In 2016 Volkswagen remained Germany’s largest carmaker and top-selling brand despite weaker sales in a growing market. New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in 2016 increased by 4.5% to 3,351,607 cars. VW was again followed by Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Opel and Ford. Skoda remained the top-selling foreign carmaker in Germany while Renault was the top-selling French brand. The VW Golf was again Germany’s favorite car model.
The German New Car Market in 2016
New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in 2016 increased by 4.5% to 3,351,607 cars – the third year that the German new car market exceeded 3 million cars and the highest sales since 2009.
The total new motorized vehicle market in Germany increased by an even stronger 5.1% to 3,932,467 vehicles.
See The German New Car Market in 2016 for more details.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2016 (Full Year)
New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA showed the following brands as the top-selling car marques in Germany in 2016:
|Brand||2016 (Full Year)||2015 (Full Year)||% Share||% Change|
Top-Selling Carmakers in Germany in 2016 (Full Year)
Volkswagen easily maintained its position as leading carmaker in Germany in 2016. However, it was by no means an easy year for VW. Volkswagen was the worst performer of the major car brands in Germany in 2016 and sold nearly 30,000 fewer cars than a year ago. Volkswagen has been struggling since the start of the emissions scandal and particularly due to its markedly different treatment of German (and other European) customers compared to US car buyers.
In a positive development for the competitiveness of the German new car market, Volkswagen’s market share slipped from 21.4% last year to 19.6% in 2016. This was the first time since 2008 that VW had less than a fifth of new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany. In 2010, VW’s market share was 24%.
There were hardly any changes in the sales rank positions of car brands in Germany in 2016 compared to a year ago. The only changes amongst the top 20 best-selling car brands in Germany in 2016 were Dacia and Citroen (without DS in 2016 statistics) swapping places and Volvo entering the top 20 list at the expense of Smart.
Mercedes-Benz was again the second best-selling car brand in Germany in 2016. Mercedes gained the most from VW woes by selling around 25,000 more cars in Germany in 2016 than a year ago. Audi, BMW, Opel and Ford all increased sales in Germany above the market average.
VW-owned Skoda remained the top-selling foreign car brand in Germany but increased sales at slightly below the market average. VW-owned Seat had a similar performance.
Renault was the most improved of the top 20 best-selling car brands in Germany in 2016. Renault sales increased by 14% and although it was the best-selling foreign brand not belonging to a German car manufacturer it is still some way from reclaiming the top foreign brand in Germany title.
Hyundai was the only top-20 brand other than VW with weaker sales in Germany in 2016. Nissan underperformed but remained the top Japanese brand in Germany ahead of Toyota and Mazda.
A few further salient features from the new car sales statistics for Germany in 2016:
- Only five brands had weaker sales: DS, VW, Smart, Hyundai and Jeep
- Seven brands increased sales by more than a fifth: Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Ssanyong, Land Rover, Tesla and Honda
- Brands listed separately for the first time: DS, Ssangyong and Tesla
- Brands dropped from the list from 2016: Chevrolet and Lancia
See also 2016 Germany: Developments on the New Car Market and 2016 Germany: 30 Best-Selling Car Models.