BERLIN — “The situation in the German automotive industry has worsened,” the ifo Institute said on Thursday, as the institute’s indicator dropped from 17.4 points in October to 9.6 points in November.
The downward trend is “primarily due to the situation for suppliers” as the corresponding index plummeted to minus 23.0 points. It stood at plus 8.9 points in October, according to ifo.
“Automotive suppliers gave much bleaker assessments of their current situation than manufacturers,” commented Oliver Falck, director of the ifo Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies.
The order situation for suppliers “remains tight,” with no impetus expected from export business. “To cope with the transition to electromobility, suppliers need to build up new skills, which is why they are still looking to recruit,” Falck said.
Business for Germany’s car manufacturers, on the other hand, remained “very good”: the situation indicator fell slightly to a “still healthy” 38.4 points. The ifo Institute’s export indicator even jumped from 33.8 points in October to 52.5 points in November.
“Business is being driven above all by international sales markets,” Falck said. “However, all manufacturers were still complaining about supply shortages.”
In the third quarter (Q3) of this year, Germany’s car exports and imports fell to their lowest level since the second quarter of 2020, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The lack of chips as well as other delivery bottlenecks were “likely reasons” for this, Destatis noted.
The United States was Germany’s most important market for passenger cars in Q3, with exports worth 3.2 billion euros (3.6 billion U.S. dollars), according to Destatis. Car exports to China were worth 2.9 billion euros, followed by exports to the United Kingdom with 2.0 billion euros.