EurotaxGlass's selger sin norske avdeling

EurotaxGlass's International AS har solgt den norske avdelingen av selskapet.

Avtalen ble gjennomført 27. september 2013 da EurotaxGlass's Norge AS offisielt ble overtatt av Zetare Holding AS, et selskap eid av nåværende daglig leder, Geir Kristoffersen.

Martin Stewart, administrerende direktør i EurotaxGlass's International AG, uttaler: "Dataintegrasjonen med resten av EurotaxGlass's er svært liten. Av den grunn har vi valgt å avhende avdelingen og dermed realisert betydelige verdier for våre investorer gjennom salget. Det norske selskapet vil være i gode hender under det meritterte lederskapet til Geir, og vi ønsker ham all mulig suksess."

EurotaxGlass's beholder ingen eierinteresser i det nye selskapet, som kommer til å skifte navn til Rødboka AS.

Endringen i eierskap får ingen innvirkning for kundene, som fortsatt vil få utmerket service og støtte.

"Jeg forsikrer kundene våre i det norske markedet at de ikke vil oppleve andre endringer enn bytte av navn, domener etc. Vi er opptatt av å levere data og produkter til våre kunder for å hjelpe dem i å styrke sin forretning," sier Geir Kristoffersen.

For mer informasjon om Rødboka AS, se www.rodboka.no

CV sales down 10.6%

Whilst a fall of 10.6% is hardly good news when you compare it to the disastrous 2012, down 12.4% and December down 23.4%, it is at least a slight improvement. Apart from that one positive CV sales mirrored the car market with the UK the only major market showing any growth (+5.4%). France was down 9.8% almost matching December’s fall and both Italy and Spain saw an improvement in the rate of decline versus December with sales down 15.5% and 23.6% respectively. However Germany saw a worsening of the market as its sales decline mirrored Spain and fell 15.5%.

Interestingly whilst, in most cases, Light Commercial sales helped soften the fall felt on heavier trucks Spain and Italy both bucked the trend as LCVs fell by 18.2% and 25.7% respectively compared to CVs>16t (ES -11.1%, IT -9,3%) and CVs>3.5t (ES - 10.1%, IT -14.2%). Whilst still looking for any positive news medium and heavy coaches actually saw growth, up 9.8% compared to January 2012 http://www.acea.be/index.php/news/news_detail/commercial_vehicles_registrations_down_10.6_in_january/ 

EU carbon targets at risk from German OEMs

Back to Europe and whilst car sales continue to fall the EU is debating the impact supercredits are having on its carbon targets. The supercredits which allow manufacturers to produce cars that exceed the 95g/km emission target by 2020 if they also make very low emission electric or hybrid vehicles has been a keen driver for some brands in the production of EVs. Given the state of the EU economy, the state of the European automotive market, the fact that the worst polluting cars are older vehicles and that everything combined is driving people to keep hold of older vehicles for longer you can’t help thinking that the European Commission would best serve Europe and the environment by trying to persuade people out of their high polluting old vehicles into the younger far more environmentally friendly vehicles already in existence. It is also rather ironic that at in the same week Audi announced plans to double its line-up of SUVs by 2020 to close the gap in sales to BMW


France car sales down 12% as Ford take the brunt

Month two of 2013 down and car sales continue their downward spiral as the French automobile association, CCFA, announced a 12% drop in sales (-7.7% when adjusted for sales days) and considering February 2012 was also down 20% it underlines how bad things are getting with 15 straight months of decline. Whilst 2012 was dominated by falls in the domestic brands so far they are taking a bit of a back seat, with PSA only down 16% and Renault (-11%) and it was Ford who led the way with sales down 33%.

Meanwhile Hyundai-Kia saw a 5% growth in sales with Hyundai in particular up 24% and Toyota continued to recover from the 2011 tsunami as sales also rose (+12%).


