The German carmakers' association (VDA) says that German car sales may climb 6.9 percent in 2011 as falling unemployment and rising payrolls in Europe's largest economy boost demand. VDA's head Matthias Wissman says that deliveries in Germany may increase to 3.1 million vehicles in 2011 from 2.92 million in 2010.
Unemployment in Germany fell for a 17th month in November while business confidence surged to a record, helping to boost demand. Carmakers like Marcedes-Benz., BMW AG, and General Motors Co.'s Opel brand are shortening Christmas breaks at factories to meet surging demand.
Wissmann, a former transportation minister, says domestic orders at German-based carmakers have been growing “steadily and at a gathering pace” since September 2010.
He adds that capacity utilization in the German auto industry has rebounded to 85 percent in the fourth quarter from 62 percent in 2009's second quarter.
According to the VDA, German-based carmakers' production will probably increase 5 percent in 2011 to a record 5.8 million units while exports may grow by the same margin to a record 4.4 million vehicles. [via autonews - sub. required]