MAINZ, Germany -- The head of Germany's VDA automotive industry association said on Wednesday he still expected stronger demand for cars in the second half of the year after a weak first four months.
"We had hoped that the start to the year would have been a little smoother but we see no reason to doubt our forecast for the full year," VDA chief Bernd Gottschalk told a conference on car suppliers in Mainz.
"The second half will need to be a bit stronger," he added.
The VDA, which tends to be more optimistic than individual manufacturers, is expecting 3.25 million new car registrations in Germany this year, broadly the same level as last year.
New car registrations in Germany fell two percent in the first four months of the year.
Gottschalk said he was not concerned by the strength of the euro, adding that there were other more pressing problems for German car exporters to overcome in North America such as the high incentives and discounts offered by U.S. manufacturers.
Europe's biggest carmaker Volkswagen said earlier this month the strong euro had wiped 400 million euros off its pre-tax profit because only 40 percent of its exposure to the dollar was hedged.
Luxury carmaker BMW is almost fully hedged for this year by contrast, and expects no impact on profit due to exchange rate fluctuations.