Euros and a trading profit of 2.1 bn to 2.6 bn Euros
|FGA's sales||Fiat Group Automobiles set a sales target at 2.2 to 2.3 million units (sales were 2.08 million units in 2010). In particular, Brazil is the most promising for its sales. FGA expects sales in Europe to recover from the latter half of 2011.|
|2011 targets||In total, Fiat Group's 2011 targets are set at revenues of 59 billion Euros, trading profit of 2.1 to 2.6 billion Euros and net profit of 900 million Euros.|
|Demerger||In January 2011, Fiat demerged its business into two sectors, i.e., automobile Fiat SpA and capital goods Fiat Industrial including IVECO and others.|
Source: Fiat Q4 & FY 2010 Results Review
VW refreshes previous sales volume, revenue and operating profit records, while pursuing new records in 2011
VW posted record-breaking sales of 7.203 million units in 2010, up by 13.7% or 867 K units. Of the increase, the increase of 524 K units was in China, where sales were up by 37.4% over the previous year to 1.925 million units. On the other hand, sales in Western Europe were slightly down by 0.5% to 2.903 million units. By brands, sales of Audi and VW were up by 15.0% and 13.9% to 1.092 million units and 4.503 million units, respectively, which underpinned VW's strong business.
Sales revenue was also up by 20.6% to 126.87 billion Euros and operating profit almost quadrupled to 7.14 billion Euros, both of which were record-breaking.
As for 2011 business, VW expects the world passenger car markets to expand from the previous year's level, in particular in emerging countries and North America. In 2011, VW will pursue sales volume, revenue and operating profit beyond the 2010 record-setting figures.
VW's global sales volume by brand and region
|(Units in thousands)|
|Global sales volume||6,190||6,257||6,336||7,203||1,023||1,202|
|Central and Eastern Europe||497||560||385||429|
Source: VW Annual Report 2010 Note: Other brands are Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti. Commercial vehicles are all VW brand and do not include Scania.
VW Group's consolidated business results
|(Euros in millions)|
|Production (thousand units)||6,213||6,347||6,055||7,358|
|Profit before tax||6,543||6,608||1,261||8,994|
|Profit after tax||4,122||4,688||911||7,226|
Source: VW Annual Report 2010 NOTE: Data of Sales Revenue and Operating Profit include those of Financial Service Division.
In 2011, VW to pursue sales volume, revenue and operating profit beyond 2010 figures
|Market outlook||Global demand for passenger cars will surpass the 2010 level, while Western European markets will have negative impact from governments' debt and the end of new car incentive schemes. It is expected that demand will expand in Central and Eastern Europe, China, India, North America and South America.|
|2011 Targets||VW will pursue sales volume, revenue and operating profit beyond 2010 figures.|
|Long-term target||The business plan "Strategy 2018" has progressed. According to the plan, VW aims to achieve global sales of ten million units (7.2 million units in 2010) and a pretax profit rate of 8% or greater (7.1% in 2010) by 2018.|
Source: VW Annual Report 2010
BMW has sales of 1.461 M units, up by 13.6%, and record-setting sales and pretax profit
BMW sold 1.461 million units in 2010, up by 13.6% over the previous year (the highest-ever was 1.501 million units in 2007). Sales in China grew significantly by 85.3% to 183 K units. Thanks to strong sales of the 5 Series Sedan and touring wagon, X1 and X3, BMW brand's sales were up by 14.6% to 1.224 million units. Mini brand's sales were up by 8.1% to 234 K units, which was one of the best records ever. The new model Countryman contributed to the strong sales.
Sales and profit items were record-setting. BMW had sales of 60.47 billion Euros, up by 19.3%, and a pretax profit of 4.84 billion Euros, up by 11.7 times.
In 2011, BMW aims to generate record-setting sales in all brands, and surpass the 2010 revenue.
BMW unveiled the new brand BMW i in February 2011. The EV BMW i3 and PHEV BMW i8 will be released in 2013.
