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Business

German Car Market Still Depressed

The German auto market remained depressed in March, with sales of new cars falling for the third straight month, the country's automobile manufacturers' association (VDA) said Wednesday. Sales declined one percent in March compared with the same month in 2004 to 330,000 units. Sales in the first quarter were down two percent to 749,300 units from the January-March period last year. Manufacturers pointed to the fact that March had two fewer working days than last year and said a harsh winter had discouraged buyers. For all of 2005, the association foresees a slight fall in sales to about 3.25 million vehicles. The export market, traditionally lucrative for German automakers, also failed to perform in March, when sales plunged 11 percent from March 2004. Dragged down by a strong euro, export sales have fallen four percent since the beginning of the year.

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