For the purpose of our planning, we expect global economic growth to slow down in 2019. We consider protectionist tendencies, turbulence on the financial markets and ­structural deficits in some countries to be a source of risk. At the same time, growth ­prospects are being kept in check by ongoing geopolitical tension and conflict. We therefore expect economies to be less dynamic than in 2018, both in the advanced nations and in the emerging markets. The highest rates of growth are likely to be recorded in the emerging economies of Asia. Our planning is also based on growth in the world economy during the period from 2020 to 2023.

According to our forecasts, economic growth in Western Europe will weaken in 2019. Structural problems and the unknown impact of Brexit continue to pose major challenges. As far as Germany is concerned, we expect to see gross domestic product (GDP) rise less strongly in 2019 than in 2018. It is our view that the situation on the labour market will remain stable and support private consumption.

Looking to the USA, we expect the economic situation to remain stable in 2019. However, we anticipate lower growth than during the year under review. The Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates again over the course of 2019. Based on our forecasts, the Brazilian economy will stabilise again and grow somewhat less strongly than in 2018.

With regard to China, we expect to see a continuation of relatively high growth in 2019. Given China’s trade dispute with the USA, we do, however, anticipate a less dynamic economy than in previous years. We expect the rate of expansion in India to remain at the same level as in previous years.

Heterogeneous automotive markets
As far as the world’s automobile markets are concerned, we expect to see a variety of ­developments across the different regions in 2019. For the purpose of our planning, we are assuming that overall demand for new vehicles will remain on a par with levels of demand ­during the reporting year. Looking at the period from 2020 to 2023, we expect to see growing demand for passenger vehicles worldwide. Our 2019 forecasts for Western Europe indicate a market volume in line with the previous year. The unknown impact of Brexit will add to ongoing consumer uncertainty in the wake of the financial and debt crisis, and continue to stifle demand. With regard to the German automobile market, we are expecting a slight year-on-year fall in sales in 2019. Based on our forecasts, demand in Italy will rise slightly, while we expect it to remain stable in France and the UK.

Demand for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (up to 6.35 tonnes) in 2019 will fall by a small amount in the USA and in North America as a whole according to our forecasts. However, demand for vehicles in the SUV and pick-up segments can be expected to remain high. In the largest South American market, Brazil, forecasts point to a significant increase in volumes in 2019 following the already strong performance of the past year. South America as a whole will experience moderate growth.

In the Asia-Pacific region we expect market volumes in 2019 to be slightly higher than in the previous year. We expect demand in China to pick up again in 2019 having fallen during the past financial year. Good-value, entry-­level SUV models in particular can be expected to remain very popular. The trade dispute between China and the USA will ­impact on business and consumer confidence, unless a solution emerges. As far as the Indian market is concerned, we are anticipating somewhat stronger growth than in 2018.

Anticipated development of Porsche AG
Porsche is expecting to increase its delivery volume in the 2019 financial year in com­parison to the 2018 reporting year – despite the challenges involved in changing over to the new WLTP testing cycle and the petrol ­engine particulate filter, as well as the discontinuation of diesel models. The company is also expecting a slight increase in revenue. The attractive range of products that Porsche ­offers will form the basis for this – above all, the new generation of the 911, which is being rolled out in all global markets in 2019, more derivatives of the 718 and Cayenne, and the launch of the Taycan. Despite the very high level of investments that are still being made in electrification of the product range, the ­digital transformation and the expansion and refurbishment of the sites, the aim is to ensure that the high earnings target at Porsche AG will continue to be met. This will be achieved by means of measures that contribute to ­increasing efficiency, and by tapping into new and profitable business areas.