While many executives, analysts and forecasters heralded the recovery of the battered European car market, here comes Germany to contradict them all, with a decline after five months of growth.
The European region, hit by an unprecedented economic slump in recent years saw the automotive industry take a big beating – with an almost six years demand drop. Now, among the most important markets in recent months many saw glimmers of hope – with new car sales – still boosted by strong incentives – starting a frail recovery.
But, following the French car market, which after some months of recoveries also saw a sales decline in the first two months, the biggest single car market in Europe falters in April.
“One of factors at play is the fact that Easter was in April and not in March. But on the whole it means that the market is still volatile and not as stable as some people would like,” says Peter Fuss, German autos expert at Ernst & Young.
According to data from the German Department of Motor Vehicles (KBA), sales in the country last month went down to 274,097 units, a 3.6% drop that compares to France and Italy, which saw sales increases of 5.8 and 1.9 % respectively.
Overall though, in the first four months sales increased in Germany by 2.9%. The statistics show that last month the most popular vehicles were the compact cars, which commandeered 25.6% of total sales.