Press Releases

Expected Downturn on the German Passenger Car Market

Berlin, 02 October 2018

Domestic production and exports also fell below the 2017 level

In September new passenger-car registrations came to 200,100 – a decline of 31 percent over the same month in the year before. In comparison with 2017, there was one less working day in September. In particular, the switch to the new testing method WLTP (WLTP = Worldwide Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure) for all new passenger-car registrations on 1 September 2018 again caused distortions. In August new passenger-car registrations rose by 25 percent. This year so far nearly 2.7 million new passenger cars have been registered – a plus of 2 percent. Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), emphasized: "After the strong registration figures in August, we expected this movement in the opposite direction."

In September domestic orders were 19 percent below the level of the previous year. In 2018 to date, domestic orders lagged behind the figures for the previous year by almost 2 percent. Foreign orders were also down in September (-9 percent). After the first nine months, the number of orders was slightly above the level of the previous year (+1 percent).

In September production was affected both by the switch to WLTP and the fewer working days. A total of 401,800 units were produced – 24 percent less than in the same month in 2017. In the first nine months of 2018, a good 3.9 million new cars rolled off the assembly lines (-8 percent). Exports developed in a similar manner. In the past month German manufacturers exported 320,400 units – a decrease of 21 percent. In the first nine months of 2018, exports amounted to barely 3.1 million units and were thus also below the 2017 level (-7 percent).

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


-31 2,673,400 2
  of which
    German makes incl. group makes 127,100 -37 1,846,500 2
    Foreign Makes 73,000 -15 826,900 3
Export 320,400 -21 3,067,300 -7
Production 401,800 -24 3,937,300 -8
*) Estimate
Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Speaker

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