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2016 (Half Year) Germany: Best-Selling Car Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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In Germany, new passenger vehicle registrations increased by 7.1% from January to June 2016 to 1,733,839 cars sold. VW was the top-selling brand and Golf best-selling car model.

Jaguar XE at Geneva Auto Show 2016 (3)

In 2016, the German new car market continued to expand with sales up a strong 8% in June to end the first half year of 2016 with an increase of 7.1% in new passenger vehicle registrations. During the first six months of 2016, 1,733,839 new cars were sold in Germany. Volkswagen was again the top-selling car manufacturer in Germany thus far in 2016 and despite weaker sales still accounted for 20% of the total German new car market. The VW Golf easily maintained its position as Germany’s favorite car model.

The German Vehicle Market in 2016 (First Half)

The German motorized vehicle market (Kraftfahrzeuge) expanded by 7% during the first half of 2016 to 2,035,739 vehicles. The largest component, new passenger vehicle (Personenkraftwagen / PKW) registrations, increased by 7.1% to 1,733,839 cars.

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As a positive sign for the German economy, commercial vehicle (Lastkraftwagen / LKW) sales increased by a stronger 11% with bus (Kraftominbusse) sales up by 16% compared to the first half of 2015.

Petrol cars took a 51.5% (+9.8%) share of the new car market while 46.9% of newly registered cars had diesel engines. Hybrid cars took a 1.2% market share while electric car registrations remained embarrassingly low at only 4,357 cars for a market share of only 0.3%. (The German motoring press furthermore claims that a fair number of these electric cars are immediately sold on to foreign markets.)

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Germany in 2016 (First Half)

The top-selling car brands in Germany during the first six months of 2016 according to passenger vehicle registration figures released by the KBA were:

Brand

Cars Sold

% Share

% Change

Total German Car Market

1,733,839

100

7.1

1

VW

346,188

20

-1.4

2

Audi

159,501

9.2

13

3

Mercedes

156,869

9

10.1

4

BMW

135,128

7.8

9.8

5

Opel

128,524

7.4

12.9

6

Ford

123,140

7.1

10.7

7

Skoda

96,475

5.6

5.6

8

Renault

60,849

3.5

15

9

Hyundai

52,888

3.1

5.3

10

Seat

47,421

2.7

-1.3

11

Fiat

40,761

2.4

6.3

12

Nissan

37,495

2.2

5.9

13

Mazda

33,156

1.9

17.2

14

Toyota

32,939

1.9

0.7

15

Kia

30,056

1.7

11.1

16

Peugeot

29,759

1.7

6.2

17

Citroen

26,165

1.5

8.4

18

Dacia

24,751

1.4

4.2

19

Mini

22,148

1.3

10.4

20

Mitsubishi

20,868

1.2

12.6

21

Volvo

19,388

1.1

13.3

22

Smart

18,881

1.1

-4.7

23

Porsche

16,128

0.9

4.7

24

Suzuki

15,548

0.9

-6.4

25

Honda

14,816

0.9

49.9

26

Land Rover

12,377

0.7

29.8

27

Jeep

6,984

0.4

-1

28

Jaguar

4,415

0.3

99.5

29

Subaru

3,758

0.2

11.1

30

DS

2,496

0.1

-15.4

31

Alfa Romeo

1,884

0.1

29.3

32

Ssangyong

1,752

0.1

61.8

33

Lexus

991

0.1

24.7

34

Tesla

778

0

11.8

Others

8,562

0.5

Best-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2016 (January to June)

Almost all car brands managed to increase car sales in Germany during the first half of 2016. A major exception was market leader Volkswagen that saw sales down by 1.4% – although this is in effect only 5,000 cars fewer than during the first six month of 2015, in a growing market it meant that VW’s market share slipped from 21.7% to 20%. Uncertainty over the quality of Volkswagen’s cars, and especially dissatisfaction with the different treatment VW is giving to US customers compared to German car buyers, continued to weigh heavily on Volkswagen car sales in its home market.

In contrast, VW-owned Audi sales increased strongly during the first half of 2016. Audi sales grew by 13% to confirm Audi as the second strongest car brand in Germany – a position it took from Mercedes Benz earlier in 2016.

Mercedes Benz and BMW increased sales in Germany during the first six months of 2016 by around 10%. Opel sales increased by an even stronger 12.9% while Ford sales were up by 10.7%

VW-owned Skoda remained Germany’s best-selling foreign car brand despite slightly underperforming the broader market. Renault, in contrast, increased sales by a strong 15% but the French brand remained way off the favorite imported car status that it enjoyed in Germany for many years.

Hyundai underperformed while tenth-placed VW-owned Seat had weaker sales similar to Volkswagen.

A few further salient features from the car sales statistics for the first half of 2016 in Germany:

The Volkswagen Golf easily maintained its traditional position – since 1981 – as Germany’s favorite car model.

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