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 |  Nov 24 2010, 12:50 PM

Good news for the economy, not-so-great news for BMW and Mercedes-Benz factory workers who had travel plans over the holiday season. In order to meet the growing demand for new models, these two automakers have decided to shorten Christmas breaks this year.

This shortened vacation policy applies to BMW’s German plants in Dingolfing and Leipzig, as well as Mercedes-Benz’ Hamburg factory. The BMW factory is where the recently overhauled 5-Series and the X1 are made, and the Mercedes plant supplies parts to vehicles including the Mercedes E- and S-Class sedans.

While workers might be grumbling about there shortened holidays, this is great news for the automakers and the economy. It shows that luxury-vehicle demand is back – in fact, BMW and Mercedes each target sales growth of more than 10 percent this year. Business is also booming for Audi as well (the luxury unit of Volkswagen AG), as they have plans to add shifts next month to address a record number of orders.

As for sales, BMW increased sales worldwide by 13 percent to 1.19 million vehicles through October (this includes Mini and Rolls-Royce models, which the company manufactures), while deliveries of Mercedes and the Smart city car rose 12 percent to 1.04 million.

It’s nice to get some good news about the economy for a change, and the experts remain optimistic as well. “This is the first strong signal that the boom over the last few months can continue into next year,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler.

[Source: Automotive News]