just-auto SEMINAR: GM may have to take out a further Europe plant: LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive has raised the possibility General Motors may have to accelerate its programme of plant restructuring in Europe, while emphasising the need for high-capacity utilisation.
Speaking to just-auto (15 November) on the sidelines of yesterday's just-auto Industry Intelligence Seminar in the UK city of Swindon, LMC Automotive director of research, Arthur Maher, highlighted the need to address European over-capacity against a backdrop of continued lack of consumer demand.
"GM has taken Bochum out and from GM's perspective we think [they] may have to take another car plant out in Europe - they are crippled with excess capacity," Maher said.
In PSA's case, it has already announced plans to shut its Aulnay plant near Paris and cut up to 8,000 jobs in France, while Renault held the second of its round of meetings with all its major unions this week, extending the possibility of no factory closures in return for radical restructuring.
"The unions - quite rightly - are very concerned," said Maher. "One third of European plants are operating at 20% and on third are at capacity - that is not going to change that much.
"If you are PSA, Renault and Fiat, you are looking five years down the road and recovery in the European market is not going to bail us out. If you take the view you will fight to retain jobs and capacity, you already start with a massive burden on your shoulders."
The LMC research director emphasised the solution was not necessarily to drive down wages, but rather to concentrate on operating plants at 80% utilisation, citing the example of GM evaluating the return of Chevrolet production to Europe from South Korea.
"What has changed - certainly in Europe - is when recovery has come - and it will - it will no longer be on the scale of normal recoveries," said Maher. "These financial and banking crises will run and run for years. There is a permanent loss of growth potentially in the European market.
"Renault-Nissan has taken this on board, saying there will not be a massive recovery that will bale us out, but there will be an improvement."
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global transmissions sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this report to gain...
Quarterly/fiscal full year results continued to roll in this week with a healthy uptick at Suzuki in 2012/3, the latest Japanese automaker to finally shrug off the combined effects of the double whamm...
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global automotive connectivity sector, major applications, top 14 markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use thi...
- Volvo UK specs up seven seat XC90 redesign
- ANALYSIS: Mercedes smart brand's last chance?
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Hobnobbing with the A-listers
- Briefing: 48V mild hybrids (3)
- ANALYSIS: Suzuki's new brand flagship - Vitara
- UK: Aston Martin to reveal future models strategy
- Geneva show list updated
- GENEVA DEBUTS: Audi Q7 e-tron to be a diesel PHEV
- Audi plots 2020 expansion strategy
- US: Cadillac's De Nysschen on future engine plans
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates - Latest Monthly Update
- Global electrified light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)