Sick of sinking car sales? Two choices: Relocate to Germany. Or go to China. In both countries, #4 and #3 on the world’s GDP ranking, cars are flying off dealer lots at breakneck speed.
In Germany, Abwrackprämien-powered new car registrations rose nearly 40 percent in May, compared to May 2008, Automobilwoche [sub] reports. Forty friggen percent! And we thought 19.4 percent in April was strong. In the first 5 months, 1.63 million units were sold to Deutschland’s motorists. In the beginning of the year, everybody in Germany was worried that sales could be less than 3 million cars for the whole year. Now, im Gegenteil: 2009 looks like a record breaker.
“Buyers mob showrooms,” headlines Das Autohaus, the weekly must-read of the German car dealer. Biggest winners were VW (+60.2 percent), Opel (+57.1 percent) and Ford (+48.3 percent), once more debunking the myth that cash4clunkers will only benefit el cheapo imports. Premium makers look at the numbers with Abwrack-envy. Daimler spoiled the party with a loss of 2.4 percent, BMW (-6.7 percent), Audi (-5.1 percent). Details (in German, but the numbers speak for themselves) are provided by the ever so efficient Kraftfahrtbundesamt, free for your downloading pleasure. Or envy. Except if you are Chinese.
China hasn’t reported full May numbers yet, but preliminary reports indicate a bumper crop of new bumpers. Ford China’s sales rose 49 percent in May, Gasgoo reports. Shanghai Volkswagen’s May sales erupted to the tune of 57 percent. Shanghai GM’s sales rose more than 50 percent in May. SAIC-GM-Wuling, General Motors’ mini-commercial vehicle venture in China, sold 442,000 vehicles in the first five months this year, up 49 percent. With these numbers under the belt, China should easily break the 10m unit number in 2009, most likely unseating the U.S.A. which keeps reporting dwindling numbers.