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The railway technology industry in Germany continues to be in rapid acceleration mode. In the first half of 2018, sales by manufacturers of electric rail vehicles were up by a solid nine percent compared with the same period last year.
In 2017, total sales grew by twelve percent, to almost seven billion euros. With an increase of almost 16 percent in 2017, domestic sales grew twice as fast as international sales. Exports increased to 4.5 billion euros in 2017. Great Britain remained the primary customer country with 1.2 billion euros and an increase of almost 50 percent compared to the previous year.
Incoming orders in the first half of 2018 remained below the level of the previous year, which had been marked by major orders: that year as a whole saw growth of 24 percent for electric rail vehicles. Once again, the increase in international orders (+34%) was more than twice as high as in the domestic market (+15%). German imports also increased significantly (+18%) to 2.4 billion euros in 2017.
The number of employees increased by more than two percent in the first half of the year as compared to the same period 2017.
According to Olaf Zinne, Managing Director of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI), "Bringing more passengers and more goods onto the railways remains at the forefront of policy. The industry therefore has every reason to be optimistic about the future." However, given the strong exports of technology to Great Britain, the hitherto unclear Brexit still presents some risks.