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Business

German New Car Registrations Rise

Demand in the German car market picked up last month, owing to the launch of new models, the auto industry federation VDA said on Wednesday. The number of new car registrations -- a key gauge of domestic demand in the sector -- rose by 8 percent to 335,000 in June, VDA calculated. And in the first six months of 2005, new car registrations rose by 2 percent to 1.695 million. In view of the favorable numbers, VDA was upgrading its forecast for the whole year to 3.3 million new car registrations, the federation told a news conference here. "The favorable performance of new models, rising domestic orders and the replacement of existing cars makes us confident for the full year," VDA president Bernd Gottschalk said. Significantly, growth in domestic demand for new cars is now outpacing growth in overseas demand for German-made cars, VDA noted. Export orders for new cars, hitherto the driving force of sales in the second, grew by just 4 percent to 362,800 vehicles in June and stagnated at 1.92 million in the first six months, as carmakers paid the price of the strong euro, high raw material and oil prices and fierce competition from low-pay countries. A total of 516,200 cars rolled off German production lines in June, 6 percent more than in the year-earlier month.

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