2021 (Full Year) Germany: Best-Selling Car Models

In 2021, the Volkswagen Golf, T-Roc, and Tiguan were the best-selling car models in Germany. For the second consecutive year, no Mercedes-Benz or Audi model made the top-ten list.

In 2021, the Volkswagen Golf, T-Roc, and Tiguan were the best-selling car models in Germany. For the second consecutive year, no Mercedes-Benz or Audi model made the top-ten list.
© Volkswagen AG

In full calendar year 2021, the Volkswagen Golf maintained its traditional position as the best-selling car model in Germany despite supply problems and failing to top the charts several months during the year. The VW T-Roc was the second most popular car in Germany in 2021 followed by the VW Tiguan. The Opel Corsa was the most popular non-Volkswagen model in Germany in 2021. The Mini was the top-selling imported car model in Germany. For the second consecutive year, no Mercedes-Benz or Audi model made the top-ten list. The Tesla Model 3 was Germany’s best-selling electric car in 2021 and the twelfth most popular car model overall.

In 2021, new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany decreased by 10.1% to 2,622,132 passenger cars (PKW) — the lowest total of new passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in over a decade. Volkswagen was the top-selling brand and the top-selling electric car brand.

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 2021 (Full Year)

According to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA for the German car market in 2021, the following were the 30 most popular car models:

BrandModellreiheSales 2021Sales 2020Sales 2019
Total2,622,1322,917,6783,607,258
1VWGOLF91,621136,324204,550
2VWT-ROC57,42450,82258,898
3VWTIGUAN55,52760,38087,771
4OPELCORSA49,47553,19951,708
5VWUP46,70826,872
6VWPASSAT45,69660,90459,322
7MINIMINI42,93844,15250,019
8BMW3ER41,70447,27343,327
9FIATDUCATO41,37944,312
10SKODAOCTAVIA40,66353,30255,210
11FIAT50035,78732,03937,503
12TESLAMODEL 335,26215,202
13VWT-CROSS34,18127,345
14MERCEDESGLK, GLC33,71941,79138,369
15VWPOLO32,27446,17461,286
16OPELASTRA31,22031,31743,892
17VWTRANSPORTER30,66329,54037,609
18HYUNDAIKONA29,98231,557
19FORDKUGA29,102
20SEATLEON28,88237,31039,637
21AUDIA3, S3, RS328,49434,09842,609
22VWID.326,69314,493
23OPELMOKKA26,519
24AUDIA6, S6, RS626,26031,40044,037
25BMW1ER26,08132,83131,901
26KIACEED25,98024,799
27BMWX125,48628,55136,109
28MERCEDESA-KLASSE25,07043,39144,189
29RENAULTZOE24,73630,376
30AUDIQ324,34625,307
Source: KBA

Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2021 (Full Year)

The Volkswagen Golf easily maintained its traditional position as Germany’s favorite car in 2021 despite sales being down by a third for the second consecutive year. Like most carmakers, Volkwagen suffered from supply-chain issues with the Golf (and Tiguan) seemingly particularly hard hit by a shortage in semiconductors. The factory in Wolfsburg was on slow down for several weeks with deliveries very low towards the end of the year. For several months, the Golf failed to be the best-selling car in Germany and was for one month even outsold by a non-VW product — the Opel Corsa. The Tesla Model 3 only narrowly failed to outsell the Golf in September 2021.

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). However, its importance for Volkswagen is declining — as recent as 2015, VW sold over 270,000 Golfs in Germany but as no electric Golf is planned, it is expected that an ID model should become Volkswagen’s most important model in the next couple of years.

The VW T-Roc improved from seventh to second and was the best-selling SUV in Germany according to the official KBA definition. The T-Roc is generally considered a profitable model for Volkswagen.

The VW Tiguan, which like the Golf suffered from production issues in Wolfsburg, maintained its third position. The Tiguan was Germany’s favorite cross-country vehicle (Geländewagen) according to the official definition.

The Opel Corsa improved two positions to fourth and again outsold the VW Polo that slipped from 9th to 15th. The Corsa was helped by having an electric version, which contributed 10,858 sales — more than a fifth of all Corsas.

The aging Volkswagen Up similarly profited from an electric version — the Up was the second most popular electric car in Germany in 2021 and the top-selling electric VW. Around two-thirds (30,797 cars) of all Ups registered in Germany in 2021 were electric. The Up improved to the fifth most popular car model in Germany in 2021 from 29th a year ago.

The VW Passat slipped from second a year ago to sixth. Traditionally a very popular car for business travelers and considered a high earner for Volkswagen, interests and development of the Passat have been lackluster in recent years with the long-term future of the model at times uncertain in the face of electric car competition.

The BMW-owned Mini was at its highest sales rank ever in Germany and the top foreign or imported brand. The BMW 3-Series maintained eighth from a year ago.

The Fiat Ducato, a popular base for camper and delivery vans, improved another sales position while the Skoda Octavia, long the favorite imported car model in Germany, slipped from fifth to tenth.

Top 30 Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2021

A few further salient features from the 30 best-selling car models in Germany in 2021:

Despite being the second-best-selling car brand in Germany in 2021, not a single Mercedes-Benz model made it into the top ten list for the second consecutive year. The best-selling Mercedes model in Germany in 2021 was the GLK at 14th.

There was similarly no Audi model amongst the top ten in Germany in 2021 with the top Audi the A3 at 21st.

The Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric car model in Germany in 2021 and the 12th most popular model overall. It outsold all its direct petrol-driven competition except for the BMW 3-Series.

Ford had a dismal year in Germany with sales down by over a third. The top Ford was the Kuga at 19 while the Focus slipped from 4th to 36th.

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