Rise in domestic car production and exports after four months

    Berlin, May 04, 2021

    New registrations rose by 90 percent in April, but remain far from pre-crisis levels – April 2020 result was extremely low due to lockdown – VDA reduces production forecast for 2021

    A total of 229,650 passenger cars were newly registered in Germany in April. This was a 90 percent rise over the volume recorded one year ago, which was exceptionally low due to the lockdown. But the figure has not yet returned to its pre-crisis level, as it is still 26 percent down on the number of registrations in April 2019. The passenger car market has now (in April 2021) recorded its second-lowest volume for the month of April since German reunification. In the first four months of this year, 886,100 cars were newly registered, which equates to an 8 percent year-on-year rise.

    New registrations of electric passenger cars increased by 396 percent last month and reached 50,800 units. This took the proportion of e-cars on the overall market to 22.1 percent. New registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increased by 414 percent, while new registrations of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) added 380 percent. As a result, the electric car market grew much faster than the market as a whole.

    Orders arriving from Germany also showed a positive trend, adding 166 percent. This year so far they have increased by 10 percent. The German manufacturers recorded a 94 percent rise in orders from other countries in April, and since January they have received 34 percent more orders from abroad.

    By contrast to the standstill in passenger car production in Germany in April 2020 (-97 percent), last month 316,200 cars were built (+2701 percent). This left the production volume in April 2021 at around 22 percent down on the figure from April 2019. In the first four months of this year, production reached almost 1.3 million units (+22 percent). Exports also expanded in April, with 252,000 passenger cars (+1011 percent) going to destinations abroad. The year-to-date total now stands at 968,500 passenger cars (+21 percent) sold to customers worldwide. The shortages in the supply of semiconductors are still holding back any greater resumption of production.

    Given the cumulative figures for this year and the current supply shortages, the VDA has adjusted its forecast. For 2021 as a whole and now expects passenger car production to rise by 13 percent to 4 million units. Previously the association had been forecasting an increase of 20 percent to a total of 4.2 million cars in 2021.


    Apri 2021 Jan - April 2021
    Passenger cars *) Units Change
    in %
    Units Change
     in %
    New registrations




      of which        
        German makes incl. group makes 160,350 97 633,700 10
        Foreign makes 69,300 76 252,400 4
    Export 252,000 1011 968,500 21
    Production 316,200 2701 1,254,600 22

    *) Estimate

    Source: VDA/KBA