Three European Auto Stocks

European car companies continue to increase production compared to last year as demands picks up in the domestic and overseas markets. Car makers in European have traditionally built smaller, fuel-efficient cars that are demanded by European consumers. In addition, these companies also reproduce the same strategy when selling in the fast-growing emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, etc. the demand for small cars is high.

From a July ACEA report:

“New passenger car production in the EU recorded a rebound of 34% three months into the year, compared to the first quarter of 2009. However, production was still 13% down when compared to the first quarter of 2008. The same picture emerged in the segment of vans. Despite a 51% increase three months into the year 2010, production of vans remained 35% below the pre-crisis level of 2008. Truck production decreased by 5% until April this year, and by 63% compared to the first quarter of 2008. The segment of buses declined by 22% three months into the year compared to the same period in 2009.

In units produced, Germany remained the largest auto manufacturing country in the EU (1.4 million units, +33%), while the UK saw its car production pick up most (+72.7%) compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Except for Finland (-59.5%), Belgium (-10.5%), the Netherlands (-7.5%) and Italy (-0.1%), all countries posted growth.”

There are a handful of European car makers that are listed in the US markets.The majority of them are traded on the OTC market. Three of these auto stocks are:

  1. Peugeot Citroen (PEUGY) of France
  2. Fiat (FIATY) of Italy and
  3. Volkswagen (VLKAY) of Germany

Wolfsburg,Germany-based Volkwagen Groups owns the Volkwagen, Skoda, Audi, Seat, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Bentley and Scania brands. In 2009, the group held 11.3% of the global passenger car market. The company employees 370,000 workers around the world.

The Fiat group is the largest industrial firm in Italy. Europe accounts for just about 35% of total revenues. The company’s stock is listed on the Milan, Paris and Frankfurt exchanges and in the U.S. market thru an ADR program. Some of the car brands owned by Fiat are Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati and Abarth.

France-based PSA Peugeot Citroën has gained worldwide reputation for producing environmentally friendly vehicles. The company is heavily expanding in China, Latin America and Russia. Last year the auto maker sold 3,188,000 units worldwide under the Peugeot and Citroën brands.

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