Press release: 12.416-007/21

New passenger car registrations decreased by one fourth in 2020; two-wheelers and passenger cars with alternative drive systems showed significant increases

Vienna, 2021-01-18 – According to Statistics Austria, a total of 353 179 new motor vehicles were registered in 2020, 19.0% fewer than in 2019. New registrations of passenger cars decreased by 24.5% to 248 740. The number of newly registered lorries fell by 16.7% to 40 042. Tractors used for agriculture and forestry increased again in 2020 (+6.9%, 6 446 vehicles). New registrations of two-wheelers also increased significantly (+13.4% to 46 099).

Significantly fewer petrol and diesel cars, increases in electric and hybrid cars

In 2020, registrations of new passenger cars fell to 248 740, the lowest level since 1987 (243 221) and also well below the twenty-year-average (313 297). Compared to 2019 (329 363 newly registered passenger cars), this was the highest year-on-year decline ever observed.

New registrations of petrol-powered passenger cars (share: 43.3%) fell by 39.0% and those of diesel passenger cars (share: 36.5%) by 28.0%. The share of alternatively powered passenger cars – electric, natural gas, bivalent drive, combined drive (petrol or diesel hybrid) and hydrogen (fuel cell) – reached 20.1% in 2020 with 50 060 vehicles (+90.0%) (2019: 8.0%; 26 346 and 2018: 4.9%; 16 807).

With a share of 10.2% of all new passenger car registrations or 25 380 vehicles (+105.5% compared to 2019), petrol/electric hybrid vehicles are the most important group among alternatively powered passenger cars; they are followed by passenger cars with electric drives (share: 6.4%; +72.8% to 15 972) and diesel/electric hybrid drives (share: 3.3%; +99.4% to 8 287).

Primarily legal entities, companies and local authorities are registering new electric cars (share of all new electric car registrations: 81.6% or 13 040 vehicles).

The highest number of new electric passenger cars was registered in Vienna and Lower Austria (shares of 18.5% and 18.4%, respectively), followed by Upper Austria (17.6%) and Styria (13.0%).

Average passenger car CO2-emissions (WLTP) reached 136 g/km

According to the WLTP test procedure ("Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure"), the average CO2-emissions of newly registered passenger cars in 2020 amounted to 136 g/km (including electric and hydrogen vehicles; petrol-powered: 143 g/km; diesel-powered 156 g/km). Within the most important CO2-class 131-140 g/km (share: 20.0%) 49 872 passenger cars were newly registered, followed by the CO2-classes 121-130 g/km (44 196 passenger cars; share: 17.8%), over 170 g/km (40 365 passenger cars; share: 16.2%) and 141-150 g/km (32 887 passenger cars; share: 13.2%).

Passenger car segments: off-road-vehicles/SUVs ahead of compact class and small cars

The preferred segment for new passenger car registrations in 2020 is the off-road vehicle or SUV (sport utility vehicle) with a share of 31.5% and 78 403 vehicles, followed by compact cars with a share of 25.5% (63 333 vehicles) and small cars with a share of 19.5% (48 480 vehicles). Increases compared to 2019 were observed for sports cars (+57.3%, 3 345 vehicles).

VW remains market leader ahead of Skoda, Seat and BMW

The Top 10 brands in 2020 represent 67.5% of all new passenger car registrations. VW remained the market leader with a share of 15.4%, followed by Skoda (share: 9.5%) and Seat and BMW (share 6.4% each). Compared to the previous year, all Top 10 brands had double-digit declines (Opel -43.7%, Ford -27.6%, VW -27.3%, Renault -24.0%, Hyundai -22.6%, Seat -19.7%, BMW -17.4%, Mercedes -14.8%, Skoda -13.5%, Audi -12.8%).

One third fewer one-day registrations

With 11 794 passenger car one-day registrations a decline of 33.4% was recorded in 2020 (2019: -24.2%; 2018: -3.7%; 2017: +17.3%; 2016: -14.3%; 2015: -8.7%). They accounted for 4.7% of total new passenger car registrations (2019: 5.4%; 2018: 6.8%).

New passenger car registrations with a registration period of up to seven days fell by 39.0% in 2020. Short-term registrations with a registration period of up to 30 days (-41.4%), up to 60 days (-42.6%), up to 90 days (-39.2%) and up to 120 days (-36.1%) also declined.

Strong growth in campers

Campers recorded the highest growth in new registrations in 2020 among all vehicle types, albeit starting from a small share (0.8% of all new vehicle registrations). New registrations of campers increased by 74.2% to 2 969 (2019: 1 704, 0.4% share). An analysis of monthly trends shows that, especially from May 2020, new registrations increased significantly (May +9.0%, June +72.9%, July +119.3%, August +83.6%, September +639.6%, October +563.4%, November +518.8%, December +285.7%). New registrations of camping trailers also increased, by 1.8% to 998.

