Big boost to German new car sales
GERMAN new car registrations, a key indicator of consumer demand, saw a steep rise in August.
With 245,076 new cars in August 2016, the figure was 8.3 percent higher than the same month in 2015, the KBA transport authority said.
The result was boosted by two additional working days in August compared with 2015, the German Association of the Automobile Industry (VDA) said.
“Positive overall economic development in Germany and the good employment situation are also contributing at the moment,” VDA president Matthias Wissmann said.
Analysts at consultants Ernst & Young noted that correcting for the calendar effects, the increase in registrations was smaller, at 4.3pc.
August’s result marks a return to growth for car sales after a blip in July, when fewer cars were sold than in 2015 – which the VDA also put down to calendar effects.
The KBA said that 836 plug-in hybrid cars and 895 all-electric vehicles were registered in August, representing increases of 46.7pc.
Figures for electric car sales are under close scrutiny after the government introduced subsidies of up to 4000 euros (US$4500) for pure electrics and 3000 euros for plug-in hybrids earlier this year.
German carmakers saw a 7pc increase in registrations overall to 169,800 in August, the VDA reported, while foreign manufacturers’ share rose by 11pc to 75,300.
Among German brands, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Porsche and Mini all recorded double-digit percentage increases over August last year.
Volkswagen remained the biggestselling brand in Germany, accounting for 19.9pc of all new cars registered in August.
August’s figures bring the total number of new cars registered in Germany since January to just under 2.3 million – 6pc higher than the same period in 2015. –
New Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche cars sit ready for shipping in the harbour of Bremerhaven, Germany.