The surge in demand for German premium brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz contributed to European auto production reaching its highest monthly total of 2010. J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting estimates that automakers made 1,591,586 cars in Europe in June, a year-on-year increase of 8%.
So far, the most productive month for this year is March, with 1,584,431 vehicles made during this period. J.D. Power data show that for the first six months of the year, European production is up 21% to 8,794,091. It was also observed that wealthy customers from the US and China have patronized Daimler AG's Mercedes E class, BMW AG's new 5 series and Volkswagen AG luxury brand Audi's revamped A8.
This prompted the German carmakers to hire more workers and cut summer factory breaks to increase production as demand for luxury cars has recovered quicker than was expected. For the month of June, the three premium brands expanded production by over 20%.
Through six months, Audi led the pack with a European output of 519,118 vehicles, a 34.2% increase from the 386,821 units produced in the first half of 2009. Automakers are optimistic that demand will continue.
About 1,800 temporary workers have been added by Daimler. It also added Saturday shifts at German assembly plants to make the SLS gullwing supercar, GLK SUV and E-class convertible. Furthermore, Audi added extra shifts and BMW has hired 5,000 temporary workers.[via autonews - sub. required]