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Ford Eyes Plant Closure in Belgium

Standard & Poor's analyzed the European market in a September report, and doesn't see any immediate promise.

"Competition has become fiercer than ever in the depressed European car market, and all manufacturers are struggling to preserve market share while considering how to cut excess production capacity," S&P said. "GM's Opel unit and Ford are among the losers in share so far: Each currently holds an 8% share of the EU passenger car market, down from some 10% back in 2008.

"Our base-case outlook for full-year 2012 foresees no significant improvement in demand in the European market," S&P said. "We now expect the Western European market to decline roughly 6.5% to about 13.4 million vehicles in 2012, followed by potential anemic growth of about 0.4% next year. At the current pace of planned capacity reductions, we think it will take well into 2013, if not longer, to restore healthy supply and demand in the European mass market."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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