Press Releases

Special WLTP effect triggers unusually strong August new car registrations

Berlin, 04 September 2018

Falling domestic production and exports

The German passenger car market showed unusually strong growth in August in anticipation of the introduction of WLTP. New registrations of passenger cars rose by 25 percent to 316,400 units, sending the August total over the 300,000 mark for the first time ever. The last time such a large growth rate was recorded was nine years ago, generated by the environmental bonus. From January to August 2018, almost 2.5 million cars were newly registered – an increase of more than 6 percent.

Last month the proportion of diesels among new passenger car registrations stabilized at 32.6 percent (January to August: 32.2 percent), whereas in August last year it was 37.7 percent.

Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), stressed, “The unusually high August figure must not be taken as a reference value. It is a result of certain special effects. For the year 2018 as a whole we are keeping to our forecast of 3.5 million new registrations (up by 1 percent).”

Domestic incoming orders in August equaled last year’s level. Their year-to-date total slightly exceeds last year’s figure (+1 percent). Foreign incoming orders were also on the rise after the first eight months (+2 percent).

In August production was held back significantly both by the switch to WLTP and by the various plant vacation periods. In all 310,400 units were built, which was 31 percent less than in the same month last year. In the first eight months of 2018, a good 3.5 million new vehicles rolled off the production lines (-6 percent). Exports developed in parallel: last month the German manufacturers exported 234,000 units, equating to a fall of 34 percent. From January to August exports came to 2.7 million units, which was also down on the previous year (-6 percent).

  August 2018 January - August 2018
Passenger cars *) Volume Change
18/17 in %
Volume Change
18/17 in %
New Registrations


25 2,473,300 6
  of which
    German makes incl. group makes 212,800 24 1,719,400 7
    Foreign Makes 103,600 27 753,900 5
Export 234,000 -34 2,731,000 -6
Production 310,400 -31 3,535,900 -6
*) Estimate
Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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