Daimler, Renault, VW and Fiat cars on list of European industry's biggest money losers

Daimler's first-generation Smart ForTwo lost about 3.35 billion euros, Bernstein Research estimates.
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Automakers from Fiat to Volkswagen and Daimler to Renault lost a combined 20 billion euros developing and selling models ranked in a top 10 list of the European auto industry's most “catastrophic” failures of the past 15 years.

Some of the cars that flopped, such as the Fiat Stilo, Peugeot 1007 and Jaguar X-Type, caused the companies that built them severe financial difficulties. Others, such as the Bugatti Veyron, Smart ForTwo and Volkswagen Phaeton, swallowed huge sums of money.

"The multi-billion losses that we believe were suffered by the Fiat Stilo, Peugeot 1007 and Jaguar X-Type were severe trauma for the companies concerned – and in some cases nearly sank them," Bernstein Research said in a report.

Max Warburton is the financial analyst who created the ranking of Europe’s biggest money losers. He did so by looking at the cars' production runs, estimated fixed-cost investments and r&d costs.

Warburton and his team then estimated the likely price realization and contribution margin per car, as well as estimated fixed-asset write-downs.

Please click on the PDF (above, right) to see see which models made the list.

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