Strong growth in light trucks – First German pavilion at the CES
The German automotive industry is expanding its activities in the US. The strong presence of German manufacturers and suppliers at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 7 to 10, 2020) in Las Vegas, Nevada, underscores the technological expertise and drive for innovation of this key sector. The CES is an important forum for showcasing new models, concept cars and exciting future technologies in North America. In addition, the German automotive industry has boosted its local production. During the first eleven months of 2019, the German OEMs increased their production in the US by 4 percent to 720,000 vehicles, while total US production of light vehicles slumped by 4 percent in the same period.
Vehicle sales also reflect US customers’ growing appreciation of German auto makers. Whereas the US light-vehicle market (passenger cars and light trucks) contracted slightly to just under 17 million vehicles in 2019 (-1 percent), US sales by German group brands increased by almost 2 percent, reaching a total of 1.37 million new vehicles. The market share going to German OEMs also rose accordingly, from 7.8 percent (in 2018) to 8.1 percent (in 2019). The German manufacturers gained market share in both the passenger car segment and in light trucks. In the light truck segment (SUVs, CUVs, pickups and vans), which already accounts for 72 percent of all light vehicle sales, the German makers added 11.2 percent in 2019, which was four times as much as the light vehicle market overall (+2.8 percent).
The suppliers also continue to expand their business in the US. For the first time there is an official German pavilion at the CES, organized by the industry associations Bitkom, VDA and ZVEI. The German pavilion offers first and foremost mid-sized companies an opportunity to present themselves at the trade show. The joint presence is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the AUMA (Association of the German Trade Fair Industry).
VDA Managing Director Dr. Martin Koers was there to thank the exhibitors at the German pavilion and stressed the German automotive industry’s drive for innovation: “No matter whether you’re looking at completely new vehicle concepts or solutions to improve the traffic flow, OEMs or SME suppliers: we are spearheading developments and offer solutions to today’s challenges.”
In the first nine months of 2019, German suppliers pushed up their exports to the US by 2.7 percent compared to the year before, delivering products with a value of over 5.5 billion euros to the US.
Given the current trade-policy regulations and the implementation of NAFTA’s successor, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), further expansion of production in North America may be expected. Dr. Koers emphasized: “We are focusing on deepening our cooperative arrangements in the US. German products and engineering are very highly regarded there. At the same time, we hope that the negotiations between the United States and the EU on removing trade barriers will pick up speed.”