BERLIN -- Germany's passenger car market is expected to grow by 8 percent to 3.15 million units this year, auto industry association VDA said, while also cautioning that sales will still remain well below the pre-crisis level.
The association said it expected the market to slowly improve in the second half if the pandemic was contained. "However, the 2020 decline will not be offset," VDA President Hildegard Mueller said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mueller told the ZDF television that the VDA expected an upturn in sales this year from catch-up effects.
However, Mueller said she did not expect the German market this year to reach its pre-coronavirus level of 2019 when 3.6 million new cars were sold.
Last year, registrations in Germany fell 19 percent to 2.92 million after lockdowns early in the year to slow the spread of COVID-19 forced showrooms to close.
The VDA said passenger car sales are expected to grow by 12 percent in Europe to 13.4 million vehicles this year and by 9 percent in the U.S. The Chinese market will already exceed pre-pandemic sales in 2021, VDA said, forecasting an annual growth of 8 percent to 21.4 million vehicles.
Mueller said the German auto industry's shift towards electro-mobility and digitization continued despite the pandemic, with around 150 billion euros invested in future technologies by 2025.