Germany In May 2012: Trouble At The Home Front

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
germany in may 2012 trouble at the home front

Up until last month. the German car market was oblivious to the European carnage that had started in Mediterranean countries. and then slowly crawled north. In May. the car consumption disease arrived inside of Germany’s borders.

In May, 289,977 passenger vehicles were newly registered in Germany, reflecting a loss of 4.8 percent compared to May 2011. This according to registration data released by Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt.

Most distressing: Buyers of compact and medium sized cars, the bread and butter of the industry, show increased reluctance towards a new car. Porsche (+12.3 percent) and Audi (+5.8 percent) still grew, Mercedes is flat compared to May 2011.

Volkswagen took a 6.9 percent hit in May and now is up only 0.6 percent in the first 5 months. GM’s Opel is down 11 percent, Ford is down 7.5 percent.

Honda, Toyota and Subaru look downright healthy, but only when compared to a tsunami-affected May. This base effect was unable to help Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan, all with double digit losses

The drop in Germany bodes ill for the European market, data for which to be released mid-month. Europe’s largest car market Germany had buffered some of the falls elsewhere. With Germany in minus territory, ACEA’s May numbers are expected to be gruesome, especially for the volume makers.

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  • Mike978 Mike978 on Jun 05, 2012

    Interesting that Skoda and SEAT outperformed the market (SEAT actually growing and Skoda just falling less than the market). Maybe some VW buyers went for a cheaper VW product. Not unexpected in recessionary times if you can get the same quality car but in a different wrapper.

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