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Germany Full Year 2019: Golf down to lowest ever share, VW places 5 nameplates in Top 6 in strongest market since 2009 (+5%)

The VW T-Roc scores its first Top 10 finish at home at #6.

Discover 75 years worth of German Historical data here.

The German new car market is back on the up for the 5th time in the past 6 years with sales up 5% year-on-year to 3.607.258 units, ending the decade on a high the largest annual volume in the country since the scrappage scheme-boosted 3.807.175 units of 2009. However this solid result has a lot to do with sales pulled forward to the end of the year to avoid stricter CO2 rules in 2020, with September (+22.2%), October (+12.6%), November (+9.7%) and December (+19.5%) particularly strong. Going against the market, private sales edge down -0.5% to 1.244.504, accounting for just 35.5% of the total market vs. 36.4% in 2018. In contrast fleet sales soar 8.1% to 2.362.754 sales and 64.5% share vs. 63.6% a year ago.

The Mercedes C-Class scores its 4th podium in 20 years.

Brand leader Volkswagen (+3.7%) can’t quite match the market growth and sees its market share slide to 18.5%, now less than twice that of #2 Mercedes (+6.3%) improving to 9.4% while Ford (+10.9%) is helped by a last minute surge notably by the Kuga about to be replaced to soar to #3, its highest ranking this decade by far, sidestepping BMW (+5.4%) and Audi (+4.7%). Below, Skoda (+5.7%) is now under 7.700 sales below Opel (-5.3%) vs. over 30.000 in 2018. Seat (+13.9%) and Hyundai (+12.7%) lodge the only double-digit gains in the Top 10, while this type of gain is more frequent below, including Tesla (+462.3%), Rolls Royce (+55.8%), Alpine (+51.4%), Lamborghini (+43.4%), Lexus (+29.7%), Smart (+19.6%), Ssangyong (+17.8%), Volvo (+17.5%), Aston Martin (+14.7%) and Dacia (+11.6%).

The outgoing Golf VII pulls the nameplate to its lowest-ever share at home.

The VW Golf (-3.3%) easily scores a 39th consecutive annual win and a whopping 44th win in the past 45 years (every year since 1975 apart from 1980 by the Mercedes W123) to be compared with “only” 29 wins for the VW Beetle from 1946 to 1973. However even though it remains ultra-dominant, selling 2.33 times the amount of the #2, the Golf endures a 4th straight year-on-year drop and falls to its lowest ever share in a Full Year, only holding a weaker share during its launch year in 1974 at 4.3%. Will the 2020 launch of the new ID3 relegate the Golf to the background for the first time in 45 years? Answer in one year. The VW Tiguan (+17.4%) on the other hand is propped up by its new 7-seat variant, cementing its 2nd spot. The facelifted Mercedes C-Class (+2.6%) leaps up two ranks on 2018 to climb back on the podium for the first time since 2008, the 4th time in 20 years and only the 5th time in its 27 year-career after 1994 (#3), 2001 (#2) and 2002 (#3). The C-Class also puts an end to five consecutive years of Volkswagen-monopolised podiums, with the VW Polo (-13.1%) and Passat (-15.3%) knocked down to #4 and #5, but Volkswagen another first in 2019: 5 nameplates in the Top 6, with the T-Roc (+66%) sporting its first annual Top 10 finish at home at #6, peaking at #3 in August.

The Dacia Duster broke into the German monthly Top 10 twice in 2019.

The Ford Focus (+18.2%) is up 3 to #10 and the Opel Corsa (+8.1%) is back inside the Top 10 at #9. The Ford Kuga (+17.4%) is helped up 8 spots to #12 by rushed sales of its high-polluting outgoing variants at the end of the year when it broke its volume record during 3 consecutive months: 5.035 in October (#5), 6.281 in November (#3) and 8.371 in December (#2). A spectacular performer this year is the Dacia Duster (+35.4%) up to #34 but breaking its monthly ranking record twice at #10 in August and #8 in December. Also standing out is the Mercedes A-Class (+25.4%) up 13 spots to #14, as well as the Audi Q3 (+69.4%), Skoda Karoq (+45.6%), BMW X3 (+37.4%), Mercedes B-Class (+35.7%), Seat Ateca (+35.4%), Skoda Kodiaq (+35.1%), BMW 3 Series (+25.5%) and Audi A6 (+18.5%). The VW T-Cross is the most popular 2019 launch at #49 above the Skoda Scala (#104), Tesla Model 3 (#113), Skoda Kamiq (#172), Audi e-Tron (#177) and Mazda CX-30 (#181). Late entries include the Mercedes GLB (#294), Ford Puma (#310) and Porsche Taycan (#320).

The VW T-Cross is the only 2019 launch to break into the annual Top 50.

In the Private Sales ranking, Volkswagen monopolises the Top 4 (one more than in 2018) with the Golf (-15.2%), Polo (-20.5%), Tiguan (-16.9%) and T-Roc (+46.6%), the latter up 9 spots. The Mini lineup (+2.2%) is down one spot to #5 with the Fiat Ducato (+9.2%), Mercedes A-Class (+16.2%) and C-Class (-7.4%) in tow. Dacia places two nameplates in the annual German Proivat Sales Top 10 for the first time with the Sandero (-10.8%) at #9 and the Duster (+4.3%) at #10 but both seeing their Private Sales Ratios tumbling down. Ford places the Focus (+70.1%), Kuga (-6.7%) and Fiesta (-14.2%) from #11 to #13. The Seat Ateca is up 21 spots to #20, the VW T-Cross lands at #21 but ranked #3 in November, pre-empting a potential 100% VW Top 5 in 2020…The Kia Cee’d is up 60 ranks to #31 thanks to the addition of the Xceed, the Mercedes GLA is up 20 to #32 and the Audi Q3 up 46 to #39.

Previous month: Germany November 2019: Fleet sales lift market up 9.7%, Ford Kuga breaks all records for 2nd straight month

Previous year: Germany 2018: Volkswagen monopolises Top 4 for the first time despite WLTP bruises

Two years ago: Germany 2017: Volkswagen places Golf, Passat and Tiguan on podium

Full Year 2019 Top 48 All-brands, Top 365 All-models and Top 100 Private Sales vs. Full Year 2018 figures below.

Full December 2019 Top 46 All-brands, Top 305 All-models and Top 70 Private Sales below.

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