German carmakers report big sales slump in May

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ASusilovic, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Luxury German carmakers reported a further sharp slump in May in their worldwide sales with BMW posting a dramatic fall of 18 per cent last month.

    Munich-based BMW, which is the world's leading premium carmaker, said the drop brought the total fall in group sales to 21.1 per cent to 487,906 for the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year.

    This included BMW's flagship brand as well as its compact Mini and top-end Rolls Royce models.

    At the same time, BMW rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz also reported further significant declines in sales with Stuttgart-based Daimler saying its flagship Mercedes Benz cars suffered a sharp 12.1 per cent fall in sales last month. This brought Mercedes Benz sales down to 86,300 in May compared to May 2008.

    Daimler said total group sales, including its Mercedes, Smart and Maybach brands, dropped to 97,300 in May, which was 12.4 per cent lower than in the same month last year.

    Meanwhile, Audi said its May sales fell by 6.1 per cent to 82,800 on the back of sharp declines in the carmaker's key markets in western Europe and the US.

    This resulted in Audi, which is the luxury offshoot of Europe's biggest carmaker Volkswagen, reporting a 12.1-per-cent fall in accumulative sales to 374,750 during the first five months of the year.

    But Audi sales in the Asia-Pacific region raced ahead again last month to increase by 24.1 per cent compared to the same month in 2008 with the carmaker posting a 28 per cent jump in sales in China. This represented Audi's third consecutive record sales month in China.

    Likewise, Mercedes-Benz posted another sales record in May in China with the number of vehicle sold surging by 59 per cent to 5,200 cars.

    Indeed, the German carmakers could take a measure of comfort from the latest data that showed the pace of the recent fall in sales was slowing.

    "Sales decreased much more slowly in May than in recent months," said BMW's head of sales Ian Robertson. "Overall, I am cautiously optimistic that our global sales figures will continue to improve over the course of the year."

    The May sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles was considerably more than the 80,700 cars sold in April following the successful launch of its new E-class brand.

    "The new E-Class has met with an outstanding customer response," says Mercedes-Benz cars sales executive Klaus Maier.

    "We expect sales to receive a further boost in the coming months from the introduction of the new E-Class to other important markets such as China and the US, as well as from the launch of the new E-Class coupe and the face lifted S-Class."

    Global carmakers have been badly hit by the international recession, which began to take shape in the final quarter of 2008.

    In a bid to address slowing domestic car sales, the German government has launched a scheme offering a 2,500-euro ($A4,312) bonus to drivers who scrap their old cars and update to more environmentally sound models.

    This lead to domestic sales soaring to 384,000 in May, which represented a 40-per-cent surge compared to the same month last year, the nation's Automotive Industry Association (VDA) said earlier this month.

    But as a measure of the impact of the recession on the global auto business, German car exports totalled 246,000 units last month, 24-per-cent less than a year ago, the VDA said.

    However, the May figure represented an improvement on the data for April, when German car exports fell 48 per cent.
  2. BMW XETRA 28,16 0,12 + 0,43% 10:43

    Volkswagen XETRA 252,71 4,83 + 1,95%

    Daimler XETRA 26,51 -0,29 -1,08%