Frankfurt, Germany – The German tire & rubber-goods manufacturing sector has entered a phase of zero or near-zero growth, according to figures from the WDK.
For the sector as a whole, the outlook is for full-year sales to come in at €11.75 billion – just 0.1% higher than in 2017 – followed by "stagnation" next year, the industry association's chief economist Michael Berthel forecast.
Driven by a strong export performance, sales of German-made technical elastomer products showed a 3% year-on-year rise to end of August. However, noted Berthel, a subsequent slowdown is set to cut full-year growth to around 1.5%.
The tire sector, meanwhile, was impacted by a shift to all-season tires, competitive pressures and imports, the WDK economist continued. This led to a 7% drop in sales in the first eight months, with a 2% decline expected in the final quarter.