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German passenger car market shows strongest growth in 15 months

According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, 224,800 new passenger cars were registered in Germany in September. This is 14 percent more than in the same month last year. In the first nine months of this year, the volume of new registrations fell by 7 percent to million units. International manufacturers achieved a market share of 39 percent in the first nine months of 2022.

Reinhard Zirpel, President of the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK), said, “The double-digit growth in September is encouraging, but it is mainly based on an extremely weak month last year and a reduction of the purchase application backlog built up in the previous months. The level of new registrations in September remains well below the long-term average. The balance after three quarters of 2022 is sobering. For the first time ever, passenger car sales are below 2 million units after nine months. The market urgently needs positive stimulus from stable conditions and consumer support in the face of rising energy and living costs.”

In September, only 17 percent of all new cars were delivered with a diesel engine (same month last year: 16 percent). Sales of all-electric passenger cars rose by 32 percent in September to 44,4000 units. One in five new passenger cars was thus a pure electric vehicle. In addition, there were 28,300 plug-in hybrids (up 24 percent). In the first three quarters, around 488,200 new pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids were registered. However, the year-on-year increase was only 2 percent.

Private new registrations increased by 16 percent in September. After 9 months, the private passenger car market remains down 1 percent at around 676,000. Its share of the total market was 36 percent.

The commercial vehicle market was just below the previous year’s level at 25,300 new registrations. At 224,200 units, the market was down 16 percent after 9 months. As in the passenger car market, the market level remained well below the long-term average.

September January – September
+/- (%) Share of total
car market (%)
+/- (%)
Passenger car 224,800 14 1,867,900 -7
– VDIK-brands 87,100 1 39 737,600 -9
– german brands 122,100 22 54 1,069,700 -8
– other brands 15,600 53 7 60,600 45
Electric vehicles (total) 72,700 29 32 488,200 2
– purely battery-powered 44,400 32 20 272,500 15
– plug-in-hybrids 28,300 24 13 215,700 -11
Commercial vehicle 25,300 -3 224,200 -16

Source: KBA, VDIK