Production and market in 2023

    Car production in Germany in 2023: Significant increase compared to previous year

    Berlin, January 03, 2024

    Passenger car market grew in 2023 - new electric registrations significantly in the red - pre-crisis levels remain unmatched in production and market

    At the end of the year, domestic passenger car production reached a volume of 264,500 units in December, almost 1% more than in December of the previous year. A total of 4.1mn cars rolled off the production lines in 2023, 18% more than in the previous year. However, compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, production was still 12% below the value at that time.

    Exports in December were slightly below the previous year's level. At 214,100 passenger cars, export volume fell by 1% last month compared to the same month last year. In 2023 as a whole, 3.1mn cars were delivered from German plants to customers around the world, 17% more than in 2022. This means that exports are almost 11% below the pre-crisis level in 2019, when 3.5mn new cars were exported from Germany.

    In December, domestic orders received by German manufacturers fell by 14%. Overall, domestic orders fell 18% in 2023 compared to the previous year.

    Incoming orders from abroad are developing better: they increased by 5% in December compared to the same month last year. However, foreign incoming orders also declined for the year as a whole. They fell by 3%. Overall in 2023, there were 5% fewer orders registered than in the previous year.

    New car registrations in Germany fell significantly in December compared to the previous year. At 241,900 units, 23% fewer new cars were registered than in December 2022. However, the year-end spurt in 2022 was heavily influenced by the reduction in the environmental bonus for purely battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and the complete phase-out for plug-in hybrids (PHEV). This led to a strong special effect at the end of the year, as customers brought forward car purchases in order to still benefit before the subsidies were cut down. Due to the originally planned reduction in the environmental bonus, there was also a preferential effect at the end of 2023, but this had less of an impact than in the previous year. The abrupt end of the environmental bonus on December 17th will have an impact on new registrations especially in 2024.

    The balance for the year as a whole remains positive compared to the previous year: a total of 2.8mn new vehicles were registered on the German car market in 2023, 7% more than in 2022. However, the comparison with the pre-crisis level is still clearly negative: last year 21% fewer new vehicles were registered than in 2019.

    In December 2023, 72,550 new electric vehicles were registered. This corresponds to a decline of over 58% compared to the same month last year. Both PHEV (-74%) and BEV (-48%) were below the previous year's level. The changed funding regime was also clearly reflected in the overall annual perspective: a total of 700,200 electric cars were newly registered over the course of the year, 16% fewer than in the previous year. However, a closer look reveals that BEVs grew by 11% in the last twelve months, while the PHEV market went down by 51%.

    Passenger cars *)
    December 2023 23/22 in % January - December 2023 23/22 in %
    New registrations 241.900 -23 2.844.600 7
      of which
         German makes incl. group makes  164.500 -14 1.949.200 10
        Foreign makes 77.400 -37 895.400 2
     of which
     Electro 72.550 -58 700.200 -16
          BEV 54.650 -48 524.200 11
          PHEV 17.890 -74 175.700 -51
    Domestic Production 264.500 1 4.115.600 18
     Of which: Exports 214.100 -1 3.110.100 17
    *) partly provisional Source: VDA/KBA
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    Simon Schütz

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