The German new car market grew a nice 11.4 percent in March. For the first quarter of 2011, the German market is up by 13.9 percent. This according to monthly registration statistics, released by Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt. The picture above however says more than the 306 words of this article.
In 2009 (blue line), the cash for clunker or Abwrackprämie drove German sales to heights never seen before. In 2010 (red line), the hangover followed. However, the pull-forward effect in 2009 was only slight, and 2010 sales were only slightly below pre-crisis level. Now, in March 2011, Germany is well above pre-crisis levels. March is a strong sales month in Germany, and the 327,821 units sold bode well for the year.
Brand-wise, you will see a lot of green when you download the detailed statistics. Volkswagen leads as always, its market share stands at 20.3 percent. Buyers of Ford and Opel cars in Germany thankfully do not read the Freep, they have heard nothing of the alleged perception gap and bought Fords and Opels with abandon. Ford sales grew 22.7 percent in March, those of Opel rose 15.8 percent. Opel (8.2 percent) commands a slightly higher share of the German market than Ford with 7.5 percent. Big is still beautiful, Mini stands for minimized sales.
The KBA is keeping track of hybrids and plugins now. 3,807 changed hands in the first quarter. Our TTAC sliderule says this is a share of 0.5 percent . That’s for hybrid and plugins, they don’t break them out separately. All those who think that at prices above $4, people will fuel from the wall socket instead from the pump take note: Even $8 per gallon and higher don’t turn Germans into converts.