Mercedes Dealers Expect Tough 2009

With the global economic recession knocking on everybody's door, automakers around the world struggle to minimize loses and hope for a better future. Unfortunately, 2009 will be more difficult than the past six months, according to Werner Schumacher, chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board, despite the fact that analysts said the market may grow up a bit in the second half of the year. In an interview for Autonews, Schumacher said the first six months of the year are expected to be at least as difficult as the past months when the financial recession collapsed automotive industries all over the world.

“The first six months will be more difficult than the past six months. The credit markets have seized up, and the news is getting worse. In late or mid-June, I think things will start to loosen up, and we could return to a normal sales pace,” he said.

In terms of sales, Schumacher was pretty optimistic and said the last six months of of the year may bring the annual figures close to the ones in 2007 but firmly above the one brought by 2008.

“There is a lot more pent-up demand, gasoline and diesel are priced right, and interest rates are low. There is so much money around making nothing for the investor. Once all that money gets released, people will feel better and things will turn around — not to the level of 2007, but better than we had the last six months,”he commented pointing that several large markets which bought a lot of Mercedes models have collapsed under the influence of the global trend.

Russia is just an example, he said mentioning that this particularly country was one of the largest export markets for the German manufacturer. “All the markets have collapsed. We used to have an export market. The Russians or others would come in and buy cars. This has disappeared. Their currency is not so strong,” Schumacher concluded.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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