2012 Number of Cars Registered in Germany by Make

Volkswagen, followed by Opel and Mercedes-Benz are the top car manufacturers amongst the almost 43 million cars registered in Germany.

Der neue Volkswagen CrossTouran
© Volkswagen Media Services

Just less than 43 million passenger vehicles are registered in Germany at the beginning of 2012. Of these, just over a fifth were made by Volkswagen, 12% by Opel, and 9% by Mercedes-Benz. Nearly two-thirds of all cars on German roads at the beginning of 2012 are from German manufacturers. Just over a quarter of all cars are registered to owners older than 60 years.

Composition of the Total Number of Cars in Germany by Manufacturer

On January 1, 2012, according to statistics released by the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, a total of 51,735,177 motorized vehicles were registered in Germany. Of these, 42,927,647 were passenger vehicles or cars – an increase of 1.5% from 2011. This was an increase of 626,084 cars, while the new car market in Germany in 2011 saw 3,173,634 new passenger vehicle registrations.

The total number of cars registered in Germany at the beginning of 2012 listed by manufacturer is as follows:

BrandCars 2012% Market ShareCars 2011% Change from 2011
Alfa Romeo165,8470.4165,9150
BMW, Mini3,044,5857.12,936,5523.7
Chrysler,  Jeep, Dodge179,7790.4184,818-2.7
General Motors37,2860.136,5142.1
Land Rover64,2750.162,3173.1
MG Rover, Austin84,5670.291,194-7.3
Nissan, Infiniti842,5432837,7040.6
Renault, Dacia2,219,7605.22,200,1590.9
Toyota, Lexus1,370,8693.21,360,0920.8

Source: KBA

Cars Registered on German Roads by Manufacturer in 2012

Volkswagen, not surprisingly, is the leading manufacturer of cars registered in Germany. Just over 9 million, or 21.2%, of all cars on German roads were made by Volkswagen. VW sold 686,722 new cars in Germany in 2011, which increased Volkswagen’s share of the total number of cars in Germany by 1.8% (159,679 more VWs netto than in 2011).

Second-placed Opel and fourth-placed Ford both saw their share and actual numbers of cars registered in Germany decline over the past year. In contrast, Mercedes-Benz, BMW-Mini, and Audi all saw an increase in their share of cars owned by Germans.

The imported car brands with the largest number of cars in Germany in 2012 were Renault, Toyota, and Skoda.

The largest percentage increases of market share of the total German car market were by Hyundai (+12.6%), Skoda (+9.1%), and luxury sports car manufacturer Porsche (+8.8%). Italian sports car manufacturers Ferrari (+7.3%) and Maserati (+3.9%) had a good year too. The biggest declines were amongst manufacturers no longer present on the German car market but mainstream manufacturers such as Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Opel all saw significant declines in the number of their cars on German roads.

Further Statistics on Germany’s Car Ownership in 2012

The KBA also released further interesting statistics on the composition of the cars registered on German roads on January 1, 2012:

  • The number of SUVs increased by 16.4% to 2.1 million vehicles.
  • 2.6 million cars on German roads are four-wheel drive (4X4), an increase of 10.6% no doubt helped by the popularity of SUVs.
  • 1.8 million cars in Germany are cabriolets, an increase of 4.4%.
  • 1.4% of all cars in Germany use alternative energy (+6.7%), including 4,541 electrics cars and 47,642 hybrid vehicles. (Only 2,154 electric vehicles were sold in German in 2011.)
  • 4.9% of cars on German roads have CO2 emissions of less than 120 g/km.
  •  259,000 cars are “Oldtimers” with H number plates (i.e. cars older than 30 years and in an authentic historic condition – not all such cars actually use H plates).
  • Germany has 206,000 rental cars (+6.7%).
  • 26.9% of car owners are older than 60 years.
  • 65.4% of all cars on German roads were manufactured by German brands (-0.2%).
  • The average age of cars registered in Germany increased from 8.3 to 8.5 years.

See also sales statistics for German in 2011 by manufacturer (Volkswagen), car model (VW Golf), and electric vehicles (not many).

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.