The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association has revealed that automakers in the European Union should expect to face slumping sales in 2010 on top of a 17% decline in sales to 15.2 million vehicles in 2009 as the industry has yet to recover from the global economic crisis.

The decline in sales will be more pronounced for passenger cars, especially in countries where fleet renewal schemes have ended, while commercial vehicle registrations are expected to be flat.

In 2009, truck production in Europe fell 64% to an historic low. Meanwhile, passenger car output dipped 13% to 13.4 million units — the lowest since 1996 — partly offset by a favorable effect from scrappage schemes. Many European automakers suffered a loss during the year.

Daimler AG (DAI) lost €2.6 billion ($3.7 billion) or €2.63 ($3.67) per share in 2009, in sharp contrast to a profit of €1.4 billion ($2 billion) or €1.41 ($1.97) per share in the previous year.

The loss was attributable to a 24% decline in unit sales to 1.6 million vehicles due to the global economic crisis. Revenue for Daimler dipped 20% to €78.9 billion ($110 billion); adjusted for exchange-rate effects, the decrease was 21%.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) reported a 36% drop in profit to €210 million ($286 million) for 2009. Revenue shrunk 4.7% to €50.68 billion ($69 billion) as the economic crisis hurt demand for luxury cars. Volkswagen AG recorded an 80% fall in net profit to €960 million ($1.3 billion) during the year.

Read the full analyst report on “DAI”
Zacks Investment Research