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German car production down 9% in 2019 over weakening exports

Germany's annual car production fell 9% to 4.66 million units in 2019 due to waning overseas demand, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 6, citing data from the German Association of the Automotive Industry, or VDA.

Declining exports coupled with trade conflicts, slowing economies and pollution concerns made worse by Volkswagen AG's diesel emissions scandal have taken a toll on demand from international markets, according to the report. The production figure is the weakest since 1996, Bloomberg said.

Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and automotive-parts maker Continental AG have implemented job cuts to save costs. The VDA reportedly predicts that job losses will further accelerate this year as automakers shift to producing electric cars, which require fewer parts and less labor.

The VDA also expects global car deliveries in 2020 to fall to 78.9 million vehicles from 80.1 million units in 2019, Bloomberg said. It reportedly noted the industry's need to invest in initiatives to develop cleaner vehicles and counter the rise of ride-sharing services such as Uber Technologies Inc.

According to the report, Germany's domestic auto market grew 5% in 2019 following 3.6 million new car registrations but the VDA said the market will likely decline in 2020.