As the Detroit Auto Show kicks off the new year, the mood among the “Big Three” U.S. carmakers couldn’t be better. Americans spent a record-breaking $570 billion (€621 billion) on more than 17 million new automobiles in 2015.
The German automobile industry, however, faces a long-term downward trend in the United States, the world’s second-largest market after China. In 2012, German brands had an 8.8 percent stake in the United States. Over the past several years, their share has declined to 8 percent.
Despite 2015’s record sales, German automakers failed to keep pace with the U.S. market, which grew by 5.7 percent overall. BMW’s core brand grew by just two percent in 2015, with an 18 percent decline in December compared to the previous year. Its British subsidiary Mini grew by four percent. Daimler’s Mercedes grew by just under four percent.