German car production slides 26%

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The Independent Online
FRANKFURT - The slump in the German car industry continued as production plunged by 26 per cent in May compared with the same month in 1992, writes John Eisenhammer. The German Automotive Industry Association said that total vehicle production in the first five months of 1993 was 1,750,300, down 25 per cent from the same period last year.

The decline was caused by a collapse in the domestic and export markets. Exports in May were down 24 per cent year-on-year. The association said a slight improvement in orders for private cars was no signal that a recovery was on the way.

Daniel Goeudervert, Volkswagen group's deputy chairman, warned that sales could continue slipping well into next year.

Volkswagen believes that global overcapacity is causing a 'ruinous price war', and has warned it will have to make further job cuts, in addition to the 12,500 planned. Mr Goeudervert told a factory meeting in Wolfsburg that group deliveries in Germany were down 22 per cent in the first five months of 1993 compared with the same period in 1992.

More positive news came from the prices front, with the Statistics Office confirming that western German producer prices fell 0.2 per cent in May from April, and were down 0.3 per cent year-on-year.