December 2, 2016 / 2:35 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-German car sales growth heads towards best in six years -VDA

* German market to grow 5 pct in 2016 to 3.4 mln vehicles -VDA

* Analysts say figures boosted by incentives, self-registrations (Adds detail, analyst and VDA comment, background))

BERLIN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - German car sales are heading for their strongest growth in about six years, the VDA industry association said on Friday, though analysts cautioned that momentum is inflated by technical factors while economic threats are growing.

A robust economy, high employment and favorable financing terms could auto sales in Europe’s largest economy by 5 percent this year to almost 3.4 million vehicles, the VDA said, from 3.2 million in 2015.

That compares with a previous 3 percent growth forecast published in May by the VDA, which represents Volkswagen , Daimler, BMW and other leading carmakers and suppliers.

Analysts, however, said that a 2 percent increase in November sales to 276,500 vehicles was solely because there was one more selling day than in the same month last year.

“The political and economic risks that may dampen peoples’ and companies’ readiness to make purchases are growing,” said Peter Fuss, a senior partner and automotive specialist at Ernst & Young’s German practice.

Fuss cited Sunday’s Italian referendum on constitutional reform, a possible rise in European interest rates and forthcoming elections in the region.

Besides persistent sales incentives and an extra selling day, registrations also benefited from so-called self-registrations. This involves carmakers selling new vehicles to themselves and affiliated dealers, rather than to customers, to overstate demand.

“One can take a close look at every brand to see what are self-registrations and what aren‘t, and then one realises under what pressure the respective brand is,” VDA president Matthias Wissmann said at a news conference.

Still, Wissmann expects volume in the German car market next year to be similar to 2016 despite growing political and economic risks.

Separately, the VDA chief said that German carmakers are convinced that electric-powered cars will gain mass-market acceptance much more quickly than thought a few years ago.

The share of electric and semi-electric cars will increase to 25 percent of overall registrations by 2025, Wissmann said, reflecting optimism by Volkswagen and Daimler about their electric car programmes. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Edward Taylor and David Goodman)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below