Germany’s mighty autoindustry, in spite of paying the highest hourly wage costs on the planet, continues to churn out more cars at domestic plants on the back of buoyant exports. AID investigates last year’s German car production and finds that production lines were kept humming thanks mainly to the ongoing love-affair for German-made prestige cars in China, the US and Britain
Yet another car sales surge in China, an encouraging rebound in US demand together with a stand-alone UK car sales recovery in otherwise gloom-struck Europe have prevented last year’s German car production from falling.
Instead of slipping in line with last year’s car production in many neighbouring countries such as France, where production dropped 14 per cent, last year’s German domestic car production rose 1 per cent to 5.44 million passenger cars.
Total share of cars built in
Germany that were exported last year
True to the maxim that healthy exports remain the vital lifeblood of most economies, foreign demand for cars has kept Germany’s car production engine firing on all cylinders.
That’s astonishing, chiefly because it contradicts the widely held view that multinationals with German car plants, given the country’s sky-high wage costs, would have been desperate to source more of their cars from non-German car plants.
Not so it seems.
The commercial significance of the export sector is driven home by figures showing that last year exports were responsible for 77 per cent of the cars built in Germany.
That includes the production of CKD kits heading for ultimate assembly in countries such as
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