Fleet News

German car sales enter a ‘fragile’ phase

DEMAND for new and used cars in Germany has been described as ‘fragile’, reflecting the general economic mood in the country.

A total of 6.6 million used cars were sold in the country during 2005, on a par with the figure recorded in 2004, but still down on the 2000 figure of 7.2 million.

The findings are produced in BCA’s Used Car Market Report 2006 which contains a profile of the German market. A spokesman for the auction giant said: ‘Economic reforms and high oil prices did not create the best scenario for the industry to operate in, yet despite this, volumes were robust in 2005.

‘Add in the relatively high volumes generated in the new car market and Germany remains the largest car market in Europe, generating in excess of 10 million sales annually.

‘Rather than just count the numbers a more useful indicator of activity is parc turn – (or ‘churn’) the total number of used and new sales expressed as a percentage of the total car parc. ‘Germany currently ‘churns’ about 22% of its car parc annually. By contrast, the UK figure is nearly 35%.’

For 2006, analysts predict a small increase in used car volumes to about 6.7 million, as the German economic situation continues to improve. The company notes that the biggest single sector is the lower-medium that accounted for more than 30% of all transactions.

This was followed by the junior executive sector represented by BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-class and Volkswagen Passat, which accounted for 21% of the market and superminis at just under 20%. Cars up to five years old represent 36% of German used sales.

n The BCA Used Car Market Report is now available for free download for BCA customers via the company’s ‘auction view’ portal at www.auctionview.co.uk

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