Press Releases

German passenger car market again at high level in 2018

Berlin, 04 January 2019

One third of new registrations is a modern Euro 6 diesel – Production and exports fall short of 2017 figures

In 2018 over 3.4 million new passenger cars were registered in Germany. Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), stressed: “The year brought a welcome result for the German passenger car market. It matched the exceptionally high level of the previous year. In view of the distortions caused by the switch to WLTP, it is a very good result. And it is all the more remarkable considering that in 2017 new registrations reached their highest level this decade.” One third of new passenger car registrations in 2018 were modern Euro 6 diesels. In all, a good 1.1 million diesel cars were newly registered. In December diesels made up 35.0 percent of the total (33.4 percent in December 2017). Over the past year as a whole, new registrations of electric cars added 24 percent to reach 67,500. Battery-electric passenger cars increased by 44 percent to 36,100 units, while plug-in hybrids added 7 percent and climbed to 31,400.

Overall, 237,100 passenger cars were newly registered in Germany in December 2018 (-7 percent). It should be remembered that December had two working days less than it had in 2017. Incoming orders from Germany were nearly 15 percent down on the previous year. However, the 2017 figure was very high, and the decrease was compounded by the lower number of working days.

The number of working days in December also impacted on production and exports, with the German passenger car manufacturers producing 296,000 vehicles (-18 percent). A total of 5.1 million cars were built during 2018 (-9 percent). The German OEMs exported 246,800 passenger cars from Germany in December (-20 percent). Over the past year 4.0 million cars were supplied to customers in the rest of the world (-9 percent).

Orders from other countries showed a year-on-year fall of 8 percent in December. Accumulated foreign orders over the year almost equaled the level from 2017 (-1 percent).


December 2018

January - December 2018

Passenger cars *)


in %


in %

New registrations





of which
German makes incl. group makes





Foreign Makes















*) Estimate

Source: VDA/KBA

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

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