Germany is busy digging itself out of a – mostly mathematical – hole. According to data released by Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt, registrations in February were up 15.2 percent compared to February 2010. The graph above tells a different story.
The Abwrackprämien (German for “cash for clunker”) program of 2009 had driven car sales to heights never seen before in Germany (blue line). The program had a small pull forward effect, but not by much: Eligible were cars 9 years or older. Owners of these cars usually don’t buy new in Germany. The double digit “losses” of 2010 (red line) were mostly the effects of comparisons with the pornographic numbers of 2009. Now, the market is basically coming back to normal (green line).
Germans are sick of frugality and splurge again. Subcompacts (-12.3 percent) are out of favor. Minivans and luxobarges register increases of nearly 50percent. SUVs are up nearly 60 percent.
All data in their German detail are available for download here.