Press Releases

German manufacturers again successful on US market

Berlin, 03 April 2013

In March 2013, 281,200 passenger cars were newly registered in Germany. That represents a fall of 17 per cent compared with the same month last year. However, owing to this year’s Easter holiday, March had two fewer working days in 2013 than in 2012. “The drop is therefore especially marked in comparison to the very respectable figures for March 2012,” stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). “However, we can also see that the difficult economic situation in Europe is also affecting the German passenger car market.” Since the beginning of this year new registrations have decreased by around 13 per cent to 674,000 units. Wissmann commented, “I assume the market will stabilise in the second quarter, because the economic outlook for Germany is still robust.”

In March 2013 a total of 367,200 passenger cars were exported, which is 9 per cent down on the very strong figure from last year. In first quarter the German passenger car manufacturers supplied 1.03 million vehicles to foreign customers (-9 per cent). Incoming orders from abroad in March were nearly one per cent below last year’s very high level. The first quarter of 2013 matched the 2012 value.

In the USA, German group brands once again expanded more strongly last month than their competitors did. While the overall light vehicle market (passenger cars and light trucks) increased by 3.4 per cent to 1.45 million units, the German OEMs sold 114,700 vehicles on this important leading market, which was a year-on-year rise of 8.3 per cent. The German group brands are growing rapidly in the light truck segment in particular. Whereas total sales increased by almost 9 per cent (710,300 vehicles), the German manufacturers pushed up their sales by 32 per cent – i.e. over three times as fast (33,100 units). And in the passenger car segment, which contracted fell slightly (-1 per cent), the German brands recorded slender growth (+1 per cent).

In March the manufacturers reduced their assembly at German plants by 13 per cent to 474,900 passenger cars. Since January 1.33 million units have been produced here in Germany (-11 per cent). Wissmann said, “We are feeling the effects of the weak European market above all in our domestic plants. But the other side of the coin is that as soon as the European market recovers, German plants in particular will benefit greatly.”

  March 2013 January - March 2013
Passenger Cars *) Units Change 13/12 in % Units Change 13/12 in %
New registrations 281.200 -17 674.000 -13
of which
German makes incl. group makes 197.100 -15 475.200 -11
Foreign makes 84.100 -22 198.800 -17
Export 367.200 -9 1.033.200 -9
Production 474.900 -13 1.331.700 -11
*) Estimate
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