Estonia goes electric

Talking of low emission vehicles and Estonia has decided to invest in a nationwide network of fast charging points. After Portugal invested heavily in an EV charging infrastructure which failed to invigorate much in the way of EV sales it will be interesting to see whether Estonia has any better success in invigorating EV sales, although with 1 EV for every 1,000 cars Estonia is already second only to Norway in the take-up of EVs with the Netherlands coming in third.. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/uk-estonia-environment-cars-idUSLNE91J02O20130220 

Spanish decline steady but still 9.8% down

t is not just the French who are still seeing sales falling and despite the Spanish government introducing a new subsidy to boost car sales Anfac, the car manufacturer’s association announced a 9.6% fall to 58,373 cars. With Germany and Italy sales out next week and expected to also repeat the pattern and with the weaker pound making product dumping in the UK less attractive it has to be a matter of time before more production cuts are announced. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/01/autos-spain-sales-idUSL6N0BT40820130301 

VW target Prius

We end this week with yet another EV story and Ferdinand.Piech, VW Chairman, has long held the aim of producing the “one litre” car, i.e. one litre of fuel per 100km, and VW’s announcement that it will build its carbon fibre-reinforced plastic diesel hybrid XL1 later this year is the culmination of that ambition. However its styling is likely to polarise potential buyers. But VAG is not just pushing ahead under the VW brand as it will also debut the A3 E-Tron at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

http://europe.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130221/ANE/302219722/vw-will-build-xl1-plug-in-hybrid- car&cciid=email-ane-daily#axzz2LeV1GeeX


Europe to take longer than US to recover

Staying with the bleak outlook for Europe and with higher severance costs and European manufacturers being slower to react to the economic downturn Visteon Chief Executive, Tim Leuliette, predicts that Europe will take a lot longer to see any traction in their turnaround plans.


Europe 2013?

So what does the next 12 months look like? The effect of the factory closures will not be felt quickly enough and the measures are still not extensive enough to prevent further discounts and self-registrations. Even with further discounting, registrations are still likely to fall by around three to four per cent next year as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) near their limit on how far they can go with discounting, self-registration incentives and dealer demonstrators. The one- to five-year-old car parc will also continue to shrink, and whilst it is not enough to see an increase in used car values it will reduce the rate of decline.

RVs for vehicles in the smaller segments across Europe are likely to continue to benefit at the expense of larger models as consumers attempt to save money. This can also be seen by the choice of more fuel-efficient and lower emission models, for example the average emission level of new cars in the UK fell by 3.5% to 133.2g/km.

Whilst the UK stood out from the rest of Europe in 2012, 2013 is likely to be a tougher year as RVs of young used vehicles will come under pressure as OEMs seek to exploit the strong market and favourable exchange rates to push new car sales.

Overall it looks like another tough year ahead across Europe, with overcapacity remaining the burning issue. Discounting is likely to remain strong and buyers will continue the trend for smaller vehicles and especially more efficient ones. The trend towards premium feel products and brands is also likely to continue as buyers want something to make them feel good whilst also trying to save money. Meanwhile OEMs will need to push ahead on the technology front with things like Smartphone interfaces into the in-car entertainment systems and digital radios as standard if they want to differentiate themselves without having to just offer further discounts. 

VW’s start to the year worse than 2012

Whilst VW managed to increase its share of the French market, up to 14.14% from 13.77% it still saw sales fall 7.5% in February and according to the CFO, Hans Dieter Poetsch, the first quarter of 2013 “will be clearly” below the same quarter in 2012. If this trend were continue for the rest of the year it would be the first time since 2009 that VW hasn’t seen a rise in annual operating profits.

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20130225/ANE/302259890/volkswagens-start-to-year-is-worse-than-in- 2012-poetsch-says&cciid=email-ane-daily#axzz2MIyoGvJp 

Europe 2012, a year to remember?

This year has been a rollercoaster ride for the European automotive market, just as we forecast it to be. With a few days left until the year end, the problems of 2012 can easily be summarised by one chart. 

Whilst you need to also account for imports and exports, with sales well behind production and production massively behind capacity 2012 was always going to be about survival of the fittest. Throughout the year, discounting continued to rise, and self-registrations have been as high as 35 per cent across some European markets. 

With the pain being felt in sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles industry infighting has been rife. There were calls for a unified approach to capacity cuts which met with

resistance from both German and Korean quarters; accusations of product dumping and a discounting ‘bloodbath’, with some brands cited as doing more than 50 per cent self- registrations in some countries; threats by Volkswagen to pull out of the ACEA; and challenges to CO2 tax calculations, with a clear split between premium German brands and the French and Italian ones who typically producing smaller models.

