The biggest loss-making cars in Europe

CARMAKERS in Europe are facing a rough ride, with sales at a 17-year low region-wide. So it seems cruel of Sanford C. Bernstein, a brokerage, to remind them of their biggest commercial wrecks. Most major makers suffered billions in losses. Yet not all cars failed by accidents of poor design, ill-judged technological leaps or wildly optimistic production forecasts. VW knew its Bugatti Veyron, a quick and complex supercar made in tiny numbers, would not make money but hoped it might burnish the brand. Daimler believed it could transfer know-how from its sleek executive saloons to small cars. It did—but it brought the same high costs too: its Smart Fortwo had the biggest loss. Renault produced reasonable cars but was overly optimistic about sales. Fiat failed to compete with the VW Golf. As for tomorrow’s pile-ups? Bernstein reckons that the latest bunch of electric cars could some day join the list.

http://www.economist.com/
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The biggest loss-making cars in Europe CARMAKERS in Europe are facing a rough ride, with sales at a 17-year low region-wide. So it seems cruel of Sanford C. Bernstein, a brokerage, to remind them of their biggest commercial wrecks. Most major makers suffered billions in losses. Yet not all cars...
<strong>The biggest loss-making cars in Europe</strong> CARMAKERS in Europe are facing a rough ride, with sales at a 17-year low region-wide. So it seems cruel of Sanford C. Bernstein, a brokerage, to remind them of their biggest commercial wrecks. Most major makers suffered billions in losses. Yet not all cars failed by accidents of poor design, ill-judged technological leaps or wildly optimistic production forecasts. VW knew its Bugatti Veyron, a quick and complex supercar made in tiny numbers, would not make money but hoped it might burnish the brand. Daimler believed it could transfer know-how from its sleek executive saloons to small cars. It did—but it brought the same high costs too: its Smart Fortwo had the biggest loss. Renault produced reasonable cars but was overly optimistic about sales. Fiat failed to compete with the VW Golf. As for tomorrow’s pile-ups? Bernstein reckons that the latest bunch of electric cars could some day join the list. <div><strong><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/595-width-retina/images/2013/09/blogs/graphic-detail/20130928_gdc977_1190_6.png" width="1190" height="1388" />http://www.economist.com/</strong></div>