Decline in German car sales accelerated in 2013: KBA

Fri Jan 3, 2014 7:28am EST
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The decline in German car sales accelerated last year, falling below 3 million vehicles for the first time since 2010, reflecting troubles in Europe that have sent auto demand close to a two-decade low.

New car registrations in Germany fell 4.2 percent to 2.95 million last year, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) said, after a decline of 2.9 percent in 2012.

Germany's premium carmakers BMW BMWG.DE, Mercedes-Benz DAIGn.DE and Audi NSUG.DE each lost market share, suffering sales declines of 5.8 percent, 1.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

In the premium segment, updates to Porsche's 911 and Boxster models in recent years helped the sports car manufacturer to register a 1.4 percent rise in registrations.

Land Rover TAMO.NS, which launched a new range of 4x4 vehicles, was up by 11.8 percent and Jaguar registrations jumped by 30.1 percent, KBA statistics showed.

German mass market brand Opel, owned by General Motors GM.N, lost 2.9 percent market share last year while Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE sales fell by 4.6 percent in its home market.

Compact cars made up 25.3 percent of all new sales, helping Volkswagen to retain the crown as the biggest-selling brand in Germany with 21.8 percent of the new car market.

Imported volume brands fared worse than their German rivals, with Citroen PEUP.PA registrations down 20.6 percent, Chevrolet dropping 17.7 percent and Peugeot down 23.4 percent.

The gainers were South Korean value brands such as Hyundai 005380.KS, which achieved a 0.7 percent increase, and Kia 000270.KS, which boosted sales by 1.6 percent.   Continued...

The logo of BMW is pictured during a media preview day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski