London: Italy’s Grimaldi Group is in the process of selecting a Chinese shipyard from which to order five giant car carriers this month, reports say.
The car carriers, worth a combined $300m, will each have capacity for 7,000 cars over 13 decks.
They will be used to transport vehicles manufactured by Fiat from Europe to the US, and Chrysler vehicles from the US back to the continent for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Emanuele Grimaldi, managing director of Grimaldi Group, told the WSJ today.
Grimaldi added that he expects to see an upturn in the economy of southern Europe, which will translate into increased sales of cars to the benefit of shipping companies such as his own.
Sales of new cars in Italy numbered some 2.4m annually before the global financial crisis, he said; now it’s just 1m per year.
The falling Euro is also making cars manufactured in Europe more cost-competitive in import markets such as the US, Grimaldi said.
There are increasing opportunities for passenger and car ferries in the Philippines, South Korea and the Caribbean, as well as Europe, Grimaldi told the paper, plus the Caribbean if US-Cuban relations are fully restored.