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Are Japanese carmakers driving out of Europe?

With the attention of many carmakers increasingly switching to developing markets such as China and India, it seems some Japanese vehicle manufacturers are ready to turn away from Europe. According to a report in business daily the Nikkei, Daihatsu’s decision to withdraw from new vehicle sales across the continent, coupled with Mitsubishi’s decision to stop producing the Colt subcompact vehicle there, is actually indicative of a wider trend of downsizing in Europe. In 2010, the EU market for new passenger cars actually shrank by 5.5 per cent according to the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association and on Friday, Daihatsu declared that it would discontinue sales in Europe on January 31, 2013. However, the Nikkei states that Mitsubishi and Daihatsu are not alone in struggling in the market with Toyota closing one of its two production lines in the UK and predicting that sales will drop 10 per cent year on year. Honda’s sales in the region also plunged by 25.1 per cent from January-November, 2010. The situation is particularly bad in Germany, the largest car market in Europe, where sales tumbled 23 per cent to 2.91million units. With government incentives coming to a close, the auto sales slump across Europe is expected to continue and with the European Union tightening carbon dioxide emission goals to an average of 130g/km by 2015, there are many challenges facing automakers in the region.

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Paul Lucas

Filed under: Latest News, Green Cars, Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota

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