The Trabi is immortal.

Although the vehicles of the GDR company Sachsenring have not been produced since 1991, tens of thousands of them are still on Germany's roads.

And in the end there were even more.

This is shown by the statistics on the vehicle population of the Federal Motor Transport Authority, which Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the Center Automotive Research (CAR) evaluated.

The number of registered Sachsenring cars has risen by around 3,000 to 38,173 in the past ten years.

"It seems that some of the old two-stroke engines have been given a little new life in recent years," says Dudenhöffer.

From January 2020 to 2021 alone, the number increased by more than 1,000 cars.

From his point of view, the Trabi is “a small miracle”.

Apart from such oddities, the analysis of the car fleet over the past ten years shows some clear trends.

On the one hand, the number of registered cars in Germany is growing steadily.

In January 2021 it was 48.2 million vehicles.

According to the CAR, this results in a population of 580 cars per 1000 inhabitants.


On the other hand, the weights of the individual manufacturers have shifted significantly over time.

The brands of the Volkswagen Group in particular have gained in importance, as have Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Among the export brands, Hyundai-Kia stands out with extreme growth.

The traditional brand Opel is on the losing side.

The manufacturer from Rüsselsheim, which has been part of the Stellantis Group since this year, still has a share of 8.8 percent of all registered cars. It has fallen to third place behind Mercedes among the most frequently driven brands in the country.

Source: WORLD infographic

Compared to 2010, the number of Opel cars on the streets has decreased by a fifth, according to the evaluation.

"In our opinion, the continuously falling market shares will mean that Opel will continue to lose visibility on German roads over the next few years," says Dudenhöffer.


Things develop the other way around for the brands of the Volkswagen Group.

The core brand has already expanded its dominance over the past decade: one in five passenger cars in Germany is currently a Volkswagen.

Then there are the vehicles from Skoda, Audi, Seat and Porsche - all with significant increases compared to 2010. Overall, the number of vehicles from the Volkswagen Group in Germany rose by 4.2 million.

The total number of registered cars grew by 6.5 million in the same period.

Source: WORLD infographic

The German premium brands Mercedes-Benz and BMW accounted for a good part of the remaining growth.

Compared to 2010 there are currently 735,000 more Mercedes vehicles on the road, the number of BMWs rose by 513,000.


Among the foreign manufacturers, the Korean Hyundai group made the largest contribution to the growing number of cars.

Together with its sister brand Kia, it has been the most successful foreign passenger car supplier in Germany over the past decade.

The number of Hyundais on German roads is currently 1.3 million.

This corresponds to an increase of 176 percent.

In the same period, Kia achieved an increase of 3,245 percent: in 2010 only 22,000 cars of the brand were registered in Germany, today there are 736,000.

Compared to that, the US electric car manufacturer Tesla is still a small dwarf.

34,000 brand vehicles were on the road in the country at the beginning of the year.

This means that the Elon Musk brand is still extremely low in the approval table.

Tesla is even ranked by two manufacturers that no longer exist: In addition to Sachsenring, there is the Swedish company Saab, whose cars have not been built for ten years.

The lead over Tesla is still 6000 vehicles.

Even from Daihatsu, which has not been available as new cars in the country for years, almost twice as many are still on the road.