New car registrations slump in the first half of 2020


According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), around 1.21 million cars were registered in Germany for the first time between early January and late June 2020. This is a decrease of 34.5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. Rising registrations in May and June could not compensate for the corona-related slump. Against the trend, the numbers of cars with purely electric drives and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) developed.

The proportion of purely electric cars grew by 42.7% to around 44,300 vehicles. At 3.7 percent, the share of the overall market is still manageable. The same applies to plug-in hybrids: around 49,300 vehicles mean an increase of almost 200 percent compared to the first half of 2019, but only one in 25 new registrations housed an internal combustion engine as well as an electric motor, the battery of which can be recharged at the socket. For the first time, the number of hybrids without external charging is six digits. Their share grew according to KBA by 54.6 percent to just under 110,000 or 9.1 percent of the overall market.


In June 2020, the number of new car registrations was also significantly lower than the previous year.

(Image: KBA)

The biggest losers in the first half of the year included manufacturers and brands, most of which are attributable to private purchases and registrations. The registrations for Dacia, Mazda, Opel and Suzuki were halved to around 20,200, 17,200, 60,800 and 8800 vehicles. Only Smart was even more affected: the Daimler subsidiary only received 2,700 registrations – a drop of more than 88 percent. This decline is also due to the strategic realignment: Since the beginning of 2020, Smart has only been selling electric vehicles. In terms of new registrations, the VW brand was able to defend its top position with 223,200 vehicles, followed by Mercedes with 117,300 and BMW and Audi with 98,800 and 98,600 vehicles.

In June alone, the number of new registrations was 220,272 vehicles – 32.3 percent less than in June 2019. In May, the minus was almost 50 percent, in April 76 percent. Vehicles in the compact class recorded the largest share (21 percent), followed by SUVs (19.9 percent). Around every second car (51.5 percent) registered for the first time was a petrol engine, and the share of diesels was 30.6 percent.

The development of new registrations only partially reflects the effects of the corona restrictions and government funding – for example in the form of the purchase premium for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. There are often several months between purchase and approval. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), however, German automobile manufacturers were able to do so in June an increasing order intake. Nevertheless, the association expects a significant decline in new registrations of 23 percent for the year as a whole.


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