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2009 Full Year Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Germany

by Henk Bekker

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Volkswagen, Opel, Ford, Mercedes, and BMW were the top best-selling motorcar manufacturers and brands in Germany in 2009. The VW Golf remained Germany’s favorite car.

Logo volkswagen

Volkswagen maintained its traditional position as the top-selling car manufacturer and brand in Germany.  Opel and Ford replaced last year’s second and third place marques Mercedes Benz and BMW Mini. Fiat benefited from the government’s car scrapping incentives to enter the top ten list of best-selling car brands in Germany at the expense of Peugeot.  The Volkswagen Golf was again the best-selling car model in Germany in 2009.

In 2009, the German passenger car market grew by 23.2% to a total of 3,807,175 new passenger vehicle registrations, 717,000 more cars than in 2008.

The Top 25 Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands in Germany in 2009

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The list of the top 25 best-selling car marques in Germany in 2009 according to statistics released by the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) is:

  1. Volkswagen (VW) … 805,262 … 21.2 … 30.9
  2. Opel … 338,603 … 8.9 … 31.1
  3. Ford … 290,620 … 7.6 … 33.7
  4. Mercedes … 282,527 … 7.4 … -13.9
  5. BMW / Mini … 258,041 … 6.8 … -9.4
  6. Audi … 234,861 … 6.2 … -6.6
  7. Renault / Dacia … 225,965 … 5.9 … 53.5
  8. Skoda … 190,717 … 5.0 … 57.3
  9. Fiat … 163,953 … 4.3 …86.1
  10. Toyota / Lexus … 138,498 … 3.6 … 43.1
  11. Peugeot … 130,207 … 3.4 … 37.5
  12. Citroen … 101,370 … 2.7 … 38.2
  13. Hyundai … 91,330 … 2.4 … 76.7
  14. Seat … 69,437 … 1.8 … 40.8
  15. Nissan … 66,463 … 1.7 … 45.3
  16. Mazda … 60,032 … 1.6 … 6.7
  17. Suzuki … 59,184 … 1.6 … 60.7
  18. Kia … 55,379 … 1.5 … 61.4
  19. Honda … 45,151 … 1.2 … 12.5
  20. Smart … 33,980 … 0.9 … 0.5
  21. Chevrolet … 31,259 … 0.8 … 46.7
  22. Mitsubishi … 30,409 … 0.8 … 19.0
  23. Volvo … 26,057 … 0.7 … -6.9
  24. Porsche … 15,343 … 0.4 … -5.4
  25. Alfa Romeo … 11,993 … 0.3 … 57.9

The German Passenger Car Market in 2009

The German car market grew by 23.2% to 3,807,175 new passenger car registrations in 2009. The improvement was largely due to a government car scrapping incentive while it should also be kept in mind that 2008 was the worst year for new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany since re-unification in 1990.

Germany’s Abwrackprämie (cash-for-clunkers scheme) particularly helped the lower end of the market with manufacturers of smaller cars such as Fiat (and VW too) seeing the most improvements.  Changes in environmental control, which banned mostly older diesel cars from city centers, also encouraged owners to replace older vehicles.

Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Germany in 2009

Manufacturers of smaller cars saw the largest increases in the number of cars sold in Germany in 2009. Fiat (+86%) and Hyundai (+77%) were the largest gainers, with Fiat replaced Peugeot (+38%) despite the French manufacturer’s own strong sales out of the list of top ten best-selling car brands in Germany.

Volkswagen, Opel, and Ford, also saw large gains of more than 30% each in the number of cars sold in Germany. Volkswagen’s market share grew further to 21.2% of the important German automobile market. Opel and Ford returned to second and third on the list of the top selling cars in Germany at the expense of premium brands Mercedes Benz and BMW.

In 2009, only premium brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Porsche, failed to expand in a growing market. Premium brands experienced a decline in both market share and units of cars sold in Germany during 2009. Mercedes (-13.9%) was the worst performer of the top car manufacturers in Germany in 2009.

The strong car market in Germany in 2009 was largely due to government incentives and stricter environmental controls that forced car owners to replace older vehicles or facing driving bans in city centers. 2007 and 2008 were particularly weak years for the German car market.

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