Volkswagen remained the largest carmaker in Germany but lost market share with weak sales in an expanding market. The VW Golf is still the top-selling model.
During the first three quarters of 2017, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and Audi were again the best-selling car brands in Germany. New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 2.2% to 2,611,821 cars but both VW and Audi had weaker sales. Most of the gains in the German new car market accrued to foreign brands with Mercedes Benz and Mini the only German brands with noticeable gains. The Volkswagen Golf was again Germany’s favorite car but the Mercedes Benz C-Class moved ahead of the VW Passat.
The German New Car Market in 2017 (Q1 – Q3)
New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 2.2% to 2,611,821 cars (PKW) during period January to September 2017. The total motorized vehicle market increased by a more modest 1.4% to 3,044,082 vehicles.
As in other European markets, diesels are fast loosing market share in Germany too. In September 2017, diesel had a market share of only 36.3% – a decline of 21.3% compared to September 2016.
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Germany in 2017 (Q1 – Q3)
New passenger vehicle registration statistics released by the KBA showed the following as the most-popular marques in Germany thus far in 2017:
|Q1-3/2017||Q1-3/2016||% Share||% Change|
Top-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2017 (Q1 – Q3)
There were no changes in the relative sales rank positions of the ten largest car manufacturers in Germany during the first nine months of 2017.
Volkswagen easily remained the largest carmaker in Germany thus far in 2017 but VW continued to bleed market share. VW sales were down by 6.1% – by far the worst performance of any of the top 20 largest car marques in Germany. VW sales during the first nine months of 2017 were at 479,143 cars over 30,000 fewer cars than were sold during the first three quarters of 2016. Volkswagen’s market share shrank from 20% a year ago to 18.6%.
Mercedes Benz, in contrast, consolidated its second place with a 7% increase in sales to add around 17,000 cars for 252,072 sold thus far in 2017. Mercedes increased its market share in Germany by half a percentage point to 9.7%.
Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, was the only other top-ten brand with noticeably weaker sales thus far in 2017. BMW, Opel and Ford had sales virtually unchanged from a year ago.
Skoda, another Volkswagen Group member, increased sales by 4.2% to remain the largest foreign brand in Germany thus far in 2017. Renault increased sales by an even stronger 13.3% to remain the largest import brand not strongly linked to a German brand.
Hyundai sales were flat but sufficient to remain the largest non-European car brand in Germany thus far in 2017.
Seat, another Volkswagen Group brand, rounded out the top-ten list with a 10% increase in sales.
Fiat remained the largest Italian brand in Germany with sales up a strong 14%. Toyota performed even better with sales up by a fifth to regain 12th position and leading Japanese marque in Germany from Nissan that had weaker sales.
Mazda and Kia just outperformed the broader market but Dacia sales in Germany increased by more than a quarter and two rank positions. As a result, both Peugeot and Citroen dropped one position despite strong sales. Mitsubishi also surpassed Mini with sales up by nearly a quarter.
The most-improved brands in Germany thus far in 2017 were Tesla (85%), Alfa Romeo (59%) and Lexus (40%). Alfa Romeo entered the top 30 list and Tesla just missed out.
The worst performing brands in Germany thus far in 2017 were DS (-22%), Honda (-22%) and Jeep (-14%). DS slipped out of the top 30 list in Germany.
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars in Germany in 2017 (Q1 – Q3)
The 20 most popular car models in Germany during the first nine months of 2017 according to the KBA were:
|6||AUDI A4, S4, RS4||46,006||49,371||42,093|
|10||AUDI A3, S3, RS3||39,090||46,256||44,356|
|17||BMW 1 SERIES||32,052||33,163||33,043|
|18||BMW 2 SERIES||31,771||39,650||32,838|
|19||BMW 5 SERIES||31,334||22,639||NA|
|20||AUDI A6, S6, RS6||30,702||32,298||32,752|
Top-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2017 (Q1-3)
Although the ten most-popular car models in Germany during the first three quarters of 2017 were the same cars as during the first nine months of 2016, the VW Golf was the only model in the same rank position as before.
The VW Golf easily maintained its position as Germany’s favorite car model thus far in 2017 but Golf sales were 20,000 cars compared to a year ago and 37,000 on the figures of 2015.
The Mercedes Benz C-Class moved up into second place from fourth. This is the best position for the C-Class ever and the best for a Mercedes Benz since the E-Class (W123) was Germany’s best-selling car in 1980 – the last time the VW Golf failed to lead the list in a full calendar year.
The VW Passat slipped from second last year to third with sales sharply down compared to 2016 and 2015. The VW Tiguan benefited from a model update and the general popularity of SUVs to move up from 7th to fourth. The Tiguan was the only major Volkswagen model selling more cars thus far in 2017 than a year ago.
The aging VW Polo slipped from 3rd to 5th – the new model should be delivered during the fourth quarter of 2017. The Audi A4 and Opel Astra each slipped one position from a year ago.
The Skoda Octavia improved one position with higher sales while the Opel Corsa improved one position despite weaker sales. Audi A3 sales were down by around 7,000 cars to slip from 8th to 10th.
The rest of the top 20 best-selling car models in Germany thus far in 2017 also included mostly the same cars from a year ago. The VW Touran remained at 11th while the Skoda Fabia improved one position.
The Mercedes Benz E-Class shot onto the list from 24th a year ago while the BMW 5 Series is similarly a new entrant up from 30th a year ago – both models added around 9,000 cars each. The high-earning Audi A6 slipped one position to 20th with weaker sales.
The Mini and the Ford Focus swapped positions while the Seat Leon and BMW 1 Series kept their relative positions from a year ago. The BMW 2 Series slipped from 12th with sales sharply down.
The two cars slipping out of the top 20 list in Germany were the VW Transporter (20th to 21st) and the BMW 3 Series from 18th to 22nd.