FRANKFURT / BERLIN (Reuters) – The trade war between Washington and Beijing is weighing on the German auto industry, the VDA trade federation said Wednesday, anticipating a drop in sales in China this year.
China is the world's largest and historically fastest growing automotive market for German automakers. But tariffs imposed on vehicles assembled in the United States have had adverse consequences.
"China is currently pausing," said VDA President Bernhard Mattes, adding that German car exports from the United States to China dropped by a third in the first ten months of the year.
VDA says it anticipates a 1% drop in new car sales in China in 2018, which is expected to be 23.9 million units. The federation forecasts an increase of 2% in 2019 (to 24.4 million units).
The global automotive market is expected to account for 85 million vehicles this year, according to VDA. In Europe, the number of new vehicles is expected to reach 15.8 million and to maintain a similar level in 2019.
Sales of new cars in Germany will fall by 1% this year, she adds.
The federation of VDIK importers also expects a slowdown in vehicle sales in Germany this year, which it sees at an identical level next year.
Some 3.42 million cars will probably be registered in 2018, says VDIK, adding that this reflects a good performance of the new car market. VDIK expects a sales increase of 1% in 2018, to 1.325 million units.
(Ilona Wissenbach and Markus Wacket, Catherine Mallebay – Vacant for French Service, edited by Dominique Rodriguez)