Germans Post Record May Car Sales; Markets Are Mixed – Forbes

Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014

Germany’s carmakers racked up record sales in May, buoyed by a strengthening recovery in Europe and sustained demand for premium cars in the US and China.

BMW and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz reported steeper gains than Volkswagen AG, Germany’s and Europe’s biggest carmaker, which delivered a record 4.11 million vehicles for the first five months of the year despite weaker demand in emerging markets. VW’s sales were up 6.3% for the months of January through May.

Analyst Sabine Bluemel at Creative Global Investments LLC said sales declines in emerging markets, including Russia, Turkey, Argentina, Thailand and Brazil, would weigh on global carmakers, such as General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. She estimates the combined sales loss at more than 1 million units.

Volkswagen is affected too, but somewhat shielded by the strength of its premium brands Audi and Porsche, and resilient demand in China, Bluemel said. Still, its momentum slowed a tick.
VW sales were up 5.9% in May, reflecting strong demand in Europe — except Russia, where industry sales were down 12%, according to IHS Automotive — China, and other parts of Asia.

Mercedes-Benz sales rose 10.4% in May, to a monthly record of 134,031 vehicle sales, and it registered a 14% sales surge for the January-May period to 641,384 vehicles, also a record. The compact CLA and GLA Class cars sell well, but demand is also strong, especially in the US, for the bigger and pricier E- and S-Class cars. Sales of top-of-the-line S-Class sedans have nearly doubled over past year.

BMW, including Mini and Rolls-Royce brand cars, boosted its May sales by 6.8% to a record 177,741 vehicles, bringing its sales 7.4% higher for the year-to-date, to a record 826,865 cars and SUVs.


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