German car market picks up in March
German passenger car market up after first quarter – production forecast raised – but market and production still below pre-crisis level
In Germany, 281,400 passenger cars were newly registered in March, 17% more than in the same month last year. Even after the first quarter of 2023, the German car market is in positive territory. A total of 666,900 new vehicles were registered in the first three months. This corresponds to an increase of almost 7% compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Despite the solid growth rate, the gap to the pre-crisis level is still large: Compared to the first quarter of 2019, new registrations in the first quarter of the current year are almost a quarter lower.
New registrations of electric cars declined in March, the German market for electric cars fell by a good 1% compared to the same month last year. Almost 60,900 electric cars were newly registered in March of this year. A significant slump in plug-in hybrids (PHEV) was once again the main cause for the decline: 16,800 newly registered units meant a decline of 39% compared to March of the previous year. New registrations of new, purely battery-electric passenger cars (BEV) rose by around 28% compared with March 2022 to a level of 44,100 units. Although they developed more dynamically than the car market as a whole, they were unable to prevent a decline in the entire electric segment (BEV and PHEV). A total of 132,400 e-cars were sold in the first quarter of the current year. That is 13% less than in comparison with the first quarter of the previous year.
Domestic orders for German manufacturers fell again in the past month. Compared to the same month last year, 31% fewer orders were registered in March of this year. In the period from January to March, domestic orders fell by 35% compared to the corresponding period last year. Foreign orders in March were 3% below the previous year's level. After a weak start to the year, the order volume from abroad fell by 10% in the first three months of this year compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Overall this year, 14% fewer orders than in the first quarter of 2022 have been registered.
In March, the production level in German production facilities of the automotive industry was above that of the same month of the previous year for the eleventh time in a row. In the past month, 441,900 cars rolled off the production lines. That is 67% more than in March 2022. However, the extremely low comparative level should be considered: March 2022 was the weakest March in terms of production in almost 50 years. A total of a good 1.1mn passenger cars were produced in the first quarter of this year. This corresponds to an increase of 39% compared to the same period last year. Despite the positive trend in recent months - which is due in particular to the gradually improving supply situation with primary and intermediate products - the production level remains significantly below the pre-crisis level. In the first three months of the current year, 9% fewer vehicles were manufactured than in the first quarter of the last year before COVID, 2019.
After passenger car production in Germany increased somewhat more than expected in the first quarter of this year, the VDA is adjusting its production forecast for 2023. So far, 3.69mn cars were forecast (+6% compared to 2022), now 3.79mn cars are assumed (+9% compared to 2022). Even after adjusting the forecast, the production level is still well below the pre-crisis level. In 2019, 4.66mn passenger cars had been produced in Germany. According to the current VDA forecast, the production level of the recent year will still undercut the 2019 figures by 21%.
Exports developed similarly to production in March: 338,800 cars were delivered to customers all over the world. That is 64% more than in the same month last year. In the current year, the export of passenger cars increased significantly compared to the same period last year: 839,100 units exported mean an increase of 37% compared to the same period last year.
23/22 in %
|Januar - März 2023||Veränderung 23/22 in %|
|dt. Marken inkl. Konzernmarken||191.500||21||459.100||7|
|Produktion in Deutschland||441.900||67||1.148.000||39|
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