German car sales slump in April as exports rise: industry data

4th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

German new car sales plunged in April but exports picked up the slack as major auto markets in Asia and North America rebounded, figures released on Tuesday by the sector federation VDA showed.

In Germany, the biggest European car market, registrations slumped by 32 percent from the same month a year earlier to 259,500 vehicles, a VDA statement said.

It was the fifth straight decline, continuing a trend that began shortly after a state subsidy for new car purchases expired last year.

On a monthly basis, new car sales lost 11 percent, while exports gained 58 percent to 338,800 vehicles, in large part owing to pick-ups in the Chinese and US markets.

Three-quarters of all German cars produced in April were sold abroad, and VDA president Matthias Wissmann said: "Strong international demand for German models underscores the performance of this industry."

Overall production posted its eighth increase running, rising by 26 percent to 469,400 units, but the federation warned "this trend should nonetheless not continue throughout the year."

© 2010 AFP

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