Germany: New Car Sales up 6.1% in December image

German new car registrations rose 6.1 percent in December to 244,501 vehicles, the industry association VDIK and the Federal Motor Vehicle Office said Tuesday.

For the entire year of 2011, new car sales in Germany rose by 8.8 percent to 3.17 million, supporting the view that despite the debt crisis, Germans remain in a spending mood and in the market for big-ticket items.

“Registrations of international brands were particularly successful,” said VDIK head Volker Lange in a press release, noting the strong gain in sales (+7%) and market share of VDIK member brands compared to the growth of the overall market (+3%).

“For 2012, VDIK expects the passenger car market to stabilize,” Lange added.

With interest rates at record lows and a labour market that still appears immune to the debt crisis and global slowdown, car sales are likely to continue rising.

“The labour market continued to develop positively at the end of 2011 and we can look back on a good year, when unemployment dropped sharply, employment increased and demand for labour remained very high throughout the whole year,” said the head of the Federal Labour Agency, Frank Weise.

Looking at the year as a whole, the jobless total fell by 263,000 to 2.976 million in unadjusted terms in 2011. That is equivalent to an annual average unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent, down from 7.7 per cent in 2010, the Federal Labour Agency said.

Deutsche Bahn said it intends to create 10,000 jobs in 2012, of which 1000 will be in Germany, while Audi said it planned to recruit an extra 1,200 staff in Germany.