With big incentives on offer this year, especially for pre-registrations to try to hold up new vehicle sales, this also affected the value of younger used vehicles. Whilst the knock-on effect of declining new car sales was the continuing decline of the car parc of one-to-five year old vehicles meaning fewer used cars in the market. With more people downsizing the demand especially for some smaller premium models came close to exceeding supply.

The only exception to all of the gloom was the UK which is set to end the year 1% up overall and 5% up on passenger cars. 

VW’s German workers get a 4% cut in bonuses

On the back of their CFO’s comments at the start of the week VW also it will be reducing the 2012

bonus to its German workers by 4%, down to €7,200, despite posting a record year of profits and

sales. This comes on the back of cuts last week to top executive’s bonuses which saw CEO Martin

Winterkorn’s total 2012 pay capped at €14.5 million compared to €17.5 million in 2011.


Tesla set to make a profit in 2013

As Fisker struggle Elon Musk, the head and powerhouse behind Tesla, has said that the electric vehicle manufacturer is cash flow positive and may even make a profit next year on the back of sales of its mid-sized luxury EV the Model S. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-18/tesla-motors-appoints-new-daimler-executive-on-board.html 

Opel freeze pay but guarantee 20,000 German jobs

As VW tightens its belt Opel agree to guarantee 20,000 German jobs in exchange for a pay freeze

through to 2015 and the closure of Bochum, which employs 3,300 workers, by 2016. This was

despite Bochum works council leader, Rainer Einenkel, not supporting the move. However GM will

keep part of the Bochum facility as a component and logistics centre securing 1,200 jobs.

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20130228/ANE/130229890/opel-revamp-deal-expected-this-week-german-union- says&cciid=email-ane-daily#axzz2MIyoGvJp 

US defence fears over A123 sale to China

Whilst a Chinese manufacturer looks set to acquire another European brand it looks like Fisker may have to wait even longer for batteries for the Karma as US legislators raise fears over a proposed sale of the US lithium-ion manufacturer to Chinese bidder Wanxiang, quoting fears about A123’s defence business technology falling into the hands of an economic rival and also pointing out that both the defence and commercial lithium-ion technology was funded by the US taxpayer.


Group 1 continues its dealer expansion

Whilst manufacturers are looking at ways to cut costs and following its recent foray into Brazil and

US retailer Group 1 Automotive is spending more money as it expands its UK network of BMW-Mini

and Audi dealerships with the acquisition of four sites from UK dealer group Inchcape which will

operate under the “think Ford” brand name.

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20130227/ANE/302279827/group-1-of-u-s-buys-four-ford-dealerships-in-england&cciid=email- ane-daily#axzz2MIyoGvJp 

Fisker not moving and may stop

This isn’t a reference to the driving ability of their cars but to the fact that the manufacturer of extended-range luxury electric vehicles has been unable to produce its Karma model following the collapse of its battery maker and supplier A123 in October. Fisker has said production has only been suspended until the A123’s sale to Wanxiang, However the future viability of Fisker has come into question with the US Department of Energy (DoE) listing the recovery rate of its loan to Fisker at only 50%, meaning it does not expect to fully recover the loan. With Fisker’s credit rating sliding down to CCC, emails from the DoE describing Fisker as under collateralized and also an email to the DoE from Fisker’s COO, Bernard Koehler, saying “We need the approval for Karma or for Karma and Kx in a very short timeframe. A delay until the end of September is not possible for us or our suppliers,” indications are for a less than happy New Year ahead.


Inchcape expand in Australia

But Inchcape have already spent the money from Group 1 as it snaps up Australia’s largest prestige automotive group Trivett for £78million as part of its plans to expand its Asia-Pacific network http://goautomedia.cdn.on.net/goautonews/GoAutoNews_667.pdf 

Geely set to acquire iconic UK taxi brand

The Chinese push for domestic OEMs to grow outside the domestic market looks set to continue as Volvo owner Zhejiang Geely submitted a bid to acquire 80.03% of Manganese Bronze, the manufacturer of the infamous London black cab. Whilst the percentage share may sound a little strange it is because Geely Auto, the Hong Kong trading unit of Zhejiang Geely, already owns the other 19.97%.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-20/zhejiang-geely-said-to-bid-for-london-cab-maker- manganese-bronze.html 

ThyssenKrupp offices raided in antitrust probe

Moving from one end of the automotive supply chain to the other and Germany’s biggest steelmaker

confirmed that an antitrust watchdog raided its offices in Duisberg as part of an investigation into

suspected illegal deals of semi-finished products and strip steel. It was only last year that

ThyssenKrupp ousted three board members as part of the process to clean up a boardroom tainted

by corruption allegations and the ill-fated US expansion.

