2020 (Full Year) Germany: Best-Selling Car Models

In 2020, the Volkswagen Golf, Passat, and Tiguan were the best-selling car models in Germany. No Mercedes-Benz or Audi model made the top-ten list.

In 2020, the Volkswagen Golf, Passat, and Tiguan were the best-selling car models in Germany. No Mercedes-Benz or Audi model made the top-ten list.
© Volkswgen AG

In full calendar year 2020, the Volkswagen Golf maintained its traditional position as the best-selling car model in Germany despite sales dropping by a third. The VW Passat regained second place for the first time in three years, while the VW Tiguan dropped to third. The Ford Focus was fourth followed by the Skoda Octavia. The Opel Corsa outsold the VW Polo. No Mercedes-Benz or Audi models made it into the top-ten list. The Renault Zoe, Germany’s best-selling electric car in 2020, entered the list at 25th.

In 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany decreased by 19.1% to 2,917,678 passenger cars (PKW) — the lowest total of new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in a calendar year since 2010. Volkswagen was the top-selling brand and the top-selling electric car brand, while the Renault Zoe remained the favorite electric car model.

German Car Sales Statistics — 2022: Market Overview, Brands, Models, Electric; 2021: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2020: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2019: Market, Brands, Models, Electric

30 Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2020 (Full Year)

According to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA for the German car market in 2020, the following were the 30 most popular car models:

BrandModelSales 2020Sales 2019Sales 2018
1VWGOLF136,324204,550211,512
2VWPASSAT60,90459,32270,007
3VWTIGUAN60,38087,77174,749
4FORDFOCUS53,37858,26149,279
5SKODAOCTAVIA53,30255,21058,444
6OPELCORSA53,19951,70847,848
7VWT-ROC50,82258,89835,299
8BMW3ER47,27343,32734,514
9VWPOLO46,17461,28670,488
10FIATDUCATO44,312
11MINIMINI44,15250,01950,494
12MERCEDESA-KLASSE43,39144,18935,252
13MERCEDESGLK, GLC41,79138,36940,438
14MERCEDESC-KLASSE41,65164,40362,784
15SEATLEON37,31039,63743,045
16AUDIA4, S4, RS435,84150,74053,340
17FORDFIESTA34,82143,31647,224
18AUDIA3, S3, RS334,09842,60945,901
19MERCEDESE-KLASSE33,26543,26543,113
20BMW1ER32,83131,90144,143
21FIAT50032,03937,50331,590
22HYUNDAIKONA31,557
23AUDIA6, S6, RS631,40044,03737,170
24OPELASTRA31,31743,89245,932
25RENAULTZOE30,376
26VWTRANSPORTER29,54037,60939,433
27BMWX128,55136,10931,521
28VWT-CROSS27,34530,905
29VWUP26,872
30BMW5ER26,54035,94942,358
30Source: KBASource: KBA

Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2020 (Full Year)

The Volkswagen Golf easily maintained its traditional position as Germany’s favorite car in 2020 despite sales being down by a third compared to the 19% drop in the broader market. While all carmakers struggled due to lockdown measures, Volkswagen had additional production and software issues related to the new Golf 8 that delayed deliveries during the first part of the year.

The VW Golf has been the best-selling car model in Germany for every calendar year since 1981. It was last outsold in 1980 — by the Mercedes-Benz W123 (E-Class). In 2020, it was also again the top-selling car model in Europe with around 312,00 deliveries.

Remarkably, the Golf was the only top-ten car in the same sales rank position in 2020 compared to 2019. Only two other top 30 cars were in the same position: the Mini at 11 and the Fiesta at 17.

The VW Passat regained second place in Germany for the first time since 2017. The Passat was one of the very few cars to have actually increased sales volumes in 2020 — good news for Volkswagen as the Passat is generally considered a high earner.

After two years at second, the VW Tiguan slipped to the third most popular car in Germany in 2020. The Tiguan was Germany’s favorite SUV, although the official classification makes it a cross-country vehicle (Geländewagen). The VW T-Roc that slipped from sixth to seventh was the best-selling SUV in Germany according to the official KBA definition.

The Ford Focus continued its climb up the sales ranks in Germany to reach fourth place in 2020 — in the preceding years, it was at 7, 9, 16, and 14. The Skoda Octavia improved three positions to reach its highest position ever in Germany. The Skoda Octavia is considered Germany’s favorite imported car model.

The Opel Corsa was at sixth and the highest sales position in Germany in years. It was also the first time in years that the Corsa outsold the VW Polo that dropped from 4th to 9th. The Corsa is a new model based on Peugeot technology that also provided it with an electric version. In contrast, the Polo has been on the market since 2017 and no electric version is planned.

The BMW 3 Series re-entered the top ten at eight from 16th — sales of the 3 Series received a boost by the launch of a completely new model early in the year. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class dropped from third to 14th — it is due for a complete model update towards mid-2021.

The top-ten in Germany was rounded out by the Fiat Ducato that entered the list from outside the top 50 a year ago — the Mini just missed out on a first top-ten placing ever. The Ducato is a mobile home and received many orders when German travelers and companies decided having a holiday home on wheels is a safer way to travel in 2020.

Top 30 Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2020

A few further salient features from the 30 best-selling car models in Germany in 2020:

Despite being the second-best-selling car brand in Germany in 2020, not a single Mercedes-Benz model made it into the top ten list. However, Mercedes cars took positions 12, 13, and 14.

There was similarly no Audi model amongst the top ten in Germany in 2020.

Thy Hyundai Kona was at 22 the highest position ever for Hyundai or a South Korean brand in Germany.

The Renault Zoe entered the list at 25 — the first time ever for an electric car on the top-50 list of Germany’s favorite car models.

The biggest sales rank drops were the Ford Kuga (from 12 to 40) and the VW Touran (from 21 to 38).

In 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany decreased by 19.1% to 2,917,678 passenger cars (PKW) — the lowest total of new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in a calendar year since 2010. Volkswagen was the top-selling brand and the top-selling electric car brand, while the Renault Zoe remained the favorite electric car model.

German Car Sales Statistics — 2022: Market Overview, Brands, Models, Electric; 2021: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2020: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2019: Market, Brands, Models, Electric