According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, 215,100 new passenger cars were registered in Germany in March. That is 38 percent less than in the same month last year. This is the strongest monthly decline ever recorded. In the first quarter of this year the volume of new registrations thus fell by 20 percent. The international manufacturers are maintaining their share of the passenger car market at 39 percent.

The commercial vehicle market ended March with 27,900 registrations, a drop of 26 percent. In the first quarter the minus was 15 percent.

Reinhard Zirpel, President of the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK), said: “The restrictions on social and economic life during the corona crisis have led to a severe slump in the auto market. New registrations have dropped massively, especially in the second half of March when the dealerships closed. During this period, new registrations were around two thirds below the previous year. If the general conditions remain unchanged, the decline in April is therefore likely to be significantly higher than in March”.

In the first quarter of 2020, 32 percent of all new cars were delivered with diesel engines (same period last year: 33 percent). 52 percent were petrol-driven (59 percent). 16 percent of newly registered vehicles had alternative drive systems (8 percent).

Private new registrations fell in March to around 82,000 units (minus 34 percent). In the first quarter, the drop was 22 percent. The imported brands achieved a private market share of 48.5 percent.

The market development is currently additionally burdened by the strongly limited work capacity of registration offices. The handover of sold vehicles to buyers is also becoming increasingly difficult. For this reason, unbureaucratic solutions are needed to continue to facilitate registrations and vehicle handovers nationwide.

VDIK President Reinhard Zirpel continues: “For the year as a whole, our original forecast of 3.35 million new passenger cars can certainly not be maintained. Everything now depends on how long the crisis lasts and how long the necessary protective measures have to be maintained. Nobody knows that at present. That’s why we will not make a new forecast until further notice.”

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