German car sales slump

Business Materials 2 April 2008 19:17 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - German car sales slumped by 14 per cent in March as growing economic uncertainty and surging fuel bills kept consumers out of show rooms across the country, data released Wednesday showed.

The publication of the latest data by the German Car Industry Association (FDA) followed the release on Tuesday of figures from Germany's leading carmakers pointing to the shakeout in the US economy triggered by the nation's mortgage market crisis as well as rising energy costs leading to sales falling in the giant US auto market.

In particular this was the case with the luxury carmakers such as BMW, Mercedes Benz and Porsche, which reported sales tumbling in March compared to the same month last year.

While Stuttgart-based luxury sports carmaker Porsche posted a 24- per-cent fall last month, Mercedes Benz reported a 3.7 per cent drop in US sales. At the same time, Munich-based BMW, which is the world's leading premium carmaker, said its US sales declined by 5.4 per cent to 27,404 lead by an 8.7 drop in sales of its core BMW brand.

Volkswagen's luxury offshoot Audi reported a more modest fall in the US with total sales dropping by 0.4 per cent to 7,987 vehicles in March.

Meanwhile, Audi's parent continued to enjoy solid business in the US with sales racing ahead by nearly 13 per cent last month.