Auto sales in the United States have picked up after a few of years of dreadful numbers.
The situation in Europe, though, remains in the toilet, and a new report makes the case that numbers are even far worse than believed.
Bloomberg has reported that a Ford executive said that dealers for brands across the European Union are buying their own inventory, thus providing a boost to new-car sales figures by as much as 30 percent.
Roelant de Waard, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford of Europe, told Bloomberg,
It is a very aggressive environment and until either demand picks up or capacity is adjusted to the situation, it’s unlikely going to change.
The article goes on to say that Ford does plan to adjust production for the region and eliminate a few hundred jobs because of declining sales, but also plans an onslaught of new models there over the next 5 years.
Getting back to the topic at hand, though, the new cars that dealers buy are then sold as “used” cars at deep discounts. That could be a great way for consumers to score a great deal on a “new” car, but it’s terrible for automakers and dealers, because there is obviously a gross oversupply of vehicles being sold to an artificial market.
Now that the U.S. market has heated up again, I don’t see this happening here, at least not in significant quantities. Not that we don’t have our own problems. The dirt-cheap Chevy Volt leases have certainly served up some controversy about artificially inflating sales numbers, but for the most part, sales here seem to be fairly brisk, if not record-setting.
For the best deals on used cars, the CarGurus used listings remain an ideal place to keep up to date. And if you start seeing too many 2012 models being sold as used with just a hundred miles on the clock, well, you can probably guess what’s going on.
Do you see a problem with dealers buying their own inventory and then selling the cars as used?