Declines in new lorry registrations; more tractors used for agriculture and forestry

The number of new registrations of lorries declined in 2020 to 40 042 vehicles (-16.7%). Light commercial vehicles (lorries up to 3.5 t gross vehicle weight, gvw; class N1) – the most important type of lorry with a share of 91.3% – decreased by 15.8%. Lorries over 3.5 t up to 12 t gvw (class N2) decreased by 31.3%, heavy lorries (class N3; over 12 t gvw) by 23.3%. An increase of 6.9% (6 446 vehicles) was recorded for tractors used for agriculture and forestry. The number of new registrations of articulated lorries fell by 37.1% to 2 179 vehicles.

Significant increase in new registrations of two-wheelers

As in 2019 (+6.6%), the number of new registrations of two-wheelers also increased in 2020 by 13.4% to 46 099; as a result, two-wheelers – as was the case in 2016 – once again ranked second behind new passenger car registrations in terms of all new motor vehicle registrations. The previous peak in new registrations of two-wheelers was reached in 2008 with 53 255 vehicles. The number of new registrations of motorcycles – the most important type of two-wheeled vehicle – increased by 16.3% to 32 204, and scooters by 7.2% to 13 895.

In 2020, the share of electrically powered two-wheelers was 5.7% (2 632; 2019: 6.0%). Of the total new motorcycle registrations, 769 motorcycles (+39.8%), and 1 863 scooters (-2.1%) had an electric drive.

Registrations of used vehicles decreased slightly, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers increased

In 2020, 1 049 345 used motor vehicles were registered, 1.7% less than in 2019. Used passenger car registrations (841 196 vehicles) were 3.5% lower than in 2019. Registrations of used petrol passenger cars (including flex-fuel, share: 38.0%, 319 623 vehicles) and diesel passenger cars (share: 59.5%, 500 579) recorded decreases of 3.8% and 4.9%, respectively. In contrast, registrations of used electric cars (share: 0.7%) increased by 44.5% to 5 936 vehicles. Regarding the used commercial vehicle market, increases were observed for lorries (+5.4%) and tractors used for agriculture and forestry (+7.3%). Articulated lorries recorded declines of 5.5%. In addition, 8.7% more used campers were registered than in 2019. Similar to the new registrations, used two-wheelers also had increases (+7.3%), motorcycles by 8.2% and scooters by 5.5%.

Provisional stock 2020: more than 7 million motor vehicles

As of December 31 2020, the provisional stock of motor vehicles in Austria exceeded the 7-million mark (approx. 7.1 million) for the first time. That is 1.5% more motor vehicles than in the previous year. Passenger cars, the most important vehicle type in terms of share (71.7%), accounted for approx. 5.1 million vehicles, an increase of 1.0%. A total of 512 101 lorries (+3.5%), 472 467 tractors used for agriculture and forestry (+0.9%) and 19 388 articulated lorries (+0.3%) were in the stock. Campers reached 32 675, an increase of 8.4%. Among single-track vehicles, there were 570 747 motorcycles (+3.8%) and 274 433 scooters (+0.7%).

For more detailed results and further information concerning registration statistics of new vehicles, used vehicles and the stock of vehicles, please refer to our website.

Information on methods, definitions: Motor vehicle statistics (registrations of new and used vehicles as well as the stock of vehicles) are secondary statistics, compiled on the basis of daily data files sent to Statistics Austria by Austria’s association of insurance companies (VVO). VVO, in turn, receives data by the insurances’ registrations offices, responsible for registrations, de-registrations and rectifications of motor vehicles and trailers. Within motor vehicle statistics, all motor vehicles, once nationally or internationally registered, are levied, irrespective of the registration’s duration. 
All new registrations, i.e. all brand-new registrations, are collected as part of the new vehicle registration statistics, regardless of the duration of the registration (including so-called "short-term registrations", e.g. one-day registrations). 
A short-term registration is a new car registration that is deregistered within a certain period of time. For example, a new passenger car registration with a registration period of up to seven days means that the passenger car is deregistered after the initial registration on the day of registration or within the following seven days. This applies accordingly to short-term registrations with a registration period of up to 30, 60, 90 or 120 days. One-day registered passenger cars are registered and deregistered within 24 hours. 
In this context, the reporting month indicates the month in which the deregistration was carried out. Only the date of first registration and the date of deregistration (= execution of deregistration in the authorized registration offices of the insurance companies) of a vehicle are decisive for the classification as "short-term registration". 
In the case of the used motor vehicle registration statistics, all used vehