Figuring out post-doomsday scenarios can make for hours of fun, but short of a cinematic "Kill them all!" they're rarely that accurate. That's because we never know which entrance doomsday is going to use, and the big doomsday is often followed by little doomsdays (as this year's Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown should have taught us yet again). Still, that hasn't stopped Automotive News from taking a look at what might happen to European carmakers in case Italy, Spain and Greece leave the euro zone.
One scenario sees the German automakers suffering but Italy's Fiat faring slightly better. A strong euro, or if the zone completely implodes, an even stronger German Deutsche Mark would cripple the export earnings of Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz by double digits. Conversely, a weak Italian lira that could be further devalued and printed at will might make Fiat more competitive against its northern rivals. Or maybe Fiat wouldn't do so well, since consumers would be practically allergic to major purchases, and the already soft demand in Southern Europe might crater such that "There might not be an Italian-made Panda."

In Europe, the prediction is that there would be no winners, not even Spain's Seat, which, like Italy's Fiat, might benefit from currency devaluation. The brands with a chance of reaping some benefit: Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota, whose industrial economies are safely distant from the economic fallout. From a purely industrial standpoint, that's reasonable – but if Europeans are scared to buy Fiats and no one knows what currencies are really worth from week to week, we suspect there will be plenty of pain to go around for everyone.


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  • 26 Comments
      Randy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's all pray that something good happens. For everyone!
      nklswrth
      • 3 Years Ago
      The our economies are not a game of Risk! Let's quit speculating and get busy rebuilding our broken economies for cryin' out loud! Collectively, this planet has the people, resources, knowledge and skill to solve the Worlds worst problems, peacefully, from war and persecution to cancer, starvation to crime. Why then are we still wondering and speculating on what if's? Our current state and circumstances are absolutely absurd given our collective ability to overcome such problems.
        stclair5211
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nklswrth
        Greed will never allow it. Not will common sense. We simply do not have enough food or water to give all the people who would live ripe old ages if we started curing things. They'd have kids, etc ad we would be screwed more. That's the truth unfortunately. Want to help? Just stop having kids and consuming. Make a difference yourself and show others. Don't force your agenda if you don't like them doing it.
      krazyoral
      • 3 Years Ago
      FORD is the only remaining American BIG 3. GMC and Chrysler are the Obamamotors BIG 2. Toyota, Honda, and Subura are more American that GMC and Chrysler. Even BMW and Mercedes are more American. I an not sure Kia and other foreign automakers have plants in USA, UAW has killed the USA supremacy they used to own in world. Congrats Henry Ford your company last remaining American automaker.
      Mark
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM the best vehicles on the planet!
        Thomas Braun
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mark
        What plannet are you thinking about. Planet of the Apes ???? GM the most corrupt automaker, actually insurance and helthcare, pension company that by the way makes some crappy cars
          kontroll
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Thomas Braun
          I have to report you to AB for "abusing" the english language!
      Todd Dunning
      • 3 Years Ago
      The downfall of the Soviet Union was the beginning of a great new life for those behind the Iron Curtain. Its downfall, like the EU and other Socialist power grabs, was running out of other people's money. Let's hope europeans learn the lesson that those who want to excel should not be forced to drag along those who don't.
        Codeman
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Todd Dunning
        Well, the US spends sh*tloads of money on stuff, too, which many people don't agree with, such as all the pointless wars.
        marinetteptrsn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Todd Dunning
        I find it funny when people talk about the working people dragging us down when in fact that's what is dragging China and India up. Not to mention what gave us the greatest generation was a strong middlclass bolstered by education, opportunity, and cheap home loans and schooling for vets returning from war. My wifes friends live in Switzerland and they live quite well and have never had money problems. by the by the USA is their Mexico, they come here and live like kings against our dollar. Ask yourselves what has happened over the last thirty years to drag us down? Besides we've tried your way and all we got is major debt and a decline in social status.
        Victor W. Werke
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Todd Dunning
        "Let's hope europeans learn the lesson that those who want to excel should not be forced to drag along those who don't." Well said! With that in mind, apologies but I wish to apply the above statement to a slightly off-topic gripe: I hope the EUSSR Liberal Loony Leftist Leaders and various Socialist Sycophant hangers-on take the advice, especially regarding allowing the exponential growth of a burgeoning underclass of Human Wastage that is being fuelled by indiscriminate "Department of Social Services Benefits Payout" immigration!
