At the start of the annual Geneva International Motor Show, Germany's auto industry association VDA has expressed its confidence in its own future and in the global automotive industry in general. In a press release, VDA president Matthias Wissmann (pictured) promised exciting world premieres in Geneva, and shared some interesting facts, figures and predictions. An overview:
→ Western Europe's car market expanded by 9% in 2015 to 13.2 million new vehicles. The VDA also expects significant growth for 2016, helped by low interest rates and fuel prices, and rising real incomes and employment figures.
→ U.S. light vehicle sales are expected to hit at least 17.5 million this year, breaking 2015's sales record.
→ A VAT stimulus has helped the Chinese car market regain its dynamism, with Q4 sales soaring by 20% year-on-year, and 2.2 million cars sold this January alone, 11% more than previous year. The forecast for 2016 is for sales of 21.3 million cars in China.
→ Helped by China's better than expected prognosis, the global car market is expected to increase by 2%, for the first time ever hitting the mark of 80 million new vehicles sold in a year.
→ In the VDA's home market, new car registrations were up 6% in 2015, exceeding 3.2 million units for the first time in six years. For 2016, the organisation expects “modest growth” in Germany.
→ The German auto industry's turnover increased 10% to €404.4 billion in 2015 – the first time that figure exceeded the €400-billion mark. Export earnings were up 11%, to €263.3 billion, while domestic sales were up 8% to €141.1 billion. The German auto industry employs just under 800,000 people, over 18,000 more than a year earlier.
→ The VDA also expressed its full support for measures to improve air quality – and to restore market confidence in diesels, which it called “indispensible to Germany as a business location”: 48% of cars produced in Germany are diesels, as are about 75% of cars exported from Germany. The organisation also admitted Germany is playing catch-up with respect to electric car penetration.
Image Credit: Matthias Wissmann, image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Germany license