German carmakers expect to partially compensate their dwindling sales in Europe this year with double-digit growth in the United States. Mercedes-Benz USA chief executive Steve Cannon told Automotive News Europe that they expect to post a 10-percent jump in the US in 2013. Likewise, BMW North America chief executive Ludwig Willisch expects another two-digit growth this year. The German Big Three -- BMW Group, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group – posted a combined 21-percent rise in the US to almost 1.25 million vehicles in 2012. Five of the carmakers’ brands logged new sales records in the US in 2012 -- a number of which could be surpassed this year. Morgan Stanley Managing Director Adam Jonas told the Automotive News World Congress in January that pent-up demand will boost the overall light-vehicle sales in the US to 16 million units this year, from 14.5 million units last year. If true, this would be the fourth straight year that the US market posts rise in sales.
Morgan Stanley, however, expects light vehicle sales in Western Europe to drop for a sixth straight year in 2013 to 4 percent to 12.7 million units. Light vehicle sales in the region were 13.2 million in 2012.
German carmakers, however, might have reasons to rejoice since demand for their product is growing at a faster pace that the overall US market, which gained 13 percent in 2012. Only Mercedes-Benz brand posted growth similar to the market average while Audi, BMW and Mini and VW brand did much better. Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said at the Detroit auto show in January that he expects US and China to be the bright spots in 2013 compared with Europe.