From Volume 36, Issue 33 of EIR Online, Published Aug. 28, 2009

Global Economic News

German Truck Manufacturers in Deep Trouble

Aug. 18 (EIRNS)—Production of commercial vehicles in Germany is down by 59% for the first two quarters of 2009, compared with the same period last year. Exports of heavy trucks and construction vehicles fared even worse, plunging by 65%, while exports of heavy trailers and earth-moving equipment fell by 70%. The worst month so far was February, when orders from abroad collapsed by 95% (!), after an already catastrophic January with -76%.

At MAN, Germany's leading truck producer, production at the end of the first half of 2009 is down by 58%, as compared with a year ago, and 12,000 of the firm's workers are more or less constantly on short-work schedules. Contract workers have been eliminated altogether, with a loss of 3,600 jobs during the past six months.

This is an unmistakable sign of collapse in the real economy, unfiltered by any "cash for clunkers" trade-in incentives. Mining is down, as are container and other heavy transport by sea and land; big construction projects are being called off; and companies have stopped modernizing or expanding their truck and trailer fleets.

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