Portugal car industry 2012: Almost “Missing in Action”.

Up to our forecast, the Portuguese car market this year will not hit 100k.; in other terms current situation risks to be a ‘one way’ ticket for the local automotive industry towards an irreversible downsizing.

Current trend will push the market back by 27 years. But more important is the fact that the total volumes are almost one third of those achieved in 2000.

No news for any automotive professional that the business the priorities are control of costs but also ensuring the level of turnover to cover the huge fixed costs necessary to run the business. With volumes dropping in the last 10 years by more than 50% it’s clear that no enterprise in Portugal can claim to be safely running its business.

This is confirmed by ACAP (Automotive Association of Portugal, representing an universe of 36.000 enterprises); in the last days ACAP claimed that almost 2.600 enterprises involved in automotive business are going bankrupt unless the government reverses its approach towards the industry. As a consequence, in ACAP’s opinion, also 21.000 jobs are going to be lost.

These results and forecasts are consistent with the critical economic landscape developing in Portugal; past week European media evidenced that in January 2012 occurred more ‘bankruptcies’ among individual people than companies.

Indeed the Portuguese financial authorities further revised downwards the GDP forecast for 2012 at -3,3%.

In this depressed environment Portuguese Government is resisting to the requests of the Central European Bank to implement for its 2012 budget law further increase tax pressure and further cut of Government costs (jobs) in order to hit the targets of 4,5% ratio Debt/GDP. Of course locally there is strong pressure from Social coalitions to even reverse this approach in order to stimulate growth, or at least support, of commercial activities.

Next months will be crucial to asses the ability of the Government in keeping a balanced approach between the necessity to keep ‘the wheel of the economy turning’ and at the same time provide the necessary confidence to the financial European institutions.

One question that could be argued is whether with these volumes, since Portugal is weighting approximately 15% of Spanish industry, some autocarmaker may reconsider their distribution approach in Portugal and start considering this market, despite its peculiar culture and glorious history, just as a part of the Iberian territory.

March Data overview

In passenger cars, with only 9.622 registrations March was -47% compared to March 2011.

This shortfall is exactly the same achieved in the other two months of the year:

2011

2012

%

Jan

13.225

6.956

-47%

Feb

13.413

6.932

-48%

Mar

18.325

9.622

-47%

Cum Q1

44.963

23.510

-48%

 

Since total passenger cars registered in 2011 were approximately 153.000, applying a similar shortfall would bring the 2012 forecast at 80.000; anyway in focus2move.com our opinion it is too early to project such pessimistic figure. It’s worth waiting for some reaction from the market in the next months.

Top 20 by Brand and Models (February results)

The Portuguese industry is not a concentrated in terms of sales distribution by Brand.

In the first two months VW is retaining its top spot. In second position in Jan/Feb 2012 Peugeot took the place of Renault that is now third. Citroen Dropped from 5th position to 9th.

 

 

rank

Brand

February 2012

Share

Jan/Feb 2012

Share

1

Volkswagen

711

10,3%

1448

10,4%

2

Peugeot

591

8,5%

1325

9,5%

3

Renault

664

9,6%

1256

9,0%

4

Ford

504

7,3%

921

6,6%

5

BMW

449

6,5%

882

6,4%

6

Audi

444

6,4%

874

6,3%

7

Opel

391

5,6%

787

5,7%

8

Mercedes

439

6,3%

769

5,5%

9

Citroen

354

5,1%

752

5,4%

10

Fiat

357

5,2%

670

4,8%

11

Nissan

269

3,9%

453

3,3%

12

Seat

176

2,5%

433

3,1%

13

Toyota

183

2,6%

416

3,0%

14

Chevrolet

202

2,9%

386

2,8%

15

Kia

172

2,5%

384

2,8%

16

Volvo

157

2,3%

339

2,4%

17

Smart

160

2,3%

313

2,3%

18

Skoda

131

1,9%

250

1,8%

19

Honda

94

1,4%

206

1,5%

20

Hyundai

90

1,3%

186

1,3%

In terms of best selling models, below the Top 20 Models ranking:

Renault has the two best selling models; special mention to Clio jumping from sixth position in January to first in February.

Volkswagen is the only brand with 3 models in the top 20. Again on VW it can be noted the positive halo effect on the launch of the new UP! In February over the sales of Polo, though it appears that this has jeopardized Golf falling from the first position in January to 12 in the rank.

rank

Model

Feb 2012

Jan/Feb 2012

1

Renault Clio

329

502

2

Renault Megane

260

543

3

VW Polo

251

371

4

Fiat Punto

243

458

5

Peugeot 207

243

456

6

Ford Fiesta

211

364

7

Nissan Qashqai

160

261

8

Smart Fortwo

160

313

9

Ford Focus

155

318

10

Mercedec C class

152

263

11

Opel Corsa

146

275

12

VW Golf

137

445

13

Audi A3

136

227

14

VW Up!

127

127

15

Chevrolet Aveo

126

212

16

BMW series 5

124

256

17

Mercedes E Class

123

195

18

BMW Series 1

117

209

19

Opel Astra

106

265

20

Peugeot 308

106

293

 

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