German July Car Sales: Still Going Ballistic

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Germany hasn’t lost its newfound appetite for new cars. July registrations weren’t quite up by 40 percent as they were in June and in May. But a plus of 29.5 percent compared to the same month in the prior period is nothing to sneeze at. Still powered by Abrwackprämie, the trend to smaller cars continues its trajectory. Sales of Mini-sized cars rose 144.1 percent, subcompacts grew 67.5 percent. Anything larger: Vergiss es. Who’s the big winner?

It’s Sergio Marchionne and his Fiat brand stable: For the year, Alfa is up 101.2 percent, Fiat is up 105.5 percent. Good omen for an Opel-Magna-GAZ linkup: Russian Lada is up 141.2 percent for the year. The big losers: Chrysler, GM and SAAB.

Details (in German, but the numbers speak for themselves) are again provided by the ever so efficient Kraftfahrtbundesamt, free for your downloading pleasure.

German car exports (usually half of Germany’s production) are coming back from the dead also. Exports in July are only 12 percent below the same month in 2008, the order books are filling up slowly, pointing towards a single digit decline in August and a turn-around in fall.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • 50merc 50merc on Aug 04, 2009

    "Fiat is up 105.5 percent." Germans buy Fiats? Wow, Italian cars must have gotten better. I still remember them as unreliable buzz boxes with ergonomics intended for gorillas with unusually short legs and unusually long arms.

  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Aug 05, 2009

    Germans have a new fangled love affair with cars cheaper than their domestics, including those from Italy, and even former com-bloc nations. Wow. If that doesn't say bad economy, nothing does. Was auch immer geschah deutschem Stolz?

  • Landif Landif on Aug 05, 2009

    I am driving since 47 years and I have never been left down by Fiat /Lancia etcc (my son & brother twice each with Passat and A4) Regretfully now the good habit of giving ample space to the driver and an ergonomic seat is not there on some model(New Punto...).But certainly, most of them are more comfy then BMW1/3/5 and A3/4 with all the price they charge and inspite of the good engines they have. Result:before buying my latest car 2008, I have tried them all (cat 2000cc TD), and finally found the latest Croma the most satisfactory(cms160 high!) and long distance traveler for a family at a reasonable price.

  • H. Koppinen H. Koppinen on Aug 07, 2009

    Fiat and Alfa both just rolled out new cool small cars. The Fiat 500 and the Alfa Romeo MiTo are probably the big winners, with the Grande Punto trailing. And they're not really that bad. They're fun and easy to drive and cheap. Being Italian, they'll still break, but that's pretty much what cars do. Unless you're willing to live with buying a Toyota.