2011 to be a record year for German carmakers, industry group says image

German carmakers will have a record year with sales clearly higher than last year, Germany’s Bild newspaper reported, citing Matthias Wissmann, chairman of the German carmakers’ association – the VDA.

Wissman said he expected a “considerable jump” in car sales this year from the 317 billion euros ($422 billion) reported in 2010, the newspaper said. More than 5.9 million passenger cars will be produced in 2011, according to VDA estimates. 4.5 million of these will go to export. However, there will be more “headwind” in 2012, as the euro crisis will take its toll on German carmakers, the newspaper quoted Wissmann as saying.

Even though they are preparing for a bad year in 2012, German carmakers continue to invest, with Daimler announcing a €1.5 billion investment in 2011 and 2012 in its main plant from Stuttgart-Unterturkheim. “With the good order situation behind us, we invest in our production units to make them competitive for the future,” said Mercedes production chief Wolfgang Bernhard.

The euro slipped below $1.33 on Friday due to concerns over the escalation of the debt crisis. The common currency hit a 7-week low after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s rejection of joint euro bonds damped optimism about a potential remedy for the region’s woes.