A UNIFIED European car market is inevitable, says Christian Peugeot, director of marketing of Automobiles Peugeot.
Today, Europe is far from being a homogenous car market like the US, he said. Four factors explain this:
Europe has many languages, so national and regional media continue to flourish
National tax policies vary. VAT is 15 percent in Germany, 25 percent in Sweden. Some countries have scrapping incentives
There are different infrastructure and traffic conditions. The UK drives on the right. Germany has spacious autobahns
Socio-economic conditions and car buying habits are different. Small cars have 15 percent of the German market and 50 percent of the Italian market.
Peugeot said a unified market would emerge because states increasingly follow a single economic policy. 'All countries will sooner or later adhere to a single currency in a deflationary economic climate,' he said. States are also standardizing environmental and safety laws. And despite the many languages, multinational media are emerging, such as the EuroSports channel and Automotive News Europe.
Finally, consumer lifestyles are converging.
The trend towards an 'emerging European consumer' is supported by several factors.
These include: the declining birth rate, higher levels of education and more women working.
Consumers want a functional vehicle, but they want to get pleasure also, said Peugeot.