Germany add-on car sales reach 26% of car market

In the German auto market, plug-in electric vehicles took a 25.6% share in March, up modestly from 22.5% year-on-year. Facing a declining car market, full electrics rose in volume while plug-in hybrids fell. Overall automobile volumes were 241,330 units, down 17.5% from a year earlier and down 31% from the 2017-2019 seasonal average. Planned power supply cuts risk affecting industrial production in the coming months, including at the new Tesla Gigafactory in Berlin.

The March combined add-ons result of 25.6% comprised 14.3% battery electric (BEV) and 11.3% hybrid add-ons (PHEV). Germany’s preference for BEVs over PHEVs has widened since it first emerged in the summer of 2021, after a long period of fairly even weighting.

So far in 2022, PHEVs have steadily reduced their share year over year and even reduced their sales volumes. Ironically, older plug-in hybrid (HEV) technology has steadily increased its share (and volumes) this year, up 15.6% to 20.1% year-on-year through March. Is the decline of PHEV simply the continuation of the december year end fever hangover to meet emissions targets? Or are PHEVs now falling out of favour, despite their generous €4,500 grant? Comment below if you are familiar with the current dynamics of the PHEV segment within the larger German automotive market.

Meanwhile, BEVs continue to increase their share more strongly than any other powertrain (including HEVs), from 10.3% in March 2021 to 14.3% last month, a relative gain of nearly 40%. . Volume increased more modestly year-over-year (15.4%), but in a sharply declining overall auto market, it’s still a strong performance.

Diesel and gasoline continue to fall in share and volume. Diesel volume fell more than 30% year-on-year and gasoline volume fell 27%. Their combined share of the overall market fell below 50% in November and December, and we can expect it to get back there and stay below 50% from summer 2022 onwards. Here is the graph of the evolution of the powertrain share since the end of 2019:

favorite BEVs

The KBA has not yet released detailed model data for March. However, we do know that the Tesla brand sold 8,045 units in the month, almost all Model Y and Model 3. This is 1.33 times the volume they sold in February, while the total BEV market has increased 1.22 times. . Given that the two Teslas were the most popular BEV models in February and carry even more weight in March, it’s safe to assume they’re top sellers again.

Keep an eye open for José’s most complete model report later in the month.


There is mixed news for BEVs coming out of Germany. We have seen the first Tesla Model Y produced by Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Brandenburg, being delivered to customers on March 22. Meanwhile, some European governments, including Germany, have made (or at least announced) the decision to drastically reduce energy imports from Russia. Germany gets 50% of its natural gas from Russia, so there is a risk of major disruption to the German manufacturing economy as there are no viable substitute gas suppliers who can quickly make up the difference.

Just as an example, even Tesla’s new Gigafactory reportedly uses natural gas for 60% of its energy needs. When gas supplies are cut in half, when government leaders decide to turn off Russian gas taps, in the coming weeks and months, the energy needs of German homes (along with the needs of schools and hospitals) will have priority. Industrial energy needs are first in line to be cut.

One of the political leaders in the Brandenburg parliament, Benjamin Raschke, has said (automatically translated) that “whether Putin turns off the gas tap, or the gas shutdown comes from the German side, then hospitals and schools will have high priority,” as reported. on the local news, berlin courier. Homes have “absolute protection”. Industrial manufacturing plants, such as the Tesla car plant, the car plants of all major German manufacturers, as well as all other industrial manufacturers are, by law, “the first to close and have to do without.”

Obviously, this would spell disaster for the German economy, the industrial heart of Europe. The idea of ​​cutting off Russian energy imports seems to be, as expressed by the French finance minister — motivated by the desire to wage “total economic and financial war” against Russia. However, Russia itself is self-sufficient for economic essentials like food and energy. In Europe, practically only Norway is self-sufficient for most of its energy needs. By cutting off energy imports to Europe, big energy-consuming nations like Germany and Italy could end up doing far more damage to their own economies than to Russia’s economy. This being the case, one wonders if this strategy has been carefully thought out by European politicians.

There is a lot of uncertainty right now. Obviously, with fuel prices rising steeply, the average consumer in Germany who still has the financial means and the desire to buy a new car in the coming months will consider BEVs more than before. BEV demand relative to ICE demand will increase further. What will happen to BEV supply (and supply to most cars) is a big unknown at this stage, save for the possibility outlined above for Tesla’s new Gigafactory. On the current path political leaders are taking, unless there is a course correction, it seems inevitable that Germany’s overall auto production, Europe’s largest industry, will take a major hit this year.

What do you think about the prospects for the German car market for 2022? Join the discussion below.


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