Compounding the problem for Fiat is a lack of new product, as CEO Sergio Marchionne has stalled development to conserve cash during the downturn. PSA has invested in new vehicles, but aggressive price wars have forced it to sell its product with steep discounts. Making matters even more difficult, both companies may have their credit ratings cut this year. That would raise borrowing costs and only deepen the wounds.
The news isn't just bad for Fiat and PSA. Analysts are predicting that volume automakers in Europe lost 8 billion euros (about $10.68 billion in today's rates) overall in 2012, and they won't break even until mid-decade.