Auto Industry Expects to Sell Fewer Cars, See Mass Consolidation

The big auto brands might get bigger over the next several years as the industry deals with falling sales and tries to migrate to cleaner vehicles, according to European Auto Industry (ACEA) President Mike Manley.

Strict emission standards in the face of “dieselgate” cheating by Volkswagen and others will take a bite out of corporate profits and require huge investments by car companies.

The investments in low-emission powertrains are being made at a time when European passenger car sales are set to drop by 2% this year after six consecutive years of growth, so carmakers will have to cut cost to offset the expense, Manley told reporters in Brussels.

Manley said:

“There will be a migration of jobs to lower-cost countries. This needs to be rebalanced.  We want to ensure a thriving industry. This will require some consolidation.  People are looking more rationally at regional requirements and regional scale. In terms of number of carmakers that survive, your guess is as good as mine.”

Funny, Manley didn’t mention migrating any of the management jobs to lower-cost countries, just the line jobs.

Manley also pointed out that the move to electric cars will require fewer employees because those vehicles have fewer moving parts.  He also called for an EU-wide network of charging points.

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