By on March 9, 2011

Are there any winners of carmageddon? You bet there are: The Germans. They were sheltered from the American meltdown by virtue of a minuscule market share. At home in Europe, they were saved in 2009 by European cash for clunkers largesse. Following that, they could not make enough cars to power the insatiable export machine.

Development pretty much came to a halt in the U.S. and Japan in 2009. It yet has to reach full revs. Flush with cash, German manufacturers never had to stop the development of new cars. Due to the long development cycles, we just begin to see the beginnings of this effect.

Bavaria’s BMW is looking back at unheard-of sales numbers in February. A total of 111,720 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles were delivered to customers, an increase of 21.7 percent compared to February 2010. It’s not just a flash in the pan: Sales in the first two months were 24.7 percent higher than in the same months a year before.

“Our young vehicle fleet is currently doing exceptionally well from the recovery of the car markets in many regions of the world,” said Ian Robertson, responsible for Sales and Marketing at BMW.

BMW grew everywhere. In Europe, up16.8 percent . In the Americas were up 14.7 percent . In Asia up 49.3 percent.

Most amazing: Sales of Rolls Royce cars stood at 462 in February, up 200 percent. There were times when less than 1000 were sold in a whole year.

The folks at Volkswagen could not produce quite as sensational percentages, but sensational numbers nonetheless. In January and February, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered 758,100 vehicles to customers worldwide, an increase of 14.1 percent on the comparable prior-year period.

Like BMW, the Volkswagen passenger brand grew in all global regions. And like at BMW, the Asia / Pacific region reported the most growth with 22.8 percent.

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6 Comments on “Unscathed By Carmageddon, Germans Power Ahead...”

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Now all they need to do is sell full-size wagons with rear wheel drive and diesel powertrains, Hyundai-style warranties, and a dealer experience that is less painful than castration with a spoon.

    • 0 avatar

      As I mentioned in the VW thread, Volkswagen offers a 4 year basic warranty and 12 year corrosion warranty in Canada. That’s not bad.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s special about that? 4-years / 80,000km is standard fare among any European make in Canada, with the exception that the other makes do not have a poor dealer reputation.
      Having owned at a premium-priced Volkswagen, I can attest the dealer network is poor – given the number of things that went wrong with the car, many times I had to argue to have the car fixed under warranty. My Subaru on the other hand would be fixed with no questions asked.  And believe me, if I was not entitled to have the car fixed, they would not have done so.
      Yes, painful experience indeed.
      With European brands (I have tried VW, Mercedes, and Volvo) it depends on the garage – you have to shop around until you find a good service. With my Volvo, I tried three dealerships until I settled on one, where I am very happy. The other two were awful.

  • avatar

    Will be interesting to see if their cost structure holds up once people finally realize the folly of demand pumping via fiscal deficits and QEx. How are, for example, sales in Iceland compared to pre correction levels?
    When what passes for “economic” policy worldwide, consists solely of asset stripping lower income people and future generations, to hand the proceeds directly to most German makes’ target demographic, it’s hard not to be at least a bit skeptical of the sustainability of this trend.

  • avatar

    I hope this translates into some real Volkswagen sales for me and not increases in Asian markets. Gave up on the Architecture career since there are no jobs to be found.
    I know Volkswagen has an atrocious dealer reputation to dig itself out of but where I am at in Cincinnati just isn’t like that. Could be the fact it’s a relatively new dealer but we try to make sure everyone is happy when they leave from the sales or service end.

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