Electromobility, regulation, digitization and the pandemic on top of that – that seemed to some to be the last nail in the coffin for Germany’s key industry. But far from it. In the future, too, there will be more than Tesla.

Has VW got the worst behind it?

Dhe German auto industry is making an amazing comeback these days. Volkswagen recently made people sit up and take notice with good figures for the third quarter.

After production came to a standstill in the spring, the world’s largest manufacturer is now selling significantly more cars again. The premium manufacturer Daimler is also sending clear signals of recovery; the Swabian operating result between July and September was even higher than the previous year’s figure.

And BMW also announced that sales are back in full swing. Even long-suffering suppliers like Schaeffler are increasing their profit – also thanks to consistent cost-cutting programs – and are able to get through the Corona crisis solidly with proper capital resources.

A lot depends on China

Very few actually expected that Volkswagen and Co. would rise from the deep lockdown valley like a phoenix from the ashes in such a short time. This kickstart also caught some analysts on the wrong foot.

It was probably too tempting to view the closed factories as a beacon for the downfall of the established manufacturers who are already fighting for their future. Electric mobility, regulation, digitization and a historical slump in demand – that seemed to some to be the last nail in the coffin for Germany’s key industry.

But far from it. Even the stock exchanges seem to be slowly realizing that auto stocks beyond Tesla can also have a future.

However, the German auto industry is far from over the top. Much of the recent sales success can be traced back to the huge appetite of Chinese buyers for luxury cars with high profit margins. A return of the pandemic in the Middle Kingdom would probably have just as serious consequences as another complete standstill in this country.

The restrictions that have now been adopted could quickly wipe out the delicate recovery in Europe’s markets. In addition, the turn to electromobility is in full swing, and when it comes to software, the Teslas are far ahead.

And even stricter emissions regulations and high fines are threatened from Brussels. The German auto industry has embarked on a post-pandemic future. She is still a long way from her goal.