The automotive premium market continues to rebound in Germany, but some automakers are still seeing lower sales compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to the KBA (Federal Motor Transport Authority), the May 2022 sales are encouraging, but some automakers like BMW and Audi are still seeing lower levels than before. BMW reported 17,158 units, a decline of 12.8 percent compared to the same month last year. From January to May 2022, BMW sold 83,930 units in Germany, but still 13.1 percent lower than the same period in 2021.
Audi follows a similar path. 16,287 new registrations in May 2022, but still 12.3 percent down compared to the same month last year. The overall units sold accounts for 83,609, down 3.1 percent compared to January-May 2021. Mercedes leads the pack in Germany with 18,008 units sold in May 2022, an increase of 23.4 percent compared to last year. Year-to date, Mercedes sold 92,081 units which accounts for a decrease of 6.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
As always, the Daimler figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority not only include premium cars, but also light commercial vehicles such as the Citan, Sprinter and Vito. If you also look at the small car brands MINI and Smart, the BMW Group is just ahead of Mercedes-Benz: 100,587 BMWs and MINIs compared to 98,971 Mercedes and Smarts.
Overall, the German car market is still down 10 percent in 2022 compared to last year, but considering the economic and social realities of these past two years, the signs are encouraging. The semi-conductor crisis continues to wreak havoc in the supply chain, leading to shortage of components and longer lead times for car deliveries. Most of the car makers don’t expect the chip crisis to improve until last 2023.