ANE CONGRESS: German market decline to continue – BMW
BMW sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson believes that the German car market has further to fall this year.
Germany's car market – Europe's largest and a relatively strong performer in recent years - declined by almost 10% in May. Robertson told delegates at the ANE Congress in Paris that the German car market is now in decline due to falling confidence and the uncertainties presented by elections at the end of the year.
“In the last 2-3 years, Europe has been a tale of north and south. The southern European markets have been difficult. A million cars have dropped out of the Spanish car market; Italy also. It's dramatic and devastating for the industry. But the north was still moving forward and Germany was the big driver there as the biggest market.
“But now Germany [car market] is definitely in decline. We think it will continue to decline this year. German consumer confidence is being somewhat undermined and there are elections at year-end, so people are saying 'what next?'”
Robertson also suggested that the UK car market, which has shown strong growth this year driven by private retail sales, could be facing a slowdown.
“The only [sizeable] car market in Europe that is still moving forward is the United Kingdom,” he said. “In some respects it's surprising because the underpinning economic performance hasn't been too strong. I think the UK will ease a little bit.”