Fun And Games France’s Automotive Market
Historic rivals since time immemorial, there has always been an element of competition between French industry and German industry. In recent years, this competition has become little more than healthy inter-national hi-jinks; on one side you had the dogged efficiency of German engineering, while on the Gallic side of the border you had the flair and panache of the French made vehicles. Which side of the border you opted for was indicative of your personality.
Now, the economic climate has added a bit of extra spice to proceedings; Germany are the undisputed fiscal leaders of Europe, and their industry backs this up; meanwhile, France – while nowhere near Europe’s worst economic offenders – are in less calm financial waters. From this economic picture, you might expect France’s industry to be somewhat worse for wear also. One look at the performance of Peugeot Group and you might think this was the case.
The group posted a 0.9% drop in car and LCV sales last month after a startling 17% fall in May. Sales of Peugeot and Citroen combined dropped by 9.5% in June, coincidently, exactly the same proportion by which sales of domestic rival Renault increased. The latter’s gambling on the low cost Dacia – the Romanian automotive company acquired by Renault in 1999 – paying dividends. By comparison, across the border in Germany, experienced 3.8% growth for the month, keeping the fires of the cross-border rivalry nicely stoked.