Commercial vehicle industry stays sluggish in Germany for year-to-date

The commercial vehicle industry in Germany remained slow in August 2002, according to Verband der Automobilindustrie.

Domestic demand for German vans fell 9% in August 2002, although it was up 9% in July 2002, after allowing for seasonal adjustments. In the first eight months, incoming domestic orders almost reached 2001's level (-1%). In the sector over 6 tonnes, German manufacturers suffered an 8% drop in domestic orders in August, but after seasonal adjustments, incoming orders were up 6% from July. However, for the eight-month period domestic orders for heavy commercial vehicles were still showing a 16% drop compared with the same period in 2001.

Orders from abroad for commercial vehicles up to 6 tonnes fell 14% compared with August 2001. By contrast, orders for medium and heavy trucks over 6 tonnes exceeded 2001's figure by 6%. So far this year, foreign orders for trucks up to 6 tonnes have remained 11% below the result for last year, while foreign orders for heavy commercial vehicles over 6 tonnes have already almost reached the level of one year ago (-1%).

In August 2002, exports of light commercial vehicles dropped 19% (to 11,600 vehicles) compared with one year ago, although the seasonally adjusted figure was up 12% from that for July 2002. Exports of commercial vehicles over 6 tonnes slumped 7%. So far in 2002, German manufacturers supplied 10% fewer vans and 8% fewer heavy trucks abroad than they did one year ago.

Commercial vehicle production in August 2002 was 13% down from 2001 in both light- and heavy-truck sectors. In the first eight months of this year, production of vans fell 14%, and production of heavy commercial vehicles over 6 tonnes was 10% below 2001 figures.

Demand for German buses fell 8% short of 2001's volume. Incoming domestic orders and foreign orders were 10% and 6% down, respectively from August 2001. In the first eight months of 2002, incoming orders from abroad (+3%) were doing better than domestic orders (-12%). Exports of buses also declined 11% for this period, while production fell 22%.

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