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20130301/ANE/303019988/thyssenkrupp-offices-raided-in-german-auto-steel-suppliers- probe&cciid=email-ane-daily#axzz2MIyoGvJp 

GM and PSA push on

Whilst GM’s former number one crown looks to be lost for the foreseeable future to either Germany or Japan, their French alliance seems to be firmly back on track as GM and PSA confirm that whilst plans for the Insignia/C5 shared platform has been scrapped, other plans for small car programmes and two sizes of minivans and crossovers will go ahead. They also announced plans to share a future generation of small gasoline engines. It looks like PSA CEO, Philippe Varin, has managed to pacify GM’s concerns following the French government’s debt rescue package. Both Opel and PSA need to see some quick results from these plans if they are to avoid rumours starting to appear about their future viability which inevitably hits used values. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/20/peugeot-gm-idUSL5E8NK2KA20121220

http://www.psa-peugeot-citroen.com/en/media/press-releases/psa-peugeot-citroen-and-general-motors- report-further-progress-on-their-global-strategic-alliance 

Niche the way forward at Geneva

Ending on a positive note and next week’s Geneva Motor Show is tipped to be heavily influenced by niche products with everything from the Rolls-Royce Wraith, through limited edition Ferraris and McLarens and down to more affordable Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur SUV/crossovers. Meanwhile Audi will be going electric with its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) A3 e-tron, as will VW with the XL1 and BMW will be pushing the new 3 series GT. See you there and give me a call if you want a catch up.

http://europe.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130301/ANE/303029999/automakers-push-into-new-niches&cciid=email- ane-daily#axzz2MIyoGvJp 

Toyota hits the number 1 for Christmas

Whilst automotive sales in Europe may be catastrophic the rest of the world,

and especially the US, is flying high with 2012 global sales for cars and trucks

set to hit 80 million for the first time. Also flying high is Toyota which is set to

regain the title of the world’s biggest automaker, leaving GM and VW to battle it

out for the runner’s up spot. Meanwhile VW are already in fighting talk and

have said they will be the global sales leader by 2018 and GM continues its

recovery as it heads for a twelfth straight quarter of profits since its 2009

government bailout.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121216/RETAIL01/121219900/toyota-set-to- reclaim-world-sales-crown-as-gm-vw-vie-for-no-2&cciid=email-autonews-blast 

EU car sales record low

2012 was a disastrous year for new car sales and despite starting from such a low base, albeit partly boosted by self-registrations, 2013 has got off to an even worse start as January saw sales fall by 8.7%. Of the big five markets Italy lead the way, down 17.6%, followed by France (115.1%), Spain (-9.6%) and Germany close behind down 8.6% and once again the UK bucked the trend with a further 11.5% growth. The chart below gives a stark reminder of how bad things are getting in Europe. 


At a manufacturer level Ford was the worst hit of the big players as sales fell 25.5% followed by Toyota down 16.8%, closely followed by PSA down 16.3% and Fiat down 12.3%. Considering the industry magazine Autohaus PulsSchlag described Ford, Peugeot, Renault and Fiat as the top four vehicle discounters in Germany in January this has to be worrying news for them

BMW were one of the biggest winners up 6.6% with rival Mercedes also up 3.7% compared to VAG’s Audi which saw sales down 1.9% however Jaguar Land Rover continue their march forward with sales up 19.1% and both brands doing well in their own right. Whilst JLR saw both brands doing well the same cannot be said of other sister brands and whilst Renault’s worldwide sales declined by 2%, down 10% in Europe and up 5% ROW and Nissan also saw sales fall 6% in Europe the Dacia brand saw an 8.9% rise across Europe. But perhaps one of the biggest surprises was Hyundai who saw a 2% fall compared to a 7.2% growth of their sister brand Kia. http://www.acea.be/index.php/news/news_detail/passenger_car_registrations_-8.7_in_january_2013 

