Weak car sales
The warnings fit with the signals coming from other car and truck makers, which have benefited since the industry’s 2008-2009 crisis from robust demand in emerging markets including Brazil and China, but now warn the outlook for Europe, beset by sovereign debt woes, is increasingly gloomy.
Daimler said its weaker-than-expected quarterly operating profit suffered as premium car sales were hit by the economic downturn, while better news in the truck sector for Daimler and its peers, showed predicted slowing demand had not yet arrived.
Martin Winterkorn, chief executive of Europe’s largest car maker Volkswagen, also warned Europe’s debt crisis would weigh on demand for cars in many Western European markets, although the company expects continued growth in Eastern Europe, India, China and North and South America.
Overall demand for cars would be flat in 2011, he said.
VW predicted a big rise in revenues and operating profit this year but warned volatile interest rates and currency fluctuations as well as commodity prices would dent margins.
It posted a quarterly operating profit of 9 billion euros thanks to double digit sales growth rates and a boost from derivatives used in the merger with Porsche.
Data from industry group ACEA showed the signs of cooling demand reported by truck makers had not yet filtered through to sales. © Copyright 2008 www.tradearabia.com