German passenger car market with slight growth in the first half of the year

Bad Homburg. The German passenger car market again grew slightly in the first half of 2019. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, the number of new registrations rose by 0.5 percent to 1.85 million units. This means that the passenger car market was at its highest level since 2009, with international motor vehicle manufacturers growing by 2.1 percent, clearly outpacing the market as a whole. 718,600 passenger cars from international brands were registered. In the first six months of 2019, the market share of the VDIK members increased to 38.9 percent (previous year 38.3 percent). Since 2015, the market share has climbed by a good 3 percentage points.

VDIK President Reinhard Zirpel: “The half-year results for the German passenger car market are very positive. After several years of growth, the market has reached a very high level – and has continued to grow. For the year as a whole, we expect the positive market development to continue”.

As expected, there was a decline in new registrations in June. A total of 325,200 new passenger cars were registered, which represents a drop of 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year. However, June 2019 had 2.7 working days less than the same month last year.

Alternative drive systems

Significant growth rates were recorded for alternative drives. The VDIK expects around 48,000 newly registered electric vehicles for the first half of the year, which is an increase of about 41 percent. Among them were about 30,000 passenger cars with battery electric drives (plus 74 percent). In addition, about 18,000 plug-in hybrids were newly registered, which represents an increase of about 8 percent.


VDIK President Reinhard Zirpel explained: “The market for vehicles with alternative drive systems continues to gain momentum. Nonetheless, the momentum is still insufficient. Therefore, the German motor vehicle market needs further incentives for the spread of alternative engines.”

Private market and diesel

Private new registrations fell by 4.0 percent in the first half of the year. Nevertheless, the private market remained well above the long-term average. The decline in imported brands was less pronounced at minus 1.7 percent, increasing their market share to 46.9 percent (previous year 45.8 percent).

The market for diesel passenger cars recovered slightly. With 608,800 registrations in the first six months of 2019, an increase of 3.1 percent over the same period in 2018 is expected. Around 75 percent of these vehicles already met the new Euro6d-Temp exhaust emission standard, which will not become mandatory until September. The proportion of diesel vehicles stabilised at 32.9 percent in the first half of 2019 (first half of 2018: 32.1 percent).

The text was amended on 3.7.2019 and supplemented by the final registration figures for electric cars.

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