2012 (Full Year) Germany: Best-Selling Car Models

The Volkswagen Golf, Passat and Polo were again the top three best-selling cars in Germany in 2012.

Volkswagen Golf 7
The VW Golf was the best-selling car in Germany in 2012. © Volkswagen Media Services

In 2012, Germany’s favorite car has again been the Volkswagen Golf. The VW Passat and Polo were again second and third best-selling car models in Germany in 2012. The Mercedes C Class moved ahead of the Opel Astra to take fourth place.

Top 30 Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2012

The top 30 most popular car models in Germany in 2012 were according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA:

20122011Car Model2012 Sales% + / –
11VW GOLF, JETTA240,702-6.7
22VW PASSAT89,333-13.7
33VW POLO76,507-15.7
45MERCEDES C-Class69,052-13.5
54OPEL ASTRA66,981-22.6
67BMW 3 Series62,5060.4
728MERCEDES B-Class59,42097.7
814BMW 1ER59,24112
910AUDI A4, S4, RS457,633-2.4
106OPEL CORSA55,747-20.5
1119VW TIGUAN55,61521.8
1211VW TOURAN53,025-4.3
1318AUDI A6, S6, RS6, A752,71014.4
1412FORD FIESTA50,874-5.7
159BMW 5 Series48,107-19.5
168FORD FOCUS47,936-21.6
1717SKODA OCTAVIA46,318-0.5
1813AUDI A3, S3, RS345,999-14.5
19NewVW UP42,842New
2016SKODA FABIA40,740-14.4
2115MERCEDES E-Class37,303-25.3
2222BMW MINI36,302-10
2423VW CADDY32,331-13.5
2520MERCEDES A-Class31,973-26.6
26OPEL ZAFIRA29,95652.3
2830AUDI A1, S129,4461.8
2927NISSAN QASHQAI28,982-11.2
3026HYUNDAI I 3028,789-12

Changes in the List of Top-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2012

The top three most popular cars in Germany in 2012 remained unchanged from a year ago. However, all three saw a drop in sales larger than the market average. The VW Golf was replaced by a new model in November 2012, which may help sales in 2013. Although Golf sales were down, the Golf still sold as many as the next three car models put together.

Opel models generally suffer huge declines in sales, with Astra and Corsa sales a fifth down on last year. The Astra slipped one place behind the Mercedes C Class while the Corsa dropped from sixth to tenth.

Of the top-selling cars in Germany in 2012, the Mercedes B Class saw the best growth selling almost double as many cars as a year ago. The B Class improved from 28th to seventh. In contrast, the smaller A-Class slipped from 20th to 25th, in part due to a well-published model change. In a rather odd market in December, the A-Class was actually the sixth most popular model of the month.

The BMW 3 and 1 Series saw an increase in sales numbers as well as relative positions in Germany in 2012. However, the larger 5 Series, as the Mercedes E Class, saw sales slipping while the new Audi A6 was well received.

The VW Tiguan improved from 19th to eleventh as the most popular SUV in Germany in 2012. The Nissan Qashqai was the most popular non-VW owned imported car in Germany. Several other SUVs by BMW, Audi, and Mercedes just missed out on the top 30 listing to testify to the increased popularity of SUVs in Germany despite the consumption penalties.

The Skoda Octavia replaced the Skoda Fabia as Germany’s most popular imported car. A model change early in 2013 should give the Octavia a further boost.

The Opel Zafira returned to the top 30 list in Germany with a strong improvement in sales but still far off the numbers achieved by the aging VW Touran. The VW-owned Seat Ibiza also returned to the list with strong sales due to a model change.

The new VW Up entered the list at 19th position.

The best-selling car manufacturer in Germany in 2012 was Volkswagen.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.