Blog: Europe's lower medium battleground
Dave Leggett | 28 January 2004
Things are really hotting up in Europe's biggest car market segment - the lower medium or C-segment of the passenger car market. Competition is intensifying as Volkswagen rolls out Golf V while Opel is offering discounts to those who order its yet to be launched (mid-March) new Astra. In response, VW is apparently offering higher trade-in values in Germany to buyers of the Golf who switch from a rival brand.
It's quite astonishing for this sort of thing to be going on with fresh models and post-discount car prices are forecast to continue to fall across Europe this year (Ford estimates that they fell by 1.7% last year, excluding currency effects). More margins under pressure. And Ford joins the C-segment fray later in the year with an all-new Focus, which will up the competitive ante still further. Meanwhile consumer demand is not exactly forecast to be scorching in Europe this year either. I spoke with Neil Winton about this subject yesterday and a feature for just-auto is in the pipeline for publication in February.
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