Europe Car Sales Rise Most Since 2011 On Spain Incentives

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse VEVEY, Switzerland | Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:59am EDT VEVEY, Switzerland (Reuters) – Nestle (NESN.VX) said still-weak emerging market demand and falling prices for its products in Europe slowed underlying sales growth to 4.4 percent in the first nine months of the year from 6.1 percent in the year-ago period. Sales at the world’s biggest food group rose to 68.4 billion Swiss francs ($74.68 billion), lagging a 69.3 billion francs estimate in a Reuters poll. Analysts had expected underlying sales growth to accelerate to 4.5 percent from 4.1 percent in the first half. Nestle and peers Danone (DANO.PA) and Unilever (ULVR.L) are grappling with sluggish consumer demand in austerity-hit Europe and a marked slowdown in many emerging markets, where double-digit growth rates seem to be a distant memory. Nestle’s sales growth in Asia, Oceania and Africa accelerated slightly to 6.9 percent from 6.3 percent in the first half, while growth in Europe rose to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent in the first half with still negative pricing. “We expect our continued growth momentum to enable us to deliver around 5 percent organic growth for the full year,” the maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Maggi soups said in a statement on Thursday. It had cut its long-term 5-6 percent goal in August and warned at the time that even the lowered guidance would be tough to reach. Historically best-in-class, Nestle has disappointed markets for several quarters with poor performances. Danone and Unilever, which have fared better thanks to their greater exposures to baby food and cosmetics, are now also feeling the pinch. Unilever said last month a further slowdown in emerging markets meant underlying sales growth would be 3-3.5 percent in the third quarter, while Danone on Wednesday cut its full-year growth target to 4.5-5 percent in the wake of product recalls and a bribery scandal in China. Unilever publishes third-quarter results on October 24. ($1 = 0.9160 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by David Cowell) Tweet this

Fleet Management in Europe – 8th Edition

Dacia in the last two years has introduced new versions of the Sandero hatchback and Logan sedan, while the namesake marque has brought to market its first compact crossover, the Captur, as well as a revamped Clio hatchback. Daimlers delivery gain was propelled by a 14 percent jump at the Mercedes-Benz brand, which added the CLA four-door coupe in April as part of a compact-car push. The vehicles include a new version of the van-like B-Class and a redesigned A-Class hatchback. The German carmaker also presented an overhauled S-Class sedan in May and brought a revamped upscale E-Class to market in April. Growth last month at Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen included gains of 2.1 percent at the main VW brand, 3.2 percent at the luxury Audi division, 17 percent at the Skoda unit and 16 percent at Spanish nameplate Seat. New versions of VWs best-selling Golf hatchback and Audis Q3 and Q5 sport-utility vehicles helped boost sales. Peugeot Decline Carmakers reporting European sales declines last month included Paris-based PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) , the regions second-biggest auto producer, with a 3 percent drop, and Turin, Italy-based Fiat SpA (F) with a 3.4 percent slide. Peugeot is targeting a clear increase in market share in the fourth quarter as new vehicles such as the 2008-model urban crossover and 308 hatchback attract customers, Chief Financial Officer Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon said in an interview today. The company, which is reorganizing to stem losses amid the European car-market contraction, has absolutely no problem of liquidity or financial security as it looks to add industrial partnerships, he said. The French automaker accounted for 10.9 percent of Europes car market in the first nine months of 2013, a drop from 13.1 percent for all of 2007, the last year of industry growth. An Austrian Peugeot dealer, Gerhard Wiesinger GmbH, filed for bankruptcy protection today, citing the massive collapse of the car market, according to the Vienna-based AKV creditors lobby group. German Rebates September dealer rebates in Germany rose to an average 12 percent off the sticker price from 11.6 percent in August, the highest level since June, according to industry publication Autohaus PulsSchlag . The best deals were available on Peugeot and Renault cars, with combined average discounts of 14.9 percent. Fiat offered incentives equivalent to 13.7 percent off the list price. The low interest rates are pushing sales, said Fabian Schmidt, sales manager at Cologne, Germany-based dealer AK Autoport Koeln GmbH.

TomTom Business Solutions was the fastest growing vendor also in 2012 and has now surpassed 300,000 subscribers. Transics is number one in the heavy trucks segment with an estimated 80,000 active units installed. Other significant players include European companies such as Vehco, Navman Wireless, TRACKER and Trafficmaster and international players like Trimble and Omnitracs (Qualcomm) from the US and the South African telematics providers DigiCore and MiX Telematics. All major truck manufacturers on the European market offer OEM telematics solutions as a part of their product portfolio. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Scania launched their first products in the 1990s and followed by MAN in 2000, Renault Trucks in 2004, DAF Trucks in 2006 and Iveco in 2008. The products are all supporting the FMS standard and can generally be deployed in mixed fleets even if some functionality can be brand-specific. A major trend in the past two years has been the announcements of standard line fitment of fleet management solutions. Since the end of 2011, Scania is rolling out the Scania Communicator as standard on all European markets and includes a four year basic service subscription. The new generation of the Actros trucks from Mercedes-Benz contains the FleetBoard vehicle computer as standard in all EU27 countries since October 2011. Volvo is going in the same direction offering Dynafleet as standard in Europe. MAN TeleMatics is since July 2012 standard on the new truck model TGX EfficientLine including a 4-month trial for the service.

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