The German commercial vehicles market continued to contract substantially in July. Sales amounted to 21,130 vehicles in July, or about 26 percent fewer than in the same month last year. Domestic sales have dropped by 29 percent since the beginning of the year, to 141,800 units. Van sales declined last year by 22 percent, while sales of heavy-duty vehicles over 6 tons were down 39 percent.
Despite these setbacks, incoming orders from Germany continued to stabilize in July. Demand for vans rose by 2 percent, while orders for heavy-duty vehicles decreased by only 12 percent. Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented: "Although the German commercial vehicle manufacturers continue to face very big challenges, the domestic market shows signs of stabilizing, although at a low level." After adjusting for seasonal effects, domestic orders even increased by almost 7 percent in July compared to the previous month.
On the whole, foreign markets continued to develop unsatisfactorily for the German manufacturers in July. Exports were down 60 percent, while incoming orders from foreign customers once again declined by almost 40 percent. After adjusting for seasonal effects, however, the figures indicate that the situation is stabilizing here as well. Said Wissmann: "The positive trends in the confidence indicators, which show initial signs of bottoming out, have not yet affected the German commercial vehicle industry. It's essential for the foreign markets to soon stabilize. The companies in the sector have done everything they can to adapt themselves to the changed market conditions, and the possibilities for increasing flexibility have been largely exploited."
The German plants continued to cut production output in July, when 19,400 units were produced, or 57 percent fewer vehicles than in the same month last year. Overall, production has fallen by 59 percent since the beginning of the year.