In January 2013, 192,100 passenger cars were newly registered in Germany. This was nearly 9 per cent down on the very high level recorded in the same month last year. Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), underlined, “The January figures show that the German passenger car market cannot completely escape the economic difficulties in Europe.” While new registrations of imported cars slumped by almost 16 per cent, domestic sales of German-branded cars fell by 5 per cent. “Following the sharp 8 per cent drop in orders from within Germany last year, we are now becoming more optimistic in view of their stability in January. The year 2013 will certainly be a year of demanding work, Wissmann stressed.
Exports from German plants took a breather in January. A total of 310,700 passenger cars from domestic production were delivered to foreign customers, which is a fall of 8 per cent. Exports to the countries in the euro zone had, as expected, already declined markedly over the year 2012. Wissmann emphasised, “The varying trends on the world markets are clearly shown by the fact that incoming orders from abroad increased once again in January – with a year-on-year rise of 4 per cent. Our foreign orders have therefore been growing continually for the last three and a half years.”
Foreign business, especially that outside Europe, had again proven to be a stabilising factor for the German automotive industry. The VDA president pointed out that the US market had got off to a very dynamic start in the new year. January sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) showed a year-on-year rise of 14.3 per cent, up to 1.04 million units. The German brands expanded faster in the light truck segment than the market itself did. They increased their sales by 15.5 per cent to a good 26,000 units, while the total light truck market grew by 14.5 per cent to around 518,000 units. In the passenger car segment, the German brands pushed up their sales by 4.5 per cent to around 60,700 units. The overall passenger car market expanded by 14 per cent to about 522,000 new cars. The German brands sold 86,700 light vehicles in the US in January – a rise of 7.6 per cent.
By contrast, domestic passenger car assembly decreased by 11 per cent to 394,300 units in January. “Sales were quite keen in the early months of last year. This underlying effect partly explains the current fall in the figures. We may expect a tangible stabilisation on the passenger car markets in the euro zone by the middle of this year,” Wissmann said.
|Passenger Cars *)||Units||Change 13/12 in %|
|German makes incl. group makes||137.500||-5|