News: General Motors (GM)'s brands Opel and Buick are likely to work more closely in the future, as the US carmaker aims to maximise revenue from Opel's expensive engineering facilities in Germany, Automotive News reports. Vehicles such the Regal and Verano sedans are built by Opel, but marketed in the US as Buick models. This trend is set to continue with other models. The development is part of GM's plans to break even financially in Europe by 2015, after losing US$1.8bn in 2012.
BMI View: In the first four months of 2013, passenger car sales in Germany declined 8.5% y-o-y, to 958,500 units. BMI forecasts a decrease of 10.0% in passenger car sales over the year. We maintain a bearish outlook for consumer sentiment in the country. BMI expects ongoing deterioration in the German labour market, combined with weakness in the euro, to cause private consumption in the country to remain subdued in 2013. We believe that this will serve to moderate passenger car sales growth somewhat, and has informed our sales forecast.