Germany and France have a long and illustrious history of "competing" with each other, sometimes peacefully, sometime not. More importantly, the two countries are, incorrectly, considered to represent the stability "core" of the Eurozone. And perhaps that is somewhat true in the context of all the other peripheral European nations, where things are so bad we have run out of adjectives to describe the plight of the people and the economic collapse. Yet, at least according to two metrics: jobs and cars - when it comes to the endless Germany vs France match there is no contest.
German carmakers are faring better than their French rivals as European demand for new vehicles drops. Sales of Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz cars dropped an average 6.9 percent in December year-on-year, compared with an average 20.8 percent slump for Renault, Peugeot and Citroen. BMW grew 4 percent on the year. Volkswagen plans to invest about 16.7 billion euros a year through 2015. That contrasts with Peugeot which shed assets and cut jobs by 9,500 in 2012.
An index of labor costs for Germany at 107.9 was 7.5 points below the figure for France, according to the OECD, showing the former is more competitive after curtailing wage growth in the early years of the euro. The average unit wage cost for Air Berlin and Deutsche Lufthansa was 14.8 in the third quarter, compared with 26.2 for Air France, a separate gauge of labor costs compiled by Bloomberg shows. The German unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in November while the French rate was 10.5 percent.