DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

If it's not core, it's out the door

Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
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The simple rhyme above seems to be the mantra at European automakers lately.

Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Daimler have shed substantial stakes in non-core assets. They are doing this to sharpen their focus on their automaking operations and to generate much-needed cash to help them through the European debt crisis.

Today, Renault sold its remaining 6.5 percent stake in truckmaker Volvo for $1.92 billion. The French automaker plans to use that money to invest in France, Russia and China.

PSA is awaiting antitrust approval to sell a 75 percent stake in its Gefco car logistics unit to Russian Railways for 800 million euros.

Daimler last week said it would raise about 1.6 billion euros by selling half its remaining stake in the European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EADS). It is making the move so it can focus more on cars and trucks.

Europe's new car sales are expected to fall to a 19-year low in 2012 and KPMG analyst John Leech says that no turnaround is foreseen for the region for two to three years.

His conclusion is that this "back to basics" campaign by automakers is likely to continue.

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@autonews.com.

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