FRANKFURT -- A significant recovery in new car sales in Germany, Europe's biggest market, is unlikely in the next few months, the head of the VDA industry association Bernd Gottschalk said in an interview published on Sunday.
VDA cut its 2004 forecast for new car sales to 3.24 million last month, implying little change from 2003, having previously expected growth of about three percent.
Gottschalk said the new forecast was achievable, assuming satisfactory sales in the second half of the year.
"There are some interesting new models arriving in the market, such as the Mercedes A-class, the new Ford Focus or the BMW 1-series, which will help sales," he was quoted as saying in the interview with Die Welt newspaper.
"September, October and November will be the decisive months. But we should not really expect a fundamental revival or real trend reversal in the car market in the next few months."
New car registrations fell two percent in the first seven months of 2004 to 1.9 million despite the launch of new models and buyer incentives.
Gottschalk told Die Welt there was no guarantee that 2005 would be a boom year, although the upturn in the commercial vehicles sector was an encouraging sign.
"The mechanistic assumption that after five weak years for the car market the next should automatically be a boom year is a theory that has yet to be proven," he was quoted as saying.
"The recovery in the commercial vehicles industry was always an early indicator of a general economic revival. Perhaps that indeed heralds an upswing in cars."