New car sales in Germany are dropping, reflecting declines in other key European regions.
New registrations in Europe’s largest auto market fell 8.5 percent in January to about 192,000 vehicles, the VDIK auto industry association for import brands in Germany announced on Monday. As a consequence, overseas manufacturers have described the German market as being in “weak” condition.
Last year, Germany posted the smalles decline among continental Europe’s leading auto markets – only 2.9 percent for 3.1 million vehicles sold. The VDIK said that demand could recover this year as the German economy starts to grow, reaffirming its forecast of 3 million-plus sales in Germany this year.
However, the Center of Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen said that a possible rebound in sales would be due to widespread discounting by manufacturers and dealers. “The German auto market will become a buyers’ paradise in the coming months,” CAR’s Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer was quoted as saying by Reuters.
CAR’s monthly index of special offers and discounts granted by dealers and car makers reached the highest January level since the organization began publishing the index more than seven years ago.
Overall car sales in Europe hit a 17-year low in 2012.