New car registrations: Car market is weakening despite booming e-cars

Status: 03.09.2021 4:03 p.m.

After the partial recovery from the Corona losses from 2020, the German car market cannot really take off. However, the weak overall development was cushioned by record growth in e-cars in August.

After the partial recovery from the Corona losses from 2020, the German car market is apparently still weak. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), there were around 193,300 cars in the past month, almost a quarter – a decrease of 23 percent – fewer new registrations than a year ago. The level was already low last summer due to the production losses and the demand shock after the first wave of pandemics.

Pre-crisis level not in sight

If you look at the entire course since January, there is a slight increase of 2.5 percent to a little more than 1.8 million new passenger cars nationwide. The Association of the German Automobile Industry (VDA) pointed out, however, that on this basis new car registrations were a good quarter below the level of 2019: “The pre-crisis level on the German car market is still not in sight.”

In a direct monthly comparison, many brands performed significantly worse. The bottom line was that there were only increases in car types for small cars. The SUVs, which are otherwise particularly strong-selling, also slipped, although they were the strongest model group overall.

31 percent more e-cars

Shortly before the International Motor Show IAA, which starts next week in Munich, it becomes clear how important vehicles with alternative drives are now for stabilizing the automotive economy. While diesel lost more than half (50.8 percent) and gasoline vehicles 41.8 percent of the new registrations in August of the previous year, fully electric cars were almost 80 percent more, plug-in hybrids around 43 percent and hybrids a total of over 31 percent more on the streets.

In addition to the absolute figures, the market shares of these variants are steadily increasing – boosted by the e-purchase premiums. According to the VDA, the share of electric cars in all new registrations is now a new record of 27.6 percent.

Lack of microchips and electronic parts

The decline in German car production was dramatic compared to the previous year: The number of cars manufactured fell by almost a third to 133,600 in August. One of the main reasons is the problems in the procurement of scarce microchips and electronic parts, which at many manufacturers still lead to lost shifts and short-time work. In return, those interested in automobiles are making more use of the used car market, where prices have been rising for some time.

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