In the first half of 2022, the best-selling car brand in Germany was Volkswagen while Mercedes-Benz regained second place from BMW. The VW Golf was the top-selling model.
The German new car market contracted by more than a tenth during the first six months of 2022. Volkswagen remained the top-selling car brand in Germany thus far in 2022 but lost market share to second-placed Mercedes-Benz. BMW slipped back to third while Audi gained market share. None of the top-ten brands increased car sales volumes in Germany thus far in 2022. The Volkswagen Golf remained the top-selling car model in Germany during the first half of 2022 with the Fiat 500 the most popular battery-electric car model in Germany.
German New Car Market in 2022 (Half Year)
New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany during the first semester of 2022 contracted by 11% to 1,237,975 cars. This compared to 1,390,889 cars during the first half of 2021. Car sales in Germany were only just higher than the 1,210,622 cars sold during the first half of 2020 when the market was hit hardest by the Covid crisis. During the first six months of 2019, the German new car market was a more substantial 1,849,000 cars.
The dismal performance of the German new car market in 2022 was more a result of production problems than a lack of consumer demand. All car manufacturers continued to struggle with supply chain issues.
Demand far outstripped supply during the first half of 2022 with actual registrations more an indicator of manufacturers being able to produce cars than actual popularity with buyers. Carmakers continued to favor the production of more expensive models to increase earnings while a lack of components made the production of less profitable models less likely. Some manufacturers have indicated that the situation should improve during the second half of 2022 but long delivery times are likely to remain the norm well into 2023.
Best-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2022 (Half Year)
New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA showed the following as the best-selling car marques in Germany during the period January to June 2022:
|Rank||Brand||1-6/2022||% Share||% Change|
|34||Lynk & Co||1,484||0.1||X|
Top-Selling Car Brands in Germany in 2022 (First Semester)
During the first half of 2022, Volkswagen easily maintained its position as the best-selling car brand in Germany despite underperforming the market and losing almost two percentage points market share. The production schedules of VW models remained a mystery and a source of frustration to buyers of all sectors. As with most other carmakers, delivery periods are long and uncertain with a large brand like VW that covers a wide spectrum of the market particularly visible in the failure of cars to be handed over to customers on time.
Mercedes-Benz regained its traditional second place in Germany from BMW. Both Mercedes-Benz and Audi outsold the broader market and regained some market share. However, Mercedes-Benz had indicated plans to move away from mass-market vehicles and overall sales numbers might be less important to the brand in coming years.
Opel, Skoda, Ford, and Seat maintained the relative rank positions but only Ford outperformed the market (and only slightly so). Skoda remained the top imported car brand in Germany in 2022.
Hyundai and Renault swapped rank positions with Hyundai the top performing top-ten car brand and Renault the worst. Both brands were the most popular foreign car brands in Germany of marques without German ownership or production links.
Toyota just failed to reenter the top ten as the largest car brand with an increase in volume sales in Germany during the first half of 2022.
A few further salient statistics from the first half of 2022 car registrations in Germany:
- Two Chinese car brands were included separately in statistics for the first time: MG Roewe and Lynk.
- The best-performing brands were Polestar, Dacia, Tesla, and Honda.
- The worst-performing brands were Suzuki, Jaguar, Smart, Renaults, Peugeot, and Volvo — all saw sales falling by more than a quarter.
Top 20 Top-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2022 (First Semester)
The 20 best-selling car models in Germany during the period January to June 2022 according to the KBA were:
|Brand||Model||Jan-June 2022||Jan-June 2021|
|10||AUDI||A3, S3, RS3||17,904||18,138|
|13||SEAT / CUPRA||FORMENTOR||16,672||New|
|19||AUDI||A4, S4, RS4||13,401||15,834|
Germany’s Favorite Car Models in 2022
The Volkswagen Golf easily remained the favorite car of German car buyers but its domination of the market, as well as its importance to Volkswagen, is declining. As recent as the first half of 2019, VW sold 106,000 Golfs — more than double of the then second-placed VW Tiguan (43,000).
No electric version of the Golf is sold but the strongest competition seems to come from the SUVs and Crossovers from the VW stable. The VW T-Roc moved up two places to push the VW Tiguan one sales position. The Tiguan and Golf were reportedly severely hit by production problems due to component shortages.
The Opel Corsa improved one position for the second consecutive year in the top ten. In comparison, the VW Polo slipped to 22nd (from 7th in 2020 and 16th in 2021).
The Fiat 500, the top-selling battery-electric car in Germany thus far in 2022, was the most improved model — up to fifth from 19th a year ago. The Fiat 500 and VW Transporter were the only top-ten cars with higher volume sales compared to the first half of 2021.