The European auto market has performed strongly since the dark days of the 2008 financial crash, but that healthy scenario is about to expire as carmakers fend off regulatory problems, and face down damaging trade wars. Longer term, fundamental threats loom.
Britain’s exit from the European Union (E.U.) - Brexit - next March, and the possible threat to supply chains and markets if a deal isn’t forthcoming, is also starting to worry the auto industry.
As the industry gathers for the biennial Paris Auto Show, it is spending huge amounts of capital on high risk projects that have no guarantee of payback anytime soon, like electric cars and computer driven ones. Pessimists also worry about a killer blow from cash rich technology companies that might blindside traditional carmakers and destroy their business plans at a stroke.