Press Releases

German passenger car market shows double-digit growth in March

Berlin, 04 April 2017

German brands increase US sales

The German passenger car market showed double-digit growth in March, as new registrations rose by 11 percent to 359,700 vehicles. It should however be remembered that March this year had two working days more than in 2016. In the first quarter of this year, Germany’s new car market added 7 percent, totaling 844,700 passenger cars.

However, sales of new diesel vehicles lost 3 percent last month on this expanding market. Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), underscored: “The ongoing discussion about potential driving bans on diesels is clearly making motorists feel uncertain when buying a new car. Yet modern Euro 6 diesels are clean and economical when it comes to consumption. And they are necessary for achieving the European CO2 targets. The general public expects policies to deliver stable and reliable conditions for planning.”

Domestic production increased strongly in March, also benefiting from the number of working days. Last month 557,800 passenger cars rolled off the production lines at German plants – a rise of 7 percent. In the first quarter of 2017, 1.5 million passenger cars were built (+2 percent).

Orders arriving from Germany were 13 percent higher this March than in the same month last year, showing a year-on-year rise of 3 percent for the first quarter.

Last month’s exports of passenger cars increased by 9 percent to 430,800 vehicles From January to March the growth was 4 percent (nearly 1.2 million cars). Incoming orders from abroad in March were 2 percent up on last year’s figure, with a 1 percent rise for the first quarter.

Business in the US developed especially well for the German manufacturers: In the first quarter of 2017 their sales added a good 5 percent to more than 304,200 light vehicles, while the overall market contracted (-1 percent). All the German makers were able to push up their sales. The same applies for the month of March: the German OEMs increased their sales by 3 percent, even though the total light vehicle market lost almost 2 percent. “Obviously our companies’ new models are going down well with the discerning customers in the US,” Wissmann stressed.

  March 2017 January - March 2017
Passenger cars *) Volume Change
17/16 in %
Volume Change
17/16 in %
New registrations 359,700 11 844,700 7
  of which
    German makes incl. group makes 245,600 7 588,700 3
    Foreign makes 114,100 22 256,000 15
Export 430,800 9 1,156,200 4
Production 557,800 7 1,504,700 2
*) Estimate
Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Speaker

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