ANALYSIS: GERMANY: No improvement in October

By just-auto.com editorial team | 6 November 2007

Passenger car registrations in Germany failed to show any recovery in October and were down 4.1% compared to a year ago to 281,845 cars. There was some relief as this was a big improvement on September when registrations fell 11%.

Registrations in the first 10 months of the year were down 8% to 2.62m vehicles.

The VDA trade group is very pessimistic for the remaining two months of the year. Sales at the end of 2006 were strong as customers brought purchases forward ahead of the introduction of a new higher rate of value-added tax (VAT) in January 2007.

Some manufacturers bucked the trend, according to data published by the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA). BMW/Mini sales were up 14%, giving it a market share of 9.2%. Mercedes sales were up 0.7% (market share 10.6%), and Smart sales were up 34.8%. Porsche recorded growth of 4.4.%.

GM's Opel sales were down over 20%. Ford managed a better performance of -6.3% and Volkswagen was down 5.7%.

Import makes generally performed a lot worse. Citroen sales were down 15.3%, Honda lost 23.4%, Nissan 17.6% and Renault 5.6%.

Taking a 10-month view, none of the major manufacturers has recorded any significant growth. Mercedes sales were up 0.1% and Porsche up 3.6%, but all others registered a decline including: BMW/Mini -2.7%, GM -23.8%, Ford -14.2%, Volkswagen -9.3% and Toyota -8.5%.