Optimistic forecasts for German, world car markets

Leverkusen. Although the general economy in Germany is predicted to grow by only 1.5 percent in 2004, car sales will increase by 7.1 percent to 3.45 million units and in 2005 by 8.7 percent to 3.75 million vehicles, according to market research institute B&D Forecast.

It estimates that only 3.22 million cars will be sold in 2003.

"The markets will return to normal, mainly due to manufacturers' enormous product and innovation offensives," said B&D Forecast boss Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.

The outlook for the world market is also positive. For 2004 B&D Forecast expects economic growth in the USA of 3.5 percent and a sales increase on the new car sector of 2.8 percent to 16.8 million units. For the whole of the western European Dudenhoeffer predicts a sales increase of 1.1 million units to reach nearly 15 million cars.

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