European car sales are sliding to a 20-year low after German concerns over the debt crisis sent demand plunging last month in the region’s biggest economy and removed the main buffer protecting automakers.
Daimler AG and other global automakers, already predicting a drop in European deliveries of as much as 5 percent this year, will probably have to lower their forecasts after demand in Germany dropped the most in 2 1/2 years last month.
Chinese automakers are about a decade away from being globally competitive and will have to increase their spending on research and development to close the gap, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
Daimler AG’s board is set to extend Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche’s contract by five years, handing him the chance to deliver on his goals or risk the Mercedes brand falling further behind its competitors.
Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, sold 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in bonds that will automatically convert to shares at maturity to boost liquidity following the purchases of Porsche and Ducati.