According to industry experts, the U.S. Car market, which is also important for german manufacturers, will weaken in 2019.
After last year’s better-than-expected new car sales of around 17.2 million, about 16.8 million units were expected to be sold in 2019, according to a forecast by U.S. Market researcher and trade services provider cox automotive presented ahead of the start of the year’s first rough auto show in detroit. For 2020, it could go down even further with new car sales of around 16.5 million.
Cox chief economist jonathan smoke blamed the slowing economy, among other factors, but also warned of the impact of additional tariffs on car prices: tariffs of 25 percent could have a more massive impact on car sales than even a recession. U.S. President donald trump has repeatedly threatened to impose high special tariffs on imported cars because he believes his country is being treated unfairly by its trading partners. This has had a strong impact on the industry. In december, a delegation of german auto executives visited trump to dissuade him from his tariff plans.
According to experts, higher interest rates have also led to a cooling of the US market. According to cox, the typical american pick-up trucks and landing craft are still in particular demand. According to smoke, sales of sedans have plummeted to 30 percent in recent years, while the popular suvs have risen sharply to 49 percent.
Thanks to strong SUV demand, volkswagen had increased its U.S. Sales again in 2018. A total of 354.064 cars with the VW logo delivered to customers – an increase of 4.2 percent compared to the previous year. Some US heavyweights, on the other hand, recorded noticeable declines for the year as a whole: at GM, sales fell by 1.6 percent to just under 3.0 million vehicles, at ford by 3.5 percent to 2.5 million cars.
GM and ford are also struggling with rising material costs, due in part to tariff disputes with trading partners such as china and the eu. GM announced in november that it would cut production and massively reduce jobs in north america. Ford, for its part, announced a few days ago that it would cut thousands of jobs due to poor business in europe.