Every second new car in Austria already has an alternative drive

In 2023, 240,000 new cars were registered in Austria, around 90,000 less than before the corona crisis. Now there is no diesel.

Compared to 2022, the car trade in Austria will increase by 11.2 percent to 239,150 newly registered vehicles in 2023. However, there was limited joy when the figures were presented on Thursday. If we compare the domestic market with the pre-corona year of 2019, it is still down by 27.4 percent or around 90,000 units. The downward trend that has been continuing since 2020 has stopped for the first time, but the industry expects that this has not yet changed the real trend.

The main reason for this is that there will be many more cars on new registrations in 2023 that were already ordered in 2022 but only delivered in the previous year due to long delivery times. With 80,000 cars, a third of new registrations are in this area, says Klaus Edelsprunner, head of local car dealers. This year at least the same result should still be due to increased marketing activities and campaigns by the industry. In addition, despite the current recession, the real income of many Austrians is expected to rise this year, which will also boost private consumption.

Electrification of the domestic car fleet has made significant progress. There was particularly strong growth in electric cars (39.4 percent) and hybrid vehicles (24.9 percent), while the number of new gasoline and diesel vehicles fell again. In total, cars with alternative drives already make up nearly half of all new vehicles. And for the first time, purely electric cars outsold diesel cars. The share of the latter is now less than 20 percent. In 2016, it was more than 57 percent.

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Especially company cars

It is also worth noting that new cars in Austria are mostly bought by legal entities – i.e. companies or authorities. Their share was between 56.7 percent for petrol vehicles and 80.4 percent for diesel vehicles. But 79.4 percent of electric cars were bought as company cars.

A reluctance to buy, especially among private buyers, could lead to significant aging of the domestic vehicle fleet in the medium term, says Gunther Kerle, spokesman for Automobile Importers. Same is the case with CO2– Emissions are noticeable. However, in the previous year, these fell slightly again, now at 104 grams per kilometer for all new vehicles and 130 grams per kilometer if electric vehicles are excluded. Nevertheless, Kerl appealed to politicians to ensure the expansion of charging infrastructure for electric cars is pushed forward.

As is tradition, VW led the pack when it came to brands in 2023 (14.1 percent market share). It is followed by Volkswagen Group's Skoda (9.9 percent) and BMW (7.5 percent). However, comparing the previous year's sales figures to 2019, all German manufacturers in Austria lost market share, except for Audi, while Toyota and Dacia managed to achieve gains.

When it comes to electric cars, Tesla is still number one in Austria (17.7 percent). This is followed by BMW (12.3) and VW (10.8). Overall, at less than 20 percent, Austria's share of electric cars is higher than the EU average of 15.4 percent.

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