German car sales to drop in 2013

3rd May 2013, Comments 0 comments

New car registrations in Germany, the benchmark for a crucial sector of the top European economy, are due to slip slightly this year, the main industry federation said Friday.

The German automotive association VDA said that a mild rebound in April was not enough to make up for slipping sales throughout the year in a persistently weak market.

Some 284,000 new cars were registered last month, up nearly four percent on the year, according to official data.

The figures marked a reversal of a trend which saw a 10.5-percent decline in February and a 17-percent drop in March.

But a VDA statement put the change down to more work days in April rather than a true recovery.

"The relatively weak start to the year was clearly also related to lingering risk factors in connection with the European debt crisis," it said.

"Headwinds are coming from (crisis-hit countries in) southern Europe. The two-year-old debate about the future of the eurozone is creating insecurity and leading to a reluctance to buy among many consumers."

VDA chief Matthias Wissmann said the association now expected sales this year of between 2.9 and 3.0 million units, down slightly from an initial forecast of around 3.0 million units.

In 2012, 3.08 million new cars were sold in Germany.

© 2013 AFP

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