2017 (Q1) Germany: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands

In the first quarter of 2017 Volkswagen remained Germany’s top-selling car brand despite loosing market share to Mercedes-Benz in an expanding market.

Volkswagen ID Buzz at Geneva 2017

New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 6.7% to 844,684 cars during the first three months of 2017. Volkswagen remained the largest carmaker in Germany despite being the only top 20 brand with weaker sales at the start of 2017 compared to a year ago. Mercedes-Benz regained second place from Audi. Tesla sales in Germany grew by more than 150% compared to the first quarter of 2016.

The German New Car Market in 2017 (Q1)

The German motorized vehicle market expanded by 6.2% to 978,196 vehicles during the first quarter of 2017. New passenger vehicle registrations increased by 6.7% to 844,684 cars registered for the first time during the first three months of 2017 in Germany.

Best-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2017 (Q1)

The top-selling car marques in Germany during the first quarter of 2017 was as follows according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA:

BrandQ1/2017Q1/2016% Share% Change
26Land Rover6,1395,9190.73.7
30Alfa Romeo1,3287470.277.8

Top-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2017 (Q1)

Volkswagen easily remained the largest car brand in Germany during the first quarter of 2017 despite being the only top 20 marque with weaker sales. Volkswagen sales were down 4.5% to 155,476 cars – around 7,000 cars less than VW sold at the start of 2016. Volkswagen’s market share slipped more than 2% to 18.4% of the German new car market – at the start of 2015, Volkswagen’s share was 22.3%.

Mercedes-Benz regained second place from Audi with sales up 10.6% or more than 7,000 cars. Nonetheless, Mercedes still had only half the market share of VW in Germany.

Audi slipped back into third place – the only change in the rank list for the top ten car brands in Germany during the first quarter of 2017. Audi sales were flat and in a growing market VW’s premium brand lost 0.6% market share.

BMW and Opel underperformed the broader market but in the case of Opel only narrowly so. Ford sales were up a good 8.3% while Skoda sales increased by a below market average 4.8% but sufficiently to comfortably remain the largest imported car brand in Germany.

In contrast, Renault sales increased by a very healthy 28.8% to remain the largest foreign-owned car brand in Germany. Like Mercedes-Benz, Renault added 7,000 cars compared to a year ago.

Hyundai sales increased but just below market average. Seat rounded out the top ten as the only of the larger VW-owned brands to outperform the market.

In contrast to the top ten, the next ten brands saw many changes in relative positions despite all these marques increasing sales in Germany during the first three months of 2017. Fiat and Toyota both moved up two positions at the expense of Nissan and Mazda that both slipped down two ranks from a year ago.

Peugeot and Kia, as well as Dacia and Citroen, swapped rank places despite all four brand comfortably outselling the general market. Mitsubishi and Mini maintained their positions from a year ago.

In addition to Volkswagen, only Smart, DS en Honda had weaker sales at the start of 2017 compared to a year ago.

The most improved brand was Tesla with sales up in Germany by 158%. Alfa Romeo, Lexus and Jaguar also saw sales increase by around three quarters.

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.