Germany In January: Ouch, That Hurts
Germany is suffering from Abwrackprämien-withdrawal. Message to dealers: Not this month, we have a headache. January sales are down 4.3 percent compared to January 2009. Only 181,189 new cars found their way on Deutschland’s roads. 4.3 percent may not sound earth shattering. But we are comparing with an exceptionally crummy January 2009, when sales were so awful that Berlin quickly launched their German cash-for-clunkers Abwrackprämien program. This time around, Germans bought even less. It’s been the most miserable January in some 20 years.
This chart (click to enlarge,) provided by the German Kraftfahrtbundesamt, shows how the program had propelled sales into a stratospheric trajectory.
And now, the German sales missile augers in. As we go forward into the year and compare with higher and higher sales, the percentage changes will be dramatic.
Not all brands lost. Amongst the volume brands, Renault/Dacia gained 39 percent, Volkswagen gained 10 percent and is absolute market leader with 42,263 units sold. Interestingly, #2 unit seller is Mercedes (14,328 units sold, – 18.1 percent,) followed by BMW (13,922 units sold, – 15 percent.) Top percentage gainer is Nissan (+ 206.1 percent,) followed by Skoda (+ 43.8 percent) and – surprise – Chevrolet (+ 43.7 percent to 1,713 units sold.)
For 2010, die industry organization VDA expects sales between 2.75m and 3m, compared to 3.81m in 2009. If the January headache turns into a chronic migraine, it could be less.
Detailed data are available for download.