Look over the border to France, however, and the electric car revolution is likely to have far less of an impact. France doesn’t export many cars and what it does make are small and relatively low cost.
In the growth stakes, France has been catching up in recent quarters and Germany’s car-selling challenges could allow it to ultimately move ahead. The pro-business agenda of President Macron is starting to gain traction and, behind the fog of the Yellow Vest movement, important reforms are being made that will make the French labour market more flexible and competitive.
Weekly rioting in Paris may not be the best advertisement for political stability but it has forced Macron to cut taxes and, with a weakened opposition, he is free to push ahead with his major reform program. Chancellor Merkel, by contrast, faces tensions in her coalition that are hindering fiscal expansion, notably in the much-vaunted ‘Green New Deal’.