U.S.-China trade conflict hurts German auto sector


Automotive News | 2018-12-7

A trade spat between the United States and China is leaving its mark on Germany's automotive sector with the number of new vehicles in China expected to fall this year, the VDA industry association said Wednesday.

China is the most important and historically the fastest growing market for Germany's carmakers but Chinese tariffs on German cars built in the United States have taken their toll.

"China is currently taking a breather," said VDA president Bernhard Mattes in Berlin, adding the export of German cars from U.S. factories to China fell by a third in the first 10 months of the year.

The VDA said it expected the number of new vehicles in China to decline by 1 percent this year to 23.9 million. It forecast growth in 2019 of 2 percent to 24.4 million.

The association said it expected the global car market to reach 85 million new vehicles this year. In Europe, it expected the number of new vehicles to climb to 15.8 million in 2018 and remain at a similar level in 2019.

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