Automakers target Europe plant closures to stop the bleeding
PARIS -- With Europe in the midst of a five-year sales slump that is not forecast to end until 2015 at the earliest, volume automakers are taking dramatic steps to stop bleeding cash. This has put thousands of jobs and nearly a half dozen plants at risk, but that is the price some automakers will have to pay if they want to survive.
How serious is the threat? Serious enough for top-ranking executives to publicly state their concerns on whether all of today's competitors in Europe will be alive in the future.
"It is unclear if all carmakers will survive without government help," Volkswagen Group Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said last month. "Carmakers in southern Europe that produce small cars will be especially affected."
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said he is sure Europe will rebound but some automakers will not be around once the tough times have passed. Separately, Ghosn warned that Renault would need to close a plant -- or plants -- in France if the country does not become more globally competitive.
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