Production and market in September

    Car production in Germany is weakening

    Berlin, October 04, 2023

    New car registrations are stagnating – new electric car registrations are falling

    In September, domestic production reached 340,500 cars. That was 8% less than in September a year ago. In the first nine months, production rose overall by 22% to 3.1mn cars compared to the previous year, but compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, it was 13% below the value at that time.

    The growth momentum in the year to date up to August - more recent detailed data is not yet available - comes primarily from electric cars, especially the purely battery-electric BEVs, whose production increased by 118% to 656,500 cars. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which are particularly popular abroad, increased by 12% to 192,600 units.

    Exports and orders are declining

    Exports also fell last month. In September, 265,500 brand-new cars were exported from production facilities in Germany (-5%).
    Looking at the first nine months of this year, 2.3mn vehicles were delivered to customers around the world, an increase of 22% compared to the same period last year. However, exports after the first nine months are still 13% below the pre-crisis level of 2019.
    Compared to the same month last year, 22% fewer orders were registered in September this year. In the first nine months, domestic orders also fell by 22% compared to the same period last year. Foreign order intake in August was 3% below the previous year's level. Year to date, it is down 5%. Overall, 7% fewer orders were registered in the first nine months than in the same period last year.

    In September, the German passenger car market stagnated compared to the previous year and reached a volume of 224,500 units (±0%). After the first three quarters of 2023, however, there is a significant increase of +14% compared to the same period in 2022. A total of a good 2.1mn new cars have been registered so far this year. At the same time, compared to the pre-crisis level of 2019, the German car market is still significantly behind at -22%.

    Effects of the expiring environmental bonus

    A relevant factor when monitoring developments on the German passenger car market was the expiration of the environmental bonus for commercial vehicles on August 31, 2023. This was already noticeable on the market for purely battery-electric vehicles last month. While new registrations of BEVs rose particularly sharply in August due to the preferential effect, they fell again as expected in September. In order to classify and smooth out this special effect in a meaningful way, the months of August and September are viewed cumulatively. During this period, sales of BEVs rose by 55% compared to the previous year, while sales of PHEVs fell by 44%. A similar picture emerges when looking at the entire year. While BEVs grew by 42%, the market for PHEVs shrank by 43%. After three quarters, these contrasting developments resulted in moderate overall growth in the electrical market of almost 5% to around 510,900 units.

    Passenger cars *)
    23/22 in %
    Januar - September 2023 Veränderung 23/22 in %
    New registrations in Germany 224.500 0 2.138.100 14
      of which
    German brands incl. Group brands 154.000 5 1.465.900 15
    Foreign brands 70.500 -10 672.200 13
      among which
    Electric 47.120 -35 510.900 5
    BEV 31.710 -29 387.300 42
    PHEV 15.380 -46 123.300 -43
    Production in Germany 340.500 -8 3.107.800 22
      of which: Exports 265.500 -5 2.340.100 22
    *) partially preliminary data
    Press Office

    Simon Schütz

    Head & Spokesperson with focus on politics and society