2016 Germany: Developments on the New Car Market

VW Budd-e at Geneva Auto ShoqNew passenger vehicle (PKW) registrations in Germany in 2016 increased by 4.5% to 3,351,607 cars – the highest sales since 2009. Total new motorized vehicle sales in Germany in 2016 increased by 5.1% to 3,932,467 vehicles. Electric car sales in Germany decreased while petrol was the favorite fuel type. Private buyers made up just over a third of the German new car market.

New Vehicle Registrations in Germany in 2016

The total new vehicle market in Germany in 2016 expanded by 5.1% to 3,932,467 vehicles (Kraftfahrzeuge). New motorized vehicle registrations in Germany in 2016 were as follows according to the KBA:

Category 2016 % Change
Motor Cycles 182,066 +14.9
Cars (PKW) 3,351,607 +4.5
Buses 6,683 +8.9
Trucks (Lorries / LKW) 295,760 +7.6
Tractor Units (Zugmaschinen) 78,501 -2.8
of which Semi-Trailer (Sattelzugmachine) 36,967 +1.2
Other motorized vehicles 17,850 +9.7
All Motorized Vehicles (Kraftfahrzeuge zusammen) 3,932,467 +5.1
Trailers 294,369 +5.1

New Passenger Vehicle Sales in Germany by Year

New car sales in Germany increased by 4.5% in 2016 to 3,352,607 new passenger vehicle (PKW) registrations in 2016. This was the third consecutive year with car sales in Germany higher than 3 million cars and the highest annual sales since 2009.

New car registrations in Germany per month from 2014 to 2016 were as follows according to the KBA:

German Car Sales 2014-2016New passenger vehicle (PKW) registrations in Germany by year were as follows since 2007:

Year German Car Sales % Change
2016 3,351,607 4.5
2015 3,206,042 5.6
2014 3,036,773 2.9
2013 2,952,431 -4.2
2012 3,082,504 -2.2
2011 3,173,634 9
2010 2,916,260 -23.4
2009 3,807,175 23.2
2008 3,090,040 -1.8
2007 3,148,163 -9.2
Source: KBA

New Car Registrations in Germany in 2016

A few interesting statistics released by the KBA on German new passenger vehicle (PKW) registrations in 2016:

Petrol was the most popular fuel choice for new cars with a 52.1% market share vs. 45.9% for diesel.

Hybrid car sales in Germany in 2016 totaled 47,996 cars including 13,744 plug-in hybrids.

Only 11,410 electric cars were registered in Germany for the first time in 2016 compared to 12,363 in 2015. In France, nearly double that number of electric cars was sold in 2016.

CO2 emissions of new cars sold in Germany declined from 128.8 g/km in 2015 to 127.4 g/km in 2016.

Private buyers registered 35.0% of new cars in Germany in 2016.

The top three colors for new cars in Germany were grey (all shades including silver) at 28.1%, black (27.4%) and white (20.1%).

A quarter of the market was for compact cars (e.g. VW Golf) with a 25.2% market share. Small cars (e.g. VW Polo) made up 14.5% of the market, mid-size (e.g. VW Passat) 12.8% and SUV (e.g. VW Tiguan) 12.7%. SUV sales increased by 25.2% as the fastest expanding sector.

In total, 7,402,856 passenger cars changed registered owners in Germany in 2016.

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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.