Passenger car sales in Germany 2004-2018

In 2018, the number of passenger cars sold in Germany amounted to 3.4 million units. This was a slight decrease compared to the previous year. The German automobile industry has been growing consecutively in the past few years and is one of the biggest in the world.

“Abwrackprämie“ boosts sales in 2009

  The number of cars sold on the German market peaked at 3.8 million units in 2009. This was due to the government's introduction of a scrappage program, the so-called "Abwrackprämie". It had been implemented for the purpose of bettering air quality by encouraging owners to scrap their old car (over the age of 9) and buying a newer, supposedly more environmentally friendly Euro 4 model. Controversy surrounded the program at the time, because car sales had been declining in the years prior and it was seen by many as a move intended to help German carmakers make greater profits. Evaluations by Environmental Action Germany (“Deutsche Umwelthilfe”) and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg (“ifeu”) concluded that the ecological benefit was minimal if not non-existent. According to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control, Volkswagen was the car brand profiting the most from the program.

German new car market generates 107bn euros

  The German new car market brought in 107 billion euros in revenues in 2018, having grown consecutively since 2013. By comparison, sales of used cars had generated 84.7 billion euros.

Number of passenger cars sold in Germany from 2004 to 2018

Units sold
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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period

2004 to 2018

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Statistics on "Automotive retail industry in Germany"

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