German car production falls 40% in first half

A dramatic slump in demand and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic saw passenger car production in Germany in the first half of 2020 fall to its lowest level in 45 years, says carmakers association VDA.

Amid disruption of supply chains and production stoppages, some 1.5 million vehicles were made at German locations from January to June, -40% less than in the same 2019 period, Kallanish hears from VDA. The association expects a slow recovery in the second half of the year, so that the drop for the full year is anticipated to be -25%, totalling 3.5 million units. Exports from Germany are expected to fall by -27% in 2020; in the first six months of the year they were down -40% to 1.1 million units.

VDA president Hildegard Müller highlighted the progress made by the industry in digitalisation and new e-mobility. VDA member companies are investing €50 billion ($55 billion) in new drive systems and a further €25 billion in digitalisation until 2024.

“We need an intelligent mix of offers: from battery electric cars to economical and low-emission vehicles with ultra-modern gasoline and diesel engines,” said Müller. The plug-in hybrid, in particular, offers enormous opportunities, Müller noted. “It combines the best of two worlds – emission-free driving on short and medium distances, with the necessary and efficient range, also on long distances.”