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Business

Car Registrations Jump Sharply

Despite record high prices at the pump, car registrations in Germany rose 11 percent in August, indicating that the nascent turnaround in the sector is picking up momentum. The number of new car registrations, which are a key gauge of domestic demand in the sector, rose to 245,000 in August. According to Bernd Gottschalf, president of the VDA auto industry association, the explosion of gasoline prices has not put a dent in car-buying habits, although drivers are reacting to the high prices. "They're changing their driving habits, but they're also buying modern, more fuel-efficient models. That explains why the market has developed positively for the fifth month in a row," he said. In a significant development, especially in the face of poor consumer confidence in Germany, the growth in domestic demand for new cars is now outpacing overseas demand for German-made cars. Export orders rose just 1 percent due to the strong euro, high raw material costs and fierce competition from low-wage countries.

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