The Geneva Motor Show is coming up in March and BBC reports the state of play in the industry (and yes, you-know-who-gets a mention).
Among the winners and momentum-gatherers are Toyota, Renault/Nissan, Porsche & BMW. Many of the giants are trying to trim the fat of their operations amidst falling sales and lower margins.
Toyota are riding world’s best profit margins as well as a wave of success for it’s recent car of the year, the hybrid Prius. Renault/Nissan are proving to be a formidable allance, even if it’s an unlikely one. Porsche and BMW continue to see rising demand.
As far as Saab is concerned, it’s a case of more speculation about the marque’s future:
Fiat’s former ally, GM, is also overhauling its European strategy.
The US car giant is desperate to move beyond the
troubled industrial relations that characterised its European
operations last year after it announced that a fifth of its workforce
here would have to go.
Instead, GM wants to focus on gaining a foothold in
Europe’s lucrative luxury car market. The automotive group has failed
to make its subsidiary Saab a viable luxury car in Europe, despite the
Swedish marque’s success in the US.
So in a bizarre twist, it will now start making a small
Cadillacs at the Saab factory in Sweden, constructed on the same
platform as the Saab 9-3, in the hope that Europeans will adopt it as a
serious competitor to the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar.
It will be an uphill struggle.
Europeans are sceptical about Saab’s future as a car
making operation, and in Sweden speculation is rife that GM would
ideally like to get rid of the marque – a claim the company feverishly