New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 4.5% during the first quarter of 2016. Volkswagen was the top-selling brand and the VW Golf Germany’s favorite car. Although VW sales were down during the first three months of 2016, Audi sales increased strongly to take second place as best-selling car brand in Germany from Mercedes-Benz.
The German New Car Market in 2016 (Q1)
The German new car market grew by 4.5% in the period January to March 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015. New passenger vehicle registrations were 791,424 cars in 2016 – almost 34,000 cars more than a year ago.
The German market was at least partly influenced by Easter weekend being in March in 2016 compared to in April last year. In March 2016, car sales were flat with VW’s market share falling to 19.5% – not often in recent years that Volkswagen had less than a fifth of German new car sales.
Total new vehicle registrations in Germany during the first quarter of 2016 increased by 4.2% to 921,060 vehicles. Buses (+12.7%) and heavy vehicles (+10%) had the largest increases.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2016 (Q1)
New passenger vehicle registration figures released by the KBA listed the following as the top-selling car marques in Germany during the first three months of 2016:
|Brand||Q1/2016||Q1/2015||% MS||% Change|
Note: MS = % market share
Top-Selling Carmakers in Germany in 2016 (Q1)
Volkswagen easily maintained its lead as Germany’s best-selling car brand during the first quarter of 2016. However, with sales down by 4% in an expanding market, VW lost nearly 2% in market share compared to the first quarter of 2015. In March 2016, VW sales were down by 6.3%. During the first quarter of 2016, VW was the worst performer of the top-ten brands in Germany and amongst the 20 best-selling car brands in Germany, only Fiat did worse.
In stark contrast, VW-owned Audi increased sales by 14.7% and took second place from Mercedes-Benz. Audi sold nearly 10,000 cars more during the first quarter of 2016 than a year ago. Mercedes-Benz and BMW both increased sales by more than 6% but both fell significantly behind competitor Audi.
There were no other rank changes among the top ten best-selling car brands in Germany during the first quarter of 2016. Opel had a strong performance to half the gap to BMW while Ford also enjoyed double digit growth.
Skoda sales increased below market average but VW’s Czech brand remained Germany’s favorite import car marque at the start of 2016. Skoda remained comfortably ahead of Renault despite the strong performance by the French brand.
Hyundai sales were flat, while VW-owned Seat was the only other top-ten brand with weaker sales during the first quarter of 2016.
A few further salient features from the car sales statistics for the first quarter of 2016 in Germany:
- The best-performing car brands, with sales increases of at least a fifth, were Ssangyong, Jaguar, Honda, Land Rover, Tesla, Mitsubishi and Lexus.
- The worst-performing brands, with sales down by at least double digits, were DS, Suzuki, Smart, and Jeep.
- Nissan remained the top-selling Japanese car brand in Germany at the start of 2016 but Mazda took second place from Toyota. Honda, Mitsubishi, Lexus and Subaru increased sales sharply while Suzuki sales were down by 16%.
- Smart, Porsche and Mini sales looked weak largely due to new models leading to very strong sales at the start of 2015.
- Lancia and Chevrolet were removed as separately listed brands in German new car sales statistics and replaced by SsangYong and Tesla.
The VW Golf easily maintained its position as Germany’s best-selling car model.