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Business

New car registrations in Germany take a tumble

Germans' willingness to buy new cars has decreased further over the past 12 months. But registration figures for December showed that a trend reversal might be around the corner as the overall economy picked up momentum.

For most of 2013, Germans appeared rather reluctant to buy new cars, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) reported Friday.

It said it logged only 2.95 million new registrations last year, marking a 4.2-percent annual drop. In 2012, the number of new registrations already dipped by 2.9 percent year-on-year.

But the KBA made a point of stressing that the December 2013 figures provided a

strong sign of hope

as vehicle sales in the country totaled over 215,000 units, a 5.4-percent rise compared with the same month a year earlier.

Rosy forecasts

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The president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Matthias Wissmann, said he felt positive about the current year, sensing a pick-up on European and overseas markets.

"We expect the global car market to grow by 3 percent in 2014," Wissmann said. He said up to 90 million new vehicles could be registered annually by 2020 due not least to growing demand in emerging economies.

Wissmann maintained

German carmakers stood to profit considerably from that development

. He mentioned that already every second car on the roads in Western Europe came off the assembly lines of German auto makers, with a corresponding ratio of 20 percent for China and 12.5 percent in the US.

hg/tj (dpa, AFP)

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