By on May 5, 2012

Germany defies the European downtrend of car sales. In April, Germans bought 2.9 percent more cars than in April 2011. Europe’s largest car market most likely has cushioned the fall in other EU countries again, which will be evident once ACEA numbers for the EU are published in a week or two.

As you can see in the graph above, German car sales in 2012 (green) pretty much retrace sales in 2011 (red) with a slight upward bias.

“Except for Ford (-5.3 percent) and Opel (- 9.1 percent), all German brands registered growth compared to the same period in the prior year,” says the Kraftfahrtbundesamt that tallies these numbers based on registrations by end users. This is bad news especially for Opel. In the first four months of the year, its sales are 9.2 percent behind the results in the same period in 2011. EU results are likely to be worse. For the January-April period, Ford only lags 2.3 percent behind the previous year period. (Also, the federal agency officially classifies Ford and Opel as “German” brands, which should settle an old argument at TTAC, at least officially.)

Fuel is so expensive in Germany that recent rises keep buyers unimpressed. MPVs (+13.1 percent) and SUVs (+13.6 percent) outsold the market, so did subcompacts (+32.2 percent).

Full data (in German) available here.

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