Negative record after 10 years: car sales fell by a fifth in 2020

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In the Corona year 2020, a new car was not at the top of the agenda for many households and businesses in Germany. According to the German carmakers, around 2.92 million cars were sold nationwide – around 19 percent fewer than in the previous year 2019. Accordingly, fewer cars were sold in Germany than it has been for ten years.

In 2020, 13.5 percent of new cars came onto the road with an alternative drive, i.e. at least part of the time they are powered by an electric motor or by gas or hydrogen. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, a total of 394,940 new electric cars were registered. In comparison: in 2019 there were around 108,000. Thanks to the purchase premiums of up to 9,000 euros, which the federal government decided to fight against climate change, there were three times as many buyers for all-electric cars as in the previous year.

Nevertheless, every fifth new car belongs to the SUV segment. However, mobile homes were also able to increase due to accommodation restrictions.

Also in the coming year it is not to be expected that as many cars will be sold as before the corona crisis. The German Association of the Automotive Industry put the market volume in 2021 at 3.1 million cars before Christmas. “For 2021, we expect the German car market to recover. Nevertheless, the very strong pre-Corona level should not be reached for the time being, “said Hildegard Müller, the association’s president.

Despite everything, the balance sheet for December 2020 brought positive numbers. With a total of 311,394 new registrations, this corresponds to an increase of ten percent compared to the same month last year. “Many private customers bought a car at the end of the year in order to benefit from the VAT cut,” explains Reinhard Zirpel, President of the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.


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