* See the Top 50 best-selling brands and Top 325 models by clicking on the title *
The German new car market is down 3.4% year-on-year in March to 347.433 registrations, yet at 878.611 units the year-to-date volume is at its highest since 2000, up 4% on the same period in 2017. Weak diesel sales, down 25% to just 31.4% share this month, have pulled the overall market down whereas petrol sales are up 9% to hit 64% share. Last month, a court decision gave German cities the authority to decide whether to ban diesel vehicles from their streets, likely to have dampened even further German buyers’ interest in diesel cars. Premium and luxury brands are hit the hardest this month with Bentley (-64%), Infiniti (-54%), Aston Martin (-39%), Tesla (-36%), Rolls-Royce (-35%), Maserati (-33%), Lotus (-31%), Volvo (-25%), DS (-19%), Lexus (-16%), Porsche (-14%), Audi (-13%), Jaguar (-11%), BMW (-5%) and Mercedes (-5%) all losing significant ground while among mass brand Opel (-23%) and Renault (-16%) in great difficulty.
Market leader Volkswagen bucks the overall trend for once with a 2% improvement, just like Hyundai (+11%), Seat (+5%) and Skoda (+4%) in the Top 10. Below, Mitsubishi (+43%), Honda (+22%), Smart (+16%), Alfa Romeo (+13%), Jeep (+10%), Dacia (+9%) and Peugeot (+8%) are the best performers among mass brand while Lamborghini (+90%), Cadillac (+88%), Chevrolet (+38% and Alpina (+15%) top small-volume brands. Over in the models ranking, the VW Golf puts an end to five consecutive months of 20%+ year-on-year gains with a 2% drop to 6.4% share, still 3 times as much as the next best-seller, the VW Tiguan up 5%. Likely boosted by generous discounts just as the new generation of the model is about to be revealed in China, the Ford Focus edges up one spot further to climb onto the monthly German podium for the first time in almost 14 years, since September 2004 when it ranked #2.
The VW Passat surges 41% to #4 but the VW Polo isn’t benefitting from its new generation with a steep 26% drop at #5, ahead of the Skoda Octavia (+5%) and VW Touran (+2%). Further down, the Mitsubishi Space Star (+77%), Mercedes GLC (+46%), Hyundai i20 (+42%), Nissan Qashqai (+30%), BMW X1 (+22%), Hyundai Tucson (+22%) and BMW 2 Series (+21%) impress. The VW T-Roc finally gets its break: up 26 spots on last month to break into its home Top 50 for the first time – and by far – at #32, also becoming the most popular new launch in the country. Looking at the Golf and Tiguan behaviours (see above), there doesn’t seem to be any cannibalisation happening just yet, but we will pay special attention to Golf figures in the coming months. The T-Roc is now followed by the Opel Crossland X at a best-ever #43 (+14), also hit last November, the Opel Grandland X also breaking its ranking record at #52 (+14), the Skoda Karoq at #56 (-2) and the Seat Arona at a record #67 (+13).
Full March 2018 Top 50 brands and Top 325 models below.