BMW's global sales volume by brand and region
|Rest of Europe||443,600||432,200||357,300||369,300|
|(of which) China||61,195||75,481||98,960||183,328|
Source: BMW Annual Report 2010、BMW Corporate News 2011/3/9
BMW's consolidated business results
|(Euros in Millions)|
|Production volume (unit)||1,541,503||1,439,918||1,258,417||1,461,253|
Source: BMW Annual Report 2010 NOTE: The 2007 pretax profit includes a temporary financial profit of 97 million Euros (It was 61 million Euros in the January-June period, five million Euros in the July - September period, and 31 million Euros in the October - December period).
BMW plans 2011 sales volume of 1.5 M units, and EBIT of 8% or greater
|2011 targets||BMW plans the 2011 sales volume of 1.5 million units, aiming for record sales of three brands of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce. Also it aims to pass the 2010 revenue level.|
|Long-term targets||BMW set 2012 targets for the automobile division at a Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) of 26% or greater, while holding the EBIT margin target at 8 to 10% (The 2010 ROCE was 40.2%, and the 2011 target is set at 26% or greater. The 2010 EBIT margin was 8.0%, and the 2011 target is set at 8% or greater).|
|Sub-brand, BMW i||BMW unveiled the sub-brand BMW i for green models in February 2011. The EV which has been called a megacity vehicle will be launched as BMW i3 in 2013. In addition, a plug-in hybrid vehicle will be launched as BMW i8. Both models will have aluminum chassis and CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) compartment to reduce vehicle body weight.|
Source: BMW Annual Report 2010、BMW Corporate News 2011/2/2, 21 NOTE: BMW will develop hybrid technologies with PSA. BMW in February 2011 announced to invest a hundred million Euros to establish a 50-50 joint venture, BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification. The venture company will start operations in the second quarter of 2011. It is planned to mount hybrid-related parts developed by the joint venture on the models of both companies from 2014.
Daimler: Mercedes-Benz sells 1.277 M units, close to the best record, and has positive EBIT and net profit
Mercedes-Benz Cars, the passenger car division of Daimler, sold 1.277 million units in 2010, up by 16.7% over the previous year. This figure was close to the best record of 1.293 million units in 2007. Above all, the E-Class was selling well to 331 K units, up by 56.0%. By region, sales were up by 2.0% to 636 K units in Western Europe, while sales in China jumped by 2.4-times to 160 K units. Total Daimler Group sales were 1.895 million units including commercial vehicles, up by 22.2%.
Daimler had the 2010 sales of 97.76 billion Euros, up by 23.9%, and positive EBIT and net profit of 7.27 billion Euros and 4.67 billion Euros, respectively.
Daimler predicts a 5 to 6% growth in the world passenger car markets led by China, India and the US in 2011. Sales volume of Mercedes-Benz Cars is expected to expand mostly in North American and BRICs countries. Daimler Group aims to outstrip the 2010 level of EBIT in 2011 as a whole.
Mercedes-Benz Cars' sales by region (wholesale volume)
|Of the above, Germany||342,860||332,472||297,756||292,895||24,300||25,900|
|Of the above, other Western European countries||436,297||400,761||325,733||342,903||36,200||39,200|
|Of the above, China||48,620||67,451||159,974||15,700||27,700|
|Of the above, other Asian countries||144,479||128,519||159,007||28,900||32,700|
Source: Daimler Fact Sheet Q4 2010 & Full Year 2010 NOTE: The data above include Mitsubishi brand vehicles made and sold in South Africa by Mercedes-Benz Cars (they were 10,100 units in 2007, 8,190 units in 2008, 5,274 units in 2009 and 4,192 units in 2010).
Daimler's consolidated business results
|(Euros in millions)|
|Production volume (units in thousands)||2,097||2,150||1,456||1,941|
|Sales volume (units in thousands)||Passenger cars||1,293||1,273||1,094||1,277|
|Source: Daimler Fact Sheet Q4 2010 & Full Year 2010|
|NOTES: 1.||Data of passenger cars are from Mercedes-Benz Cars, and those of commercial vehicles are the total of Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Busses. Production volume shows the total of both divisions.|
|2.||Totals of sales and EBIT include the data of Financial Services Division.|
Daimler aims for 2011 sales volume and EBIT beyond the 2010 levels
|Market outlook||Daimler predicts a 5 to 7% growth in the world passenger car markets. Growth of China, India and US markets will be prominent. Daimler expects the German market to expand as well.|
|2011 targets||Daimler expects that sales of Mercedes-Benz Cars will increase; in particular, North American and BRICs markets are the most promising. The whole Daimler Group aims in 2011 to outstrip the 2010 level of EBIT (7.27 billion Euros).|
Source: Daimler FY 2010 and Q4 2010 Results
Mid-term Production Forecast by IHS Global Insight
France : Light vehicle production by Country (IHS Global Insight Forecast)
Source: Global LV Production Data (as of 6 Jan. 2011)
- 1. Data indicate figures of only small-size vehicles, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under 6 tons.
