FRANKFURT -- German registrations surged 20 percent in December as automakers pushed sales of vehicles with higher emissions ahead of the European Union's Jan. 1 introduction of stricter CO2 limits.
Registrations were 283,380 last month, according to data released by the KBA motor transport authority.
Big gainers included Nissan, whose registrations rose 103 percent; Smart, up 94 percent; Honda, up 86 percent; Dacia and DS, both up 67 percent; Mazda, up 46 percent; and Fiat, up 42 percent.
Also seeing large double-digit gains were Peugeot, up 35 percent; Hyundai, up 34 percent; Ford and Kia, both up 28 percent.
The VW brand, German's top-selling marque, saw sales rise 19 percent.
Premium brands gained volume with BMW sales up 11 percent; Mercedes-Benz up 8.4 percent; and Audi up 5.7 percent.
Opel's registrations fell 28 percent in as the brand continued to suffer the sales effects of axing its Adam and Karl minicars, and Cascada convertible.
- Download German sales for December, 12 months here.
Tesla sold 1,130 cars in Germany in December. The KBA did not give a year-on-year comparison. Tesla sold 10,711 cars in Germany in 2019, up 462 percent, helped by the introduction of the Model 3.
The German market ended 2019 with full-year sales up 5 percent to 3.6 million.
The market share of gasoline cars last year dropped to 59.2 percent from 62.4 percent in 2019. Diesel cars accounted for a 32.0 percent share down slightly from 32.3 percent.
Hybrid cars took a 6.6 percent share of the market, including a 1.3 percent share for plug-in hybrids. Battery-electric cars had 1.8 percent share.