German car sales down but exports up in 2013

BERLIN (AP) — An industry group says car sales in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, picked up at the end of 2013 — though that wasn't enough to prevent a 4 percent decline over the full year.

The VDA group said Friday that 215,300 new cars were registered in Germany in December, 5 percent more than a year earlier. However full-year sales were down to 2.95 million. VDA president Matthias Wissmann said the group expects a slight increase to about 3 million in 2014.

Car exports from Germany, which is home to automakers such as Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, increased 2 percent last year to 4.2 million vehicles. In December, exports were 3 percent higher at 286,100.

Some 5.45 million cars were produced in Germany last year, 1 percent more than in 2012.

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