winners and losers in 2003's German car sales

Also 2004 was no good year, the recession has been mirrored by poor auto sales [-0.5]*. The successes of Korean, Japanese and French importers show that conditions on Europe's most important car market adjust to that of the 'old' continent's rest. Being the world's hardest retail trade market, now also the car sector is becoming more difficult in Germany. Customers pay more and more attention to bargains and the foreign manufacturers were profiting from the reasonable numbers on their price tags. The trends of the segments of upper midsize [ 7.7
/+1.1]* and luxury cars were positive ones. BMW has been improving balance slightly [ 7.0
/+0.8 ] but didn't pass Audi [ 7.4 /-1.4 ] as number two amongst Germany's big three in the prestige competition. Means Mercedes Benz [ 11.4/-5.0 ] is still number one and on second position in the entire German auto market.

That dramatic loss of market share clearly indicates that DC will have to make impacts with the forthcoming A- and S-class. Leader Volkswagen's result [ 18.5/-0.7 ] is better than expected, despite serious quality problems and low demand for the Golf, including the new model. The relatively steady interest in the aged Passat has been compensating the outcome as well as the successful Polo. VW's small car were profiting from the general downsizing trend. Buyers obviously rather take well-fitted smaller cars in these days of difficult economics and announced shocking changes of social security. This trends go on the expense of the compact [ 24.1/-9.7 ] and midsize car [ 21.3/-8.4 ] sector . On the other hand, sales of luxury vehicles [ 1.2/+4.8 ] have been increased - except that of SUVs [ 2.6/-0.7 ].

In contrast to pure off-roaders [ 4.8/+22.8 ], this American fashion found little less friends in 2003. One tide that explains the losses in many segments is the demand for vans [ 9.7/+38.2 ]. This practical family cars still enjoy constantly rising popularity. Thanks to smart cars with retractable hardtops and the continuing general interest in roadsters, convertibles [ 4.4/+17.7 ] remain very much en vogue which has caused significantly rising rates on this field. For 2004, industry and analysts are very optimistic and anticipate rising sales. This will admittedly be achieved by means of car sale's hell, such as incentives and aggressive discount offers! The changes in between the classes will certainly continue, in so far as vehicles are still classifiable because cross over models are expected to become even more popular.

* [ market share 2003 / change to 2002 ] all specification in percent.

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