German carmakers eye 12% US growth

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GERMAN carmakers predict further growth in the US market after achieving record sales in 2013 by capitalizing on expanding demand for luxury vehicles, the head of the VDA carmakers’ association recently said.

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The carmakers have managed to outpace the market, expanding sales by 75 percent since the financial crisis pushed US sales to the lowest level in decades in 2009.

“During those crisis years we, the German auto industry, did not make the mistake of underestimating the importance of the US market,” VDA President Matthias Wissmann said. “On the contrary, our companies consistently expanded their activities in the US. This long-term strategy is paying off.”

German carmakers set a sales record of 1.3 million vehicles in 2013, a 5-percent increase over 2012. The gains mean that one in eight passenger cars sold in the US has a German badge.

German dominance of the luxury market—which could expand to 11 percent or 12 percent of total US sales in 2014 from about 10 percent in 2013—will translate into even further gains as the overall market is forecast to expand another 3 percent to 16 million vehicles, Wissmann said.

“As the American market rebounds, buyers go big,” Wissmann said, quoting a recent newspaper headline. “We are confident the premium market will dominate.”

AFP

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