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Auto execs say recovery is close

Wiesbaden. Morale in the auto industry is improving, a study for Automobilwoche shows.

Morale was at its highest level in two years at the end of the fourth quarter of 2003, according to the study.

The level of satisfaction with the past business year and expectations for the coming quarter were taken into account in the survey.

The results came from ACON AG, a business consultancy from Wiesbaden, which produces a quarterly business climate index exclusively for Automobilwoche.

ACON identified several reasons for the industry's optimism:

  • Moderate wage agreements that will help secure competitiveness.

  • Cars in Germany now have an average age of 7.8 years, so they will soon need replacing.

  • Product offensives are planned by automakers this year.

  • Fuel prices are stable due to the low US dollar.

    Auto manufacturers seemed particularly optimistic: according to ACON they enthused the whole industry with their optimism. That's why suppliers are in a much better mood too.

    Banks serving the auto industry can usually forecast changes at quite an early stage due to borrowing levels. They also seem very positive.

    OEMs, suppliers, banks and dealers took part in the survey. The results show that the auto industry's expectations agree with forecasts by research institutes, which also predict a general economic upturn.

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