- 2. Figures for 2008 and 2009 indicate actual production results.
- 3. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any data will require permission of IHS Global Insight.
Forecast and Analysis: Industry and Production Outlook - Passenger Cars: Outlook for Passenger Car Production
In terms of production, French carmakers have finally turned their words into actions: they totally embraced their international strategy. The expansion of worldwide production is now the rule rather than the exception. Both groups are multiplying foreign facilities (meaning those out of Western Europe) on nearly all continents, or at least utilising their existing capacity in much better proportions (such as Renault in Brazil). Consequently, French plants have been hit particularly hard.
Given the general cost-efficiency race between carmakers, maintaining production in countries with higher labour costs (like France) is becoming a tough challenge. Like their competitors, French OEMs are trying to adapt their production system to fit the market: they are willing to produce where the customers are. For France, and more generally Western Europe, that means producing high-margin models rather than low-cost ones. Unfortunately, these are among the very ones that are suffering from the current economic situation and the various CO2 measures.
Industry and Production Outlook - Passenger Cars: Manufacturer Prospects
Citroën’s output declined by a massive 22.3% in 2009 (compared with just 3.7% in 2008). The crisis, but also the average age of the models (C3, C4, Xsara Picasso), were factors.
We anticipate that the brand's production will recover as early as 2010 (rising 24.1%). The new C3 and the DS3 are entering their first full year of production. Both models are well positioned in a segment that is expected to keep growing: of course it has been massively supported by incentives in 2008 and 2009, but the trend towards smaller cars should remain (CO2 regulations). In 2011, the situation should persist, with added volumes from the renewed C4 and the arrival of the second model in the DS sub-range, namely the DS4, a 5-door coupé that Citroën hopes will bring more upmarket customers to the brand (i.e., more profitable margins).
All in all, in the foreseeable horizon, we assume Citroën's production level to remain above 500,000 units/year.
In 2009, Peugeot’s output dropped by 7.2%—quite a result given the situation. Indeed, as a consequence of the crisis, demand for the core models suffered (207, 308, 407), but Peugeot managed to limit the decline thanks to the 206 Plus (positioned as an entry model) that benefited from the European scrapping measures, but also thanks to the addition of two models to the portfolio, namely the 3008 and 5008, which have certainly attracted new customers to the French brand.
For 2010, we envision a significant improvement in production (up 8.9%). Core models are not expected to improve though, as competition is fierce (207, 308). On the other hand, we assume that the 3008 and 5008 should confirm their present success. As for the 508 (late 2010), replacing both the 407 and 607, its influence will only become apparent in 2011.
In the medium term, Peugeot's production should revolve around 700,000 units/year with up-and-down movements in sync with model renewals (207-208, 308–301, etc.).
Renault’s output dropped by 19% in 2009: an alarming but slowing rate. The previous year, production was already down by 33%. The fact is that Renault is certainly less franco-centric than PSA. As such, it benefited from the scrapping schemes as much as its national rival, but many of the affected models (for example, Twingo and Clio) were built outside France.
For 2010, we think the situation could improve (growing 17.2%) as the new Scénic enters its first full year of sales. The Clio is also expected to do well: the model is approaching the end of its cycle, which means that commercial efforts should be important.
In the longer term, the return to more favourable output is essentially attributable to the renewed Clio (2012/13), which was confirmed in both France and Turkey. Although more anecdotal in terms of volumes, 2010 will also represent the start of Renault’s electric vehicle programme, thanks to the introduction of the “electrified” Kangoo. The next step will be taken in 2012, when the purpose-built Zoé (an electric B-segment model) will enter production at Flins. At the same time, production of an A-segment electric vehicle (called the Twizy) was confirmed for Spain for 2011, and the electric variant of the Fluence sedan will remain in the Turkish facility (2011).
