German Auto Sales Data Mixed in May

Signs of optimism

Audi, BMW and Daimler unveiled contrastingly weak sales figures on June 8 as relatively good news was reported for German industry in general.

BMW said sales of its brands, which include Mini and Rolls-Royce, shed 18.3% in May on a 12-month basis, a figure that was nonetheless better than April's drop of 24%.

Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division said May sales were off by 12.4%, but that was almost half the loss of nearly 24% reported in April.

Audi limited its losses to 6.1% in May compared with the same month a year earlier.

Volkswagen's high-end auto brand continued to fare better than its rivals, but the result was still a deterioration from Audi's fall of 5.6% in April.

For the first five months of 2009, BMW delivered 487,906 vehicles, or 21.1 % fewer than in the same period of 2008.

Mercedes-Benz sold 433,100 cars, which was also a drop of 21.1%.

Audi sold 374,350 cars, for a more modest decline of 12.1%.

"I am globally optimistic concerning an improvement in our sales throughout the year," BMW sales director Ian Robertson was quoted by a statement as saying.

Audi counterpart Peter Schwarzenbauer added that his company noted interest in core A3, A4 and A5 models equipped with four and six-cylinder engines.

Meanwhile, the German economy ministry revised its figure for March industrial orders higher to a rise of 3.7%, the first increase in six months, and added that April orders had stayed at the same level.

The figures demonstrated a "noticeable improvement in the medium-term perspective" for German industries, according to a ministry statement.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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