“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.