German car sales are lagging the recovery in the global passenger car market with 2024 sales expected to be 25% below pre-pandemic levels, Reuters reported, citing data from German auto association VDA.

The VDA reportedly expects the global passenger car market to grow by 2% this year to 77.4m cars, close to the pre-pandemic level of 78.8m.

Germany’s passenger car market is expected to shrink by 1% to 2.82m, still a quarter smaller than before the pandemic, the association told Reuters.

Supply chain problems have largely been sorted, but the business environment for German carmakers remained challenging, VDA chief economist Manuel Kallweit told the news agency.

German electric car sales fell by 16% in 2023, according to VDA data, and were forecast to drop another 9% in 2024.

While plug-in hybrid sales were expected to grow to 185,000 from 176,000, battery electric vehicles sales would drop to 451,000 from 524,000, the association forecast.

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By GlobalData

Still, Reuters noted, production of electric cars in Germany was forecast to increase by 19% this year to 1.45m with much of German output destined for export.