Pigs and oranges: European and American automakers

According to the Washington Post, European automakers are moving forward, both sales and finances. DaimlerChrysler, for example, saw profit rise fifteen percent in 2005. And though PSA Peugeot Citroen lost profit-wise last year, the French company sees sales numbers increasing.
What’s especially interesting is the sharp differences between the European and American automakers, making it difficult to compare the two markets. European automakers do not have “legacy costs” such as employee health care and retirement benefits to provide for their employees. And rising gasoline prices barely affected sales since Europeans use smaller, diesel-powered vehicles.

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