Overall, the figures look OK, but if you dig down deeper you see that European sales performance has been very weak, and that all the growth is coming from emerging markets.
This strikes us as a lot of cash up front for a highly uncertain benefit: even were such a deal to happen, it would be unlikely to threaten existing joint ventures.
Smaller SUV's are a very strong growth segment. There's no doubt in my mind that this is a good product.
It doesn't solve Fiat's main problem of having too many costs in Italy.
This is all the trend that says, actually folks, with a western Europe cost base you can't make money in this segment, so it is entirely logical.
The Smart plant in France is more a liability than an asset. It's clearly the wrong place to be making that car.
The reality of Detroit is that Wagoner is getting his last chance, ... Henderson has a bright future if he manages to turn around Europe.
The recent surge in VW is now explained, but this deal is depressing confirmation that the old ways of German capitalism die hard.