Germany’s new car sales were up 3.8 percent in April, says Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt. This is the first time in nearly a year that German car sales were in plus territory. In France, an April loss of 5.2 percent already was feted as the turn-around. Has the European bottom been reached? I don’t think so.
Just like most of Europe, Germany had been down very hard in March. My contacts in the Fatherland say that most of what we see is a calendar effect. Easter Sunday was on March 31 this year, and many in Europe took the week off. In the Year before, Easter Sunday was on April 8, and many were on vacation in the first week of April. All considered, March probably wasn’t as bad, and April not as good as it looks.
Strongest gainer of the German brands was Porsche, up 16 percent. All German brands, including Opel and Ford (which are counted as German by the Germans) are up, except for BMW (-10,2 %), Mini (-18.3 %) and Smart (-12.1 %).