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New registrations March 2022: upward trend continues

The new car market in Germany continued to develop positively in March, but with 241,330 new cars it lagged behind the previous year by a whopping 17.5 percent. The production bottlenecks are making themselves felt here.

As reported by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), 241,330 cars were newly registered in March 2022. That was 20.4 percent more cars than in the previous month, but still 17.5 percent fewer than a year ago. The same picture for total new registrations. Overall, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) booked 307,968 new vehicles for March, 26.7 percent more than in February. Compared to the previous year, the minus is 15.7 percent.

These negative numbers also pull the previous year's balance sheet into the red. With 625,954 cars after three months, the result is 4.6 percent below the previous year. In total new registrations, 767,405 vehicles result in a minus of 4.4 percent.,

Polestar and Tesla with the biggest plus

Of 36 brands listed by the KBA, only 15 are above the previous year's result - most of them even significantly. The two electric car manufacturers Tesla and Polestar are among the absolute winners. After three months, the Swedes are up 147.5 percent, the Americans can post an increase of 137.2 percent. The cheap Renault brand Dacia is also doing well. For the Romanians, the KBA notes an increase of 77.7 percent. Honda is also playing well, after three months they are 71.6 percent above the previous year's result. MG Roewe also made a remarkable market debut, for which there are no comparable figures from the previous year, but which are above Polestar sales levels and thus leave brands such as Lexus, Jaguar, Subaru and Alfa Romeo behind.

Where there is a lot of light, there is also shadow. Among the biggest losers are Land Rover (-36.8%), Jaguar (-28.8%), Nissan (-28.23%) and Smart (-28.1%). There are mixed 3-month balance sheets from the German manufacturers. Audi is 4.2 percent up, Ford 12.9 percent down. Mercedes (-7.6%), Opel (-16.8%) and VW (-14.4%) are also below the previous year. Porsche can still score with an increase of 9.8 percent.

The upper class was the only segment to achieve a positive result in March with a plus of 13.3 percent and a share of 1.2 percent. The SUV segment, which had the largest share at 28.1 percent, fell by 6.3 percent, while the compact class, which was the second largest segment at 14.5 percent, lost 32.4 percent. The Minis experienced the most significant decline of more than a third with minus 33.9 percent. Motorhomes showed a decline of 20.0 percent in March. The smallest decline was in mini-vans (- 4.8%), which also had the smallest share of new registrations at 1.0%.

Alternative drives are increasing

The number of new registrations of electric cars was able to increase further. In March, the KBA recorded 34 of them.474 units and an increase of 14.5 percent. The share of e-cars in the total number of new registrations is already 14.3 percent and thus higher than the share of plug-in hybrids, which was 11.3 percent with 27,288 new registrations. A total of 75,713 hybrids were newly registered, including the plug-in hybrids. However, with a share of 34.9 percent, most new registrations were still petrol-driven, although their number fell by 27.0 percent compared to the same month last year. The diesel continues to go down steadily. In the case of passenger cars, the decline was 30.1 percent, and their share of new registrations is only 18.7 percent. Gas-powered vehicles continue to eke out a niche existence. The number of new cars powered by liquid gas increased by 158.9 percent to 1,745 units, their share was 0.7 percent. The natural gas models, of which 156 were newly registered in March, have a market share of just 0.1 percent, 72.7 percent less than in the same month last year.

The most important details of the new registrations in March 2022:

  • Gasoline share: 34.9% (- 27.9%)
  • Diesel share: 18.7% (- 30.1%)
  • CO2 emissions: 119 .3 g/km according to WLTP (- 5.5%)
  • Used car market crashes

    In the used car market, high demand meets very low supply. Accordingly, the balance here is negative. In March, 533,934 cars changed hands, 20.6 percent fewer than a year ago. Across all vehicles, the KBA recorded 646,889 changes of ownership, 19.3 percent fewer than in the previous year. The annual balance sheet so far cannot shine with such key figures. With 1,472,042 used cars sold, the drop compared to the previous year was 7.0 percent. All vehicles accounted for 1,723,738 units, which also corresponds to a decrease of 7.0 percent compared to the previous year.


    Even if the upward trend on the new vehicle market continues, the absolute figures remain well below the previous year. Almost only manufacturers of electric cars can really make big gains. The used car market is slowed down by a lack of supply.


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