German automakers brace for a tough 2010

3rd December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Germany's "cash-for-clunkers" scheme has boosted sales of small cars but the popular state-funded measure came to an end in September.

Frankfurt -- German automakers are bracing for tough times in 2010 after government subsidises helped them get through this year, the VDA auto federation said on Wednesday.

Exports should pick up modestly, it added, but new car registrations in the biggest European car market are expected to drop to between 2.75-3.0 million vehicles from an estimated 3.8 million in 2009.

"The German market will find itself in 2010, after the end of car scrapping premiums, in a normalisation phase," VDA president Matthias Wissmann told a press conference in Frankfurt.

Germany's "cash-for-clunkers" scheme has boosted sales of small cars and helped the country pull out of its worst post-war recession, but the popular state-funded measure came to an end in September.

On a global level, the auto sector expects sales to rise by one to three percent next year, and "German manufacturers will benefit in particular owing to their export strength," VDA said.

Exports, which account for three quarters of all German car production, have fallen by 20 percent so far this year but should pick up as dealers work through stocks accumulated during the global downturn, the federation forecast.

Emerging countries like China, now Volkswagen's biggest market, and Brazil are expected to see stronger sales in 2010.

Meanwhile, German new car registrations leapt by 20 percent in November from the same month a year earlier to 279,740 vehicles, and by 25 percent in the first 11 months of the year to 3.5 million vehicles.

Exports gained an annualised 13 percent in November to 372,400 units, VDA said, as markets in neighbouring France and Italy also posted strong increases.

Wissmann nonetheless told media that "it is too early to speak of an end to the crisis."


0 Comments To This Article