Europe writes off 2012 for CV sales

With only one month to go it looks like both commercial vehicle (CV) buyers and sellers have given up as November sales fell 18.5% to their lowest level since November 2009 and every major market saw double digit falls with Germany down 13.6%, UK -16.1%, France -20.7%, Spain -25.1% and coming in last was Italy down 27.5%. Meanwhile buses and coaches continued to outperform the rest of the automotive industry thanks to strong demand in France (+38.9%) and Germany (+13.1%) although some of this may be delayed deliveries from the very weak October. http://www.acea.be/index.php/news/news_detail/commercial_vehicle_registrations_- 11.4_over_11_months_-18.5_in_november 

Hyundai confident of retaining market share

Despite seeing its sales fall in January Hyundai said that they still believe they can retain the 3.5% market share they achieved in 2012. According to Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, Allan Rushforth, 2013 will be a year of consolidation with more growth to come in 2014.


UK overtakes France

Another month goes by and the passenger car sales statistics continue to show the same story with the UK up 11.3% and France (-19.2%), Germany (-3%), Italy (-20.1%) and Spain (-20.3%) falling but this trend has now been going on for so long that the UK has overtaken France to be Europe’s second largest market, which last happened in 2008. With UK sales up 11.3% in November and 5.4% YTD much of the benefit has been reported as an increase in retail sales. However a closely placed industry source has stated that some OEMs have changed the way dealer demonstrators and some other sales channels are being reported which may be masking the true mix of the increase. However you look at it the UK market is still up and doing well, defying the trend across Europe and whilst sales of EVs


Heavy incentives to support continued UK growth

Whilst the UK stood out as bucking the auto sales trend across Europe John Leech, head of KPMG's UK automotive group said that around half of 2012’s growth could be due to self- registrations. With Ford publically offering 12% discount and a number of OEMs offering heavily sub-vented finance, even as low as 0%, 2013 is really set to see a round of heavy discounting which will continue to support new car sales in the UK but which in turn may adversely affect the value of younger used vehicles.


European car sales falling back to the 1990s

The downward trend in most of mainland Europe is now so bleak the French are on target to have their worst year since 1997 with full year sales predicted to be down 14% at 1.9 million. Even more concerning for the French government is that the domestic brands are being particularly badly hit with PSA down 22.9%, Renault down 33.5% and Renault’s sister company Nissan down 29.4%. Meanwhile Hyundai continued to grow, up 20.5%, and the German premium brands also outperformed the market with Audi (+1%), BMW group (+4.2%) and Mercedes (+18.5%).


Whilst the German market has been reasonably robust this year, albeit heavily supported by self-registrations, it obviously does not want to be outdone in the struggling stakes and on the back of 2012 likely to close at just over 2% down, forecasts for 2013 for the German market predict a further fall of 3.2% which means it is now looking at its second worst performance since 1991. Personally I think the fall may be a little steeper than that but I hope I am wrong. The good news for manufacturers with a global sales footprint is that according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Industries 2013 report we can expect to see a general stabilisation in the world’s automotive markets next year.


US sales continue to surge back

Whilst Europe suffers the rest of the world continues to go from strength to strength and after a

recession hit low of 10.4 million sales in 2009 the US has seen sales leap forward with a 13%

rise last year and a further 5-6% rise on the cards for 2013. But unlike the UK which is seeing an

increasing in discounting and incentives the US is reporting stable incentives and growing


http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130222/RETAIL01/130229959/u-s-auto-sales-remain-robust-despite- rising-fuel-prices-looming&cciid=email-autonews-blast#axzz2LeRhbOjB 

Spanish car subsidy slows sales decline

The Spanish government’s car subsidy scheme has been credited with keeping the sales decline down to only 20.3% compared with an anticipated 35%+ according to the local car manufacturer’s body ANFAC. Usually these schemes tend to just pull forward buyers and result in a sales hangover when they end so next year could be even tougher if the government do not prolong the scheme.