During the first semester of 2018 Volkswagen was again Germany’s top-selling car manufacturer followed by Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
January to June 2018: New passenger vehicle registration data for Germany once again confirmed that Volkswagen is not only the top-selling car marque in Germany but in 2018 regained market share lost in 2017 following the first reports of the diesel emission scandal. Mercedes-Benz was again the second best-selling car brand in Germany in 2018 but sales were lower, as was the case for third-placed Audi. BMW sales were also weaker allowing Ford to regain fourth place in the ranking of Germany’s favorite carmakers. The VW Golf remained unchallenged as the best-selling car model in Germany.
The German New Car Market in 2018 (First Semester)
New passenger vehicle (PKW) registrations in Germany during the first six months of 2018 increased by 2.9% to 1,838,031 cars – around 50,000 more cars than were sold during the first half of 2017. The total German motorized vehicle market grew during the first semester of 2018 by 3.2% to 2,146,615 vehicles.
The trend away from diesel strengthened during the first half of 2018: only 21.1% (-20%) of new cars registered in Germany for the first time had diesel engines. The popularity of petrol engine cars increased by 16.3% for a 63.1% market share.
Although the sales of electric cars in Germany increased during the first half of 2018 by 69.1% to 17,234 electric cars, the market share of electric cars remain a rather disappointingly low 0.9%. Hybrid sales increased by 62.3% to 60,904 cars, including 16,683 plug-in hybrids (+36%).
Best-Selling Car Marques in Germany in 2018 (First Half Year)
New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA showed the following as the top-selling car brands in Germany during the period January to June 2018:
|Brand||Jan – June 2018||Jan – June 2017||% Share||% Change|
Top-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2018 (Half Year)
Volkswagen easily maintained its lead as Germany’s biggest carmaker during the first half of 2018 by comfortably outselling the broader market and regaining more than a percentage market share. VW narrowly missed taking a full fifth of the German new car market, as has mostly been the case during the last decade. Two thirds of all the additional new cars sold in Germany during the first half of the year accrued to Volkswagen.
Volkswagen’s share of the German new car market during the first six months of the year has been as follows since 2010:
|Jan to June||VW Sales||
VW % Market Share
Volkswagen’s gains were mostly at the expense of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. All three so-called premium brands not only lost market share thus far in 2018 but actually sold fewer cars in an expanding market. Ford in contrast had a strong performance in Germany to regain fourth place from BMW.
Although Opel hung onto sixth place, it was the worst performer of the top ten best-selling car brands in Germany in 2018 and other than Fiat and Nissan the worst performer of the top 25 brands.
VW-owned Skoda had strong sales growth in Germany thus far in 2018 and sold over a hundred thousand cars during the first six months of 2018 to remain the top imported car brand in Germany. Renault remained the top foreign brand not owned by a German carmaker – Ford and Opel are both still seen as German.
VW-owned Seat was the most improved of the top ten brands in Germany during the first semester of 2018 and swapped placed with Hyundai, which had strong sales growth as well.
Tesla was the worst-performing car brand in Germany thus far in 2018 with sales down by a third. However, Nissan, Fiat and Opel lost far higher unit numbers.
The most improved car brand in Germany during the first half of 2018 was surprisingly DS but with very low volumes. More impressive was the quarter gain by Dacia that moved up three places to 13th largest carmaker in Germany.
The VW Golf remained the favorite car model of the Germans.