Production and market in March 2024

    Passenger car production declining in March

    Berlin, April 03, 2024

    New passenger car registrations up in first quarter – new electric registrations down compared to previous year - production after 3 months of current year 18% below 2019 figure

    In March, there were three fewer working days available compared to the same month last year, which had a corresponding impact on production, exports and incoming orders. In March, domestic passenger car production reached a volume of 372,800 units. That was 15% less than in the same month last year. After the first quarter of the year, 1mn cars were manufactured in Germany (-9% compared to same quarter last year). Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, production after Q1 of the current year was 18% below the value at that time.

    Exports developed similarly in the past month: In March, 292,700 brand-new cars were exported from production facilities in Germany (-11%). Since January, 790,700 new cars have been exported, 5% less than in the same period last year. After Q1, exports are still almost 19% below the pre-crisis level in 2019.

    Compared to the same month last year, 4% fewer domestic orders were registered in March. Incoming orders from abroad in March were 2% below previous year's level. Overall, around 2% fewer orders were recorded in March than in the same period last year, but after Q1 of 2024 they are 6% up compared to previous year.

    In Q1 of the current year, more vehicles were registered on the German car market than in Q1 of the previous year. The number of new registrations increased by 4% year-on-year to 694,800 units. The current number of new registrations is put into perspective with a view to the pre-crisis level. The German passenger car market remains well below the level of 2019: In Q1 of the last pre-COVID year, new passenger car registrations in Germany were a good 21% or around 185,000 units higher than currently. In addition, new registrations also developed negatively in the past month. A total of 263,800 cars were registered in March, 6% fewer than in March of the previous year.

    The German market for electric cars has recently come under particular pressure. In Q1, new registrations of BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and PHEVs (plug-in hybrids) fell by 5% to a volume of 126,300 units. As a result of the abrupt end to the promotion of electric vehicles for private owners at the end of 2023, demand for electric cars on the German market has collapsed. Despite the already weak previous year's level, new registrations of electric vehicles fell by 22% to a volume of 47,410 units in March.

    After three months, new registrations of BEVs fell significantly by 14%, while those of PHEVs increased by just under 20%. In Q1, a total of 81,300 BEVs and 45,000 PHEVs were newly registered. Regarding BEVs a sharp decline was recorded in March. 31,380 units were almost 29% fewer than in the same month last year. The PHEV segment also recently slipped into the red despite the still positive development of the year. In March, 16,020 plug-in hybrids were registered, almost 5% less than in March 2023.

    Passenger cars*) March 2024
    24/23 in %
    January - Mäarch 2024
    24/23 in %
    New registration 263.800 -6 694.800 4
    of which
    German makes incl. group makes 172.600 -10 468.400 2
    Foreign makes 91.200 1 226.300 9
    of which
    Electro 47.410 -22 126.300 -5
    BEV 31.380 -29 81.300 -14
    PHEV 16.020 -5 45.000 20
    Domestic Production 372.800 -15 1.044.100 -9
    Of which: Export 292.700 -11 790.700 -5
    *) partly provisional Source: VDA / KBA
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    Benedikt Herzog-Wolbeck