(Der Spiegel) The global financial crisis and double-dip recession in many countries has left Germany largely unscathed in recent years, but there are signs that trend may be reversing. Luxury German carmaker Daimler announced on Thursday that this year it would no longer reach the €5 billion ($6.52 billion) in operating profits it recorded in 2011. Prior to the announcement, the company had hoped to match last year's earnings.
"The overall market in Europe is deteriorating, with more negative developments than expected," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told reporters in Stuttgart. Bloomberg has also reported that the current European car market is the worst in 17 years and that problems are starting to spread into the luxury automobile sector, once thought to be immune from the crisis.