German car market shrinks by 10% in 2021 – quarter of newly registered cars are electric vehicles – domestic production is coming under pressure due to supply bottlenecks.
In December, 227,600 new cars were registered in Germany. After a significant slump in the previous months, the number of new car registrations also fell in December compared to the same month last year (-27%). After the highest ever December figure in the previous year, significant declines in production led to a collapse in sales on the domestic market in December 2021. Production was impaired massively by the lack of availability of preliminary and intermediate products, especially semiconductors. While significantly positive growth rates could still be achieved in the first half of the year due to the lockdown in the previous year, the entire second half of 2021 was characterized by double-digit declines. In the year 2021 as a whole, the domestic market reached a volume of 2.6 million cars and was thus 10% below the first “Corona year” 2020.
New electric registrations (BEV, PHEV, and FC) fell slightly by 2% to a level of 81,200 units in December 2021, after the highest monthly figure ever had been achieved in the same month of the previous year. New registrations of plug-in hybrids (PHEV) fell by 16% while purely battery-electric vehicles (BEV) continued to develop dynamically with an increase of 11%. The share of electric cars in total new registrations was 35.7% in December. The previous high from the previous month was exceeded again. In the course of the year, 681,900 new electric cars were registered (+73%). This corresponds to an electric share of 26% for the full year 2021. In Germany, more than every fourth newly registered car was equipped with an electric drive. German group brands made up for a share of 65% in the domestic market of electrical vehicles.
In December, German manufacturers received 32% more domestic orders than in the same month last year. In 2021 as a whole, domestic incoming orders were up 6%. Business abroad was less positive: German manufacturers recorded a significant decline in order volumes in December (-20%), but in 2021 as a whole, a total of 2% more cars were ordered by customers from abroad than in 2020.
In December, 256,200 cars rolled off the assembly line at the automobile manufacturers’ locations in Germany (-11%). This is the seventh month in a row that the production level has been reduced by a double-digit percentage. Accordingly, domestic car production in 2021 as a whole was 3.1 million units, well below the corona-related prior-year figure (-12%) and reached the lowest production volume since 1975.
Exports developed in a similar way to production: In December 206,800 cars were delivered to customers from all over the world (-11%). For the year as a whole, German car exports were also clearly in the red with 2.4 million vehicles (-10%).