Sales of electrified cars plunged in Germany in January as government incentives to encourage buyers were scaled back. Tesla bucked the downward trend by boosting volume through price cuts.
Registrations of full-electric cars were down 13 percent to 18,136, according to data from the KBA motor transport authority. Sales of plug-in hybrid cars fell by 53 percent to 8,850.
Registrations of gasoline cars were up 3.5 percent to 69,922 while diesels fell 1.2 percent to 39,230.
The total German passenger car market fell 2.6 percent to 179,247 units in January, compared with the same month last year.
Gasoline cars continued to have the greatest market share at 39 percent, followed by diesels at 21.9 percent. Full-electric cars had a 10.1 percent share while the share of plug-in hybrids was 4.9 percent
The change in subsidies for electric vehicles at the beginning of the year had a direct negative effect on new registrations, industry association VDA said in a statement. Government incentives for plug-in hybrids were dropped in January while those for full-electric cars were significantly reduced.
Sales of full-electric cars are expected to increase by 8 percent this year to 765,000 while plug-in hybrid sales will drop by 30 percent to 255,000, VDA President Hildegard Mueller told the German press.
Winners and losers
Tesla increased sales after cutting prices for its cars in mid-January by up to almost 17 percent. The EV maker saw registrations of its cars increase by 912 percent to 4,241 for 2.4 market share.
Other winners last month included Chinese-owned MG, with registrations up 170 percent to 483 vehicles; Suzuki, up 112 percent; Land Rover, up 83 percent; and Nissan, up 50 percent.
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Market leader Volkswagen brand saw sales rise 1.3 percent, while registrations of No. 2 Mercedes-Benz rose 15 percent. Audi sales slipped 1 percent, while BMW fell 25 percent.
Among automakers whose sales fell were Seat, down 39 percent; Renault, down 36 percent; Opel, down 34 percent and Hyundai, down 6.9 percent.
The German passenger car market is still well below the pre-pandemic levels, the VDA said. In January, 33 percent fewer cars were registered than in January 2019.
Automakers are continuing to increase production of electrified vehicles in their German factories.
Last year, 585,000 full-electric cars and 299,600 plug-in hybrid cars were built in Germany, the VDA said.