German Automakers Shift Production Focus Overseas


* Carmakers' foreign output to almost double vs 2009 -VDA

* Germany-based 2012-14 production seen almost flat -VDA

* Car sales to rebound slightly to about 3 mln in 2014 -VDA (Releads on production forecast, adds detail and comments from VDA, analyst.)

By Andreas Cremer

BERLIN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - German carmakers' overall output is set to rise for the fifth year in 2014, driven by overseas production, industry association VDA said on Tuesday, meaning little boost for the domestic economy.

Sales in China are set to more than double to 17.1 million passenger cars next year compared with 2009, while registrations in the United States may increase by half to 15.9 million, lifting German companies' overseas aspirations, VDA said.

Foreign production by manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Daimler may almost double to 9.2 million cars in 2014 from 4.8 million in 2009, while Germany-based output is set to rise 10 percent to 5.5 million, VDA said.

VW, Europe's biggest carmaker, announced plans in March to build seven more factories in China, its biggest market. Daimler said last month it will buy a stake in Beijing Automotive Group's car division, while German rival Audi is building a factory in Mexico and plans to resume production Brazil.

"If we were confined to subsist on the German market, we would be living a stingy life," VDA president Matthias Wissmann said at a press conference in Berlin.

Sales of new cars in Germany may drop almost five percent this year to 2.93 million, the second-lowest level since German reunification in 1990, VDA said, reflecting troubles in Europe where auto demand is hovering close to a two-decade low.

However, registrations may rise for the first time in three years in 2014 to about 3 million, VDA said, citing a slow recovery that took hold this summer. Sales in November, though down by 2 percent, would have risen by 3 percent if adjusted for workdays.

"We're expecting demand (in Germany) to grow in the low single-digit area, but we're far away from a genuine recovery," said Peter Fuss, senior advisory partner at the Global Automotive Centre of accountants EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

"Carmakers invest their money where sales markets grow."

The German data follows evidence of a recovery in France and Spain, where data on Monday showed sales stabilizing after a prolonged recession in much of Europe pushed demand close to a two-decade low. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Louise Heavens)



Follow Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×