        Eu_Driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Todd Dunning
        It's ok, Todd Dunning, in the long term it drives to such attainments, but in the short term (decades in some cases) after the Iron Curtain fall, standard of living in these countries plumeted down, rising emigration of skilled workers-younger generations and criminality... After "hard times" however things began to improve... The complete downfall of a system should be always an "extrema ratio", reserved to dictatorial and oppressive regimes, like those of East Europe and Russia-central Asia, and today North Korea without doubt, Burma, maybe China (probably it's better a "controlled transition" after the restoring of democracy, the current doped-piloted-by-CCP-development is creating to many problems), Vietnam and so on... In the case of EU I remain at least "doubtful"...
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      European Union is a joke. It was looked down upon by many before it was established and people still feel the same way. Useless garbage forced on the people. Mr. Nigel Farage has been saying it for so long, though to deaf ears. Shame really.
      Georg
      • 3 Years Ago
      The German car makers would be the winner... they always do great on markets like China, south america, north america etc... all other europen car manufactors like Fiat, PSA, Renault are to much focused on the europen market and if this market gets into trouble they do...who ever wrote that article has no clue ... German car makers produce in China, USA, South america etc. ...exchange rates have that way no big effect
        Eu_Driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        It's not completely exact, German carmaker have a big manufacturing base in Germany, with well-paid workers. Those high wages are justified by the high levels of productivity of German workers, at least for now... In the scenario imagined in the article this is the questioned point. Regarding Fiat, the Italian market (its first market in the EU) is already depressed by the very hard "austerity" policy of the new government. Next year, likely, things could only be worse... If the Eurozone implodes, but the Common European Market resists, it's possibile to imagine massive devaluation of the new Italian currency, and as consequence, a sort of "competitive advantage" for local manufacturers but this is very unlikely to happen. European goverment are strongly committed to "save the Euro" as a tool to save/reinforce the EU, with the notable exception of the UK. It's a political-ideological goal, they (reasonably) want to save the work of 50 years or more, even if it means (a little less reasonably) for their citizens more taxes, lower wages and reduced pensions, see what has already happen in Greece (and Portugal) and is happening now in Italy and Spain. This is the "German medicine", sperimented in the '90 by the Germans after the reunification, and now imposed to the rest of the Continent...
        quuppa70
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        Do you know what Fiat is doing in Brasil?
        Eu_Driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        It's not completely exact, German carmaker have a big manufacturing base in Germany, with well-paid workers. Those high wages are justified by the high levels of productivity of German workers, at least for now... In the scenario imagined in the article this is the questioned point. Regarding Fiat, the Italian market (its first market in the EU) is already depressed by the very hard "austerity" policy of the new government. Next year, likely, things could only be worse... If the Eurozone implodes, but the Common European Market resists, it's possibile to imagine massive devaluation of the new Italian currency, and as consequence, a sort of "competitive advantage" for local manufacturers but this is very unlikely to happen. European goverment are strongly committed to "save the Euro" as a tool to save/reinforce the EU, with the notable exception of the UK. It's a political-ideological goal, they (reasonably) want to save the work of 50 years or more, even if it means (a little less reasonably) for their citizens more taxes, lower wages, "painful" industrial restructuring, higher unemployement rates and reduced pensions, see what has already happened in Greece (and Portugal) and is happening now in Italy and Spain. This is the "German medicine", sperimented in the '90 by the Germans after the reunification, and now imposed to the rest of the Continent... in the former case it worked well, now even you Americans should hope that this "hard therapy" works... and doesn't kill the patient...
      cool jagoff
      • 3 Years Ago
      Buy American
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cool jagoff
        There's no car produced with just American parts/labor.
      Skean
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh they'll be fine, I am sure Obama will bail them out too. This late year zinger brought to you by Saab.
      dtipthree
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess everyone would start buying american cars like they should be doing ,and support the Big Three!
      ken
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lol. The Euros will end, but that doesn't mean the earth, or Europe, will stand still. In addition, before Euros will become valueless, massive printing and exchange of wealth are always good to create new Porsche, or BMW, or Mercedes-Benz, buyers.
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