There were 1.577.000 new passenger car registrations in Germany over the first half of 2007 which is the lowest number since German reunification. This development is in particular due to the fact that the number of private passenger car registrations has dropped considerably. The Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK) thinks that the structural changes being behind this development are dramatic.
Says VDIK chairman Volker Lange: »It is true that we had expected a slack first quarter due to the VAT increase. It was, however, unpredictable that the second quarter would hit a record low too.«
The number of private car purchases fell by 27% in the first half of 2007 as compared to last year. The demand for cars equipped with petrol engines decreased by 15.7% while the demand for cars with diesel engines fell by just 2.3%. As a consequence, the proportion of diesel engine cars increased from 43.6% in 2006 to currently 47.2%. Strong increases were registered in the purchase of cars with alternative engines. Thus, new registrations of cars with liquefied natural gas and hybrid engines increased by 24%.
The association in particular criticizes a „hysterical discussion on climate protection«, a long-winded debate on retrofitting with particulate filters, possible bans on driving and a bureacratic discussion about the introduction of a motor vehicle tax based on CO2 emissions. Thanks to these discussions the German rolling stock has in the meantime become one of the oldest in Europe.
Foreign car manufacturers were able to stabilize their market share in Germany in the first half of 2007 after it had hit a record high in the first half of 2006 reaching 36.4%. Their market share in the private passenger car sector increased from 43.6% in 2006 to currently 47.2%. Statistical data of new registrations grouped by country show that most newly registered cars were produced in Japan (12%), followed by France (9.7%) and the Czech Republic (3.9%).
Due to this slack development the VDIK one month ago lowered its annual 2007 forecast to 3.25 million new registrations. However, this number may only be reached, if there is an increased demand for private passenger cars in the second half of 2007.