Production of the Audi Q4 e-tron is pictured at VW Group’s Zwickau plant in Germany

Sentiment in Germany’s automotive industry took a tumble in February as concerns grew over falling demand, according to a survey from the Ifo economic institute.

The institute said on Friday in a statement that its business situation index for the sector fell to 6.0 from 12.5 in January.

“Manufacturers in particular assess their current situation as drastically worse than in the previous month. This presumably has to do with the fact that buyers are being very cautious at the moment,” Oliver Falck, director of the Ifo Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies, said.

Suppliers, on the other hand, rated their current situation as better than in the previous month, Ifo said.

Manufacturers’ outlook clouded over, falling from 21.4 points in January to 2.8 points in February, according to the survey.

“While manufacturers are still currently working through existing orders, demand from potential buyers is faltering. One reason could be the uncertain development of electricity prices. In addition, there is talk of rationing power for recharging car batteries,” Falck said.

At the same time, the institute said automakers expected exports to grow. “The bottom line is that fewer automakers plan to expand production in the coming months,” it said.