For some years, the Toyota Yaris output has been suffering. It seems that the small Japanese model is not benefiting as much as others are from the current CO2 measures (notably in France, where rival import models from Ford or Fiat are faring much better). The Yaris is suffering above all from competition from the diminutive Aygo and, to a lesser extent, the IQ minicar. It should also be noted that Toyota has not embraced the same “full discount” approach as many competitors. Toyota’s French output has been regularly declining since 2008. Real recovery should only come in 2012 though, when the new-generation Yaris is due.
After a breath of fresh air thanks to the introduction of the ForTwo in the U.S. market in 2008, production of the 2-seater has returned to lower and, unfortunately, more usual levels. The U.S. frenzy stopped as fast as it started and, despite very good CO2 rankings, the model faces tough competition in Europe. Its relative high price positioning is a strong handicap in such a price-sensitive and discount-active market.
In the current situation, we do not see any improvement for Smart in the short term, as its cost (production and then selling price) remains its weakest point. Nonetheless, the future seems brighter now that the partnership with Renault has become official. In 2013, the Smart ForTwo will indeed share its Edison platform with Renault’s successor to the Twingo. Smart will also take advantage of the deal to develop a “bigger” Smart (built alongside the Twingo in Renault’s Slovenian facility). This way, Daimler will certainly benefit from Renault’s knowhow in terms of small car engineering and high-volume purchasing power.
Forecast and Analysis: Industry and Production Outlook - Light Trucks: Outlook for Light-Truck Production
Production of light trucks in France has been declining steadily since 2005. The main explanation is the constant decrease in the share of car substitutes, under the reducing influence of the large MPVs (the Espace, 807, and C8).
As far as LCV production is concerned, 2009 represented a very bad year, down by 43.3% after an already declining 2008. As most French LCV production is aimed at Europe, there has been no bright spot anywhere to help save some sales. Ironically, the few successful CDVs during that critical period (the Berlingo, Nemo, and Bipper) are built outside France. Hopefully, LCV production has rebounded in 2010, as major economies started seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. We do not anticipate any major relocation of production outside France (indeed, the next generation of the Renault Trafic will return to the country), therefore we assume that the French sites will benefit from the return to growth in many LCV markets.
As far as brands are concerned, Renault should easily remain the biggest producer of light trucks in France. We saw a dramatic dive in 2009 (down 35.3%), but 2010 should be far more positive. We anticipate high double-digit growth (22.4%), thanks to the renewal of the Master and the restarting of sales of the Kangoo. An appreciable breath of fresh air should also arrive in 2012, as Carlos Ghosn has confirmed the Trafic at Sandouville. This model (with output of 100,000 units a year) is, for now, the saviour of Renault’s under-utilised facility, which currently builds the too-slow-selling "big Renaults": the Espace and the Laguna.
Output of PSA light trucks is forecast to grow markedly during the next years, in the wake of improvements in the European economy. The association with Fiat to build medium vans (the Expert, Jumpy, and Scudo) has proved more profitable than the collaboration on large MPVs, all the more since Fiat, now with Chrysler under its umbrella, will opt for a re-badged Chrysler Voyager model for its future large MPV. PSA is expected to partially replace its own model with crossover vehicles (the DS5 and 508 Premium).
Overall, French production is under considerable stress. The general trend is to develop foreign activities (outside Western Europe) to gain profitability. However, at the same time, public pressure has become more and more intense (and heavily publicised) on both of the French manufacturers to keep their home plants alive. The recent economic difficulties have clearly demonstrated these tensions. The French government has indeed granted its national brands a loan of 6 billion euro in 2009, but it demanded a lot in return: namely, that no French plants would close in the near future. Reactions are quite mixed but understandable. Renault is reassuringly conciliatory. Remember that the French state still owns 15% of the company. On the other hand, PSA is not very keen on seeing its strategy being dictated by politics. Both groups have already started paying off their loans sooner than legally required, which certainly is a beneficial move in order to keep greater leeway.