German automakers expect to gain market share in the US for a fifth straight year in 2009 and have their sights set on more.
Companies that dont make the effort in this market cannot do well globally, Matthias Wissmann, president of the German auto industry association (VDA), said during a briefing at the show here last week.
Rising share for German automakers in the US may further pinch the Detroit 3 in their home market. The domestic brands of General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler lost almost 4 points of share last year, to 47.5 percent, while Asian and European makes gained.
The combined US share of Porsche, Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen has grown from 5.1 percent in 2005 to 6.7 percent last year, Wissmann said. He said that 10 percent of the light-vehicle market is imaginable in the medium term.
German carmakers sold 890,000 vehicles in the US last year, down 6.1 percent from 2007, Wissmann said, as the overall market dropped 18.0 percent to its lowest level since 1992. Forecasts call for a decline of at least half that in 2009.