Passenger car market up slightly in February

The German passenger car market increased by three percent in February compared to the same month last year. The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) registered 206,200 new registrations. Around 385,500 new passenger cars were registered in the first two months of 2023, the same level as last year.

Reinhard Zirpel, President of the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK), stated: “The very strong end of 2022 is still having an effect in February. However, the increasingly better delivery capacity should contribute to a certain recovery in the coming months, even if we will remain far below pre-crisis levels.”

A differentiated picture emerged for electric vehicles in February. Following the decline in January, new registrations of purely battery-electric passenger cars rose again in February. Around 32,500 new electric vehicles were registered (up 15 percent). Following a weak January (minus 53 percent), sales of plug-in hybrids also slumped in February (minus 45 percent). Since the beginning of the year, these vehicles have no longer been eligible for government subsidies.

The share of e-vehicles rose to 22 percent in February, compared with an average of 31 percent in 2022. Purely electric passenger cars now account for 16 percent, and plug-in hybrids only 6 percent. In addition, 19 percent of new passenger cars in February had diesel engines and 37 percent had gasoline engines.

New registrations of commercial vehicles rose 7 percent year-over-year in February to about 27,100 units. In the first two months of the year, about 53,800 new commercial vehicles were registered, an increase of 11 percent.

February January – February
+/- (%) Share of total
car market (%)
+/- (%)
Passenger car 206,200 3 100 385,500 0
– VDIK-brands 77,200 0 37 145,000 -2
– german brands 119,300 4 58 224,600 -1
– other brands 9,700 25 5 15,800 63
Electric vehicles (total) 44,400 -11 22 70,500 -21
– purely battery-powered 32,500 15 51,200 4
– plug-in-hybrids 11,900 -45 19,300 -52
Commercial vehicle 27,100 7 53,800 11

Source: KBA, VDIK