If you go to Germany, as I did today, you won’t see or feel much of a recession. If you read the GMSM (German Main Stream Media – and I had 9 hours of reading the latest editions today while flying in from Beijing) you’ll learn that the jobless rate is contained, that people are buying, that Frau Merkel sees no need for s stimulus package, and that retail is looking for 150,000 temps to help them with the Christmas boom. All divvy in Deutschland?
When you go to a bit less than main stream, you are in for a shock: “German new cars sales down by 18 percent” says Automobilwoche (sub.) Aua! After slowly decreasing over the month, November sales suddenly cratered in Deutschland. It looks more and more like 2008 will be the worst year since 1989. Who was the worst performer in the volume segments? You guessed it: Opel. Down 36 percent. BMW lost 20.8 percent, VW shed 18.6 percent. Horrors! Mini cars went out of style, bigtime: The Smart lost nearly 46 percent. Best performer: Audi with a loss of only 1.1 percent. If you want the official government data in full gory detail, here they are.