German new passenger car registrations plummeted 45.5pc to 169,754 units in January compared with 311,394 the prior month, according to the latest data released by Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Motor Transport Authority) on Jan 3.


Car sales have plunged as a result of a second national lockdown in response to a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks across Germany, with non-essential stores (including car dealerships and showrooms) closed since mid-December.


New vehicle registrations in January 2021 were also likely affected by the cessation of a tax break on Dec 31, which saw the German government repeal a 3pc value added tax (VAT) cut. 


This prompted some consumers to bring forward purchases of big-ticket items, like new vehicles, into December, accentuating the disparity between December and January sales figures.


Of the almost 170,000 new vehicles sales, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt data showed that 71.2pc or 120,806 units of passenger cars were registered by commercial owners.


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