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.