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Germany March 2020: BMW 3 Series scores first podium in 6.5 years in market down -37.7%

The BMW 3 Series signs its first German podium since September 2013.

15/04 update: Now with Top 300 All Private Sales models.

Germany has been under a national curfew since March 22, later than neighbouring countries which has allowed its new car market a little more breathing space in March. Sales are down -37.7% year-on-year to 215.119, a slimmer fall than Italy (-85.4%), France (-72.2%), Spain (-69.3%) or even the UK (-44.4%). The year-to-date tally tilts into frank negative however at -20.3% to 701.362, the weakest Q1 volume since 2013 (673.957). Fleet sales are down -39.6% in March to 133.159 and 61.9% vs. 63.8% in March 2019 while private sales resist somewhat better at -34.5% to 81.960 and 38.1% share vs. 36.2% a year ago. The situation is reversed in Q1 with fleet sales doing better at -19.2% to 462.198 and 65.9% vs. 65% over Q1 2019 while private sales drop -22.4% to 239.164 and 34.1% share vs. 35% a year ago. Diesel sales roughly follow the market for once at -39.3% to 67.937 and 31.6% share vs. 32.4% in March 2019 and fall -23% YTD to 224.046 and 31.9% share vs. 33.1% over Q1 2019. In contrast HEV sales leap up 62% in March to 28.735 and 13.4% share vs. 5.1% a year ago and EV registrations soar 56.1% to 10.329 and 4.8% share vs. 1.9%. Year-to-date, HEV is up 86.3% to 89.540 and 12.8% share vs. 5.5% in 2019 and EV is up 63.3% to 25.975 and 3.7% share vs. 1.8% a year ago.

Germany has been under a nationwide curfew since March 22.

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (-35.1%) resists slightly better than the market to reach 18.9% share, in line with the 19.1% it commands so far in 2020. Mercedes (-28.2%) and BMW (-21.2%) both show great holds and round out the podium above Audi (-36.5%). Ford (-50.3%) is in dire straits but remains at #5 ahead of Skoda (-40.5%) and Opel (-51.8%) both also underperforming. Below, Seat (-27.3%) and Fiat (-31.7%) resist somewhat as do Kia (-15.4%), Nissan (-19.9%), Mini (-20.7%) and Toyota (-25.7%) outside the Top 10. Tesla (-4.4%) is up 6 spots on February to #22 thanks to the best hold in the Top 25. At #30, Subaru (+1.6%) and further down Ferrari (+18%), Lotus (+40%) and Rolls Royce (+30%) actually manage a year-on-year gain. At the other end of the scale, it’s a month to forget for Smart (-84.4%), Alpine (-64.9%), Alfa Romeo (-63.2%), Mazda (-57%), Peugeot (-55.5%), Suzuki (-55.4%), Maserati (-54.8%), Honda (-52.1%) and Citroen (-50.7%).

The new model lifts Mercedes CLA sales up 63.7%.

Model-wise, the VW Golf (-44.8%) isn’t helped by the arrival of the 8th generation in dealerships, and falls faster than the market as does the VW Tiguan (-42.8%) in 2nd place. The BMW 3 Series (+10.8%) takes advantage of the new model to post a year-on-year gain in a tumultuous month and leap up onto the podium for the first time in over 6 years – since September 2013.  The VW Passat (-27%) and Ford Focus (-35.2%) round out the Top 5 by resisting slightly better than the market while the Fiat Ducato (-2.9%) is up 15 ranks on February as the pre-Summer holiday campervan buying frenzy starts. The VW T-Roc (-37.1%) and Mini (-20.7%) return inside the Top 10 but the VW Polo (-46.1%) is hit hard and falls to #10. Beyond the Top 10, notice the good holds of the Audi Q3 (-0.1%), VW Caddy (-3.5%), Tesla Model 3 (-8.5%), Kia Ceed sales pumped up 32.3% by the new Xceed which isn’t counted separately by KBA and the Mercedes CLA (+63.7%) lifted by the new model. The Skoda Kamiq (#53), Ford Puma (#70), Mazda CX-30 (#78) and Mercedes GLB (#89) top recent launches.

From now we will share with you complete Private Sales models ranking for Germany. The #1 is a surprise: the Fiat Ducato, however this is an oddity of the German market where camper van sales are accounted in PC figures (and not LCV like in most other markets) and somehow counted as Private Sales whereas these are fleet sales to repurpose the vehicles in time for the Summer season. The VW Golf drops to #2 ahead of the Mini, VW Polo and T-Cross. The Tesla Model 3 breaks into the Top 10 at #9, with the Skoda Karoq up to #12, the BMW X1 up to #15, the Kia Ceed up to #16 and the Audi A3 up to #18.

Previous month: Germany February 2020: Electrified vehicles (+92.8%), Seat (+23.4%) bright lights in market down -10.8%

One year ago: Germany March 2019: Audi soars +15.9% to first #2 finish since last August in market back in negative (-0.5%)

Full March 2020 Top 50 All-brands, Top 305 All-models and Top 300 All Private Sales models below.

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