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Germany Full Year 2021: Market down -10.1% to lowest in 36 years, VW Golf leads above T-Roc despite late year debacle

In 2021, the VW Golf lost the monthly pole position for the first time in almost 30 years.

Discover 90 years worth of German Historical data here.

New car sales in Germany are down a further -10.1% on a devastated 2020 to just 2,622,132 units, the lowest annual volume in 36 years: since the 2,379,261 units of 1985.  Private sales skid down -16.4% to 907,258 and 34.6% share vs. 37.2% in 2020 and 35.5% in 2019, whereas fleet sales hold their fall to -6.4% to 1,714,874 units and 65.4% share vs. 62.8% in 2020 and 64.5% in 2019. Market leader Volkswagen (-6.8%) manages to improve its share to 18.7% vs. 18% last year, but #2 Mercedes (-25.7%) isn’t that lucky and falls to 8.6% vs. 10.4% a year ago. BMW (-7.7%) and Audi (-15%) ensure the Top 4 remains unchanged year-on-year. Opel (+10.7%) is born again and steps up two spots to #5, overtaking Skoda (-17.3%) and Ford (-35%) both losing share. Hyundai (+1.5%) is also up two ranks to #8, bypassing Renault (-15.5%) and Seat (-21%). Further down, Tesla (+137.9%) is the hero of the year, up five spots to #19 but inside the September and December Top 10. Recent launches Cupra (+914.1%) and Polestar (+153.2%) also shine while MG lands at #32.

In the models ranking, the VW Golf (-32.8%) celebrates a 41st straight annual win and a 46th win in the past 47 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). But, hit hard by the microchip crisis with factory closures, it tumbles down to its lowest ever share at home: 3.5%, that’s even lower than during its launch year in 1974 (4.3%). Most strikingly, the unimaginable happened in 2021: For the first time in almost 30 years – since March 1992 when the Opel Astra was #1, the Golf lost its monthly top spot, not once but three times: to the T-Roc in October (#2), the Opel Corsa in November when it ranked at an abysmal #10 and the VW Up and Tesla Model 3 in December (#3). Yes the Tesla Model 3 outsold the VW Golf in Germany in December after coming within just 58 sales from doing it in September. For the 7th time in the past 8 years, the German annual podium is 100% Volkswagen with the T-Roc (+13%) up five spots to #2 and the Tiguan (-8%) staying at #3. The Opel Corsa (-7%) is up two spots to #4, the VW Up (+73.8%) soars 24 ranks to #5 thanks to its EV variant while the Passat (-25%) is down four to #6 but makes its five VWs in the Top 6. Notice also the Mini lineup (-2.7%) up four spots to #7, the Tesla Model 3 (+132%) up 52 ranks to #12 and the VW T-Cross (+25%) up 15 to #13. The Skoda Enyaq (#73) is the most successful 2021 launch above the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (#110) and Mercedes EQA (#122).

Previous month: Germany November 2021: Opel Corsa, VW T-Roc and Renault Zoe on podium, VW Golf #10, market off -31.7%

Previous year: Germany 2020: Sales down -19.1% to weakest in a decade, VW Golf leads but drops -33.4%, ID.3 #3 in December

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

Full December 2021 Top 50 All-brands and Top 315 All-models below.

Full Year 2021 Top 52 All-brands and Top 365 All-models vs. Full Year 2020 figures below.

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