KBA data shows that the German car market declined by 3.4% in March to stand at 347,433 units. Two fewer sales days in the month accounted for the decline and the market for the first three months was up 4% on the same period last year at 878,611 units.

In the month of March, Daimler's Smart brand posted double-digit growth of +15.8%, followed by Mini (+4.3%) and Volkswagen (+1.8%). All other 'domestics' showed declines, with double digit drops at Opel (-23.4%), Porsche (-13.9%) and Audi (-12.8%). The market was led by Volkswagen at 18.6% share.

In terms of import brands, Mitsubishi (+ 42.5%), Honda (+ 22.4%), Alfa Romeo (+ 12.7%) and Hyundai (+ 10.8%) posted strong figures.

The KBA said some 22.5% of new registrations were attributable to the compact class segment, with 18.8% for SUVs (+ 28.1% in the month) and 14.2% for small cars (-7.5% in March). By contrast, the luxury car segment recorded the second highest growth (+18.4%) with a share of 1.1%.

Passenger cars with alternative drive types showed double-digit growth rates. Electric cars (3,792) posted an increase of +73.1%. Hybrid-powered vehicles (10,874) gained +45.4%, including plug-in hybrids (3,018) +31.9%. With a share of 64% (+9.3%), gasoline was the most common type of fuel, followed by diesel-powered passenger cars, which fell by -25.4% for a share of 31.4%.

Average CO 2 emissions of 128.7 g / km were +0.8% above the same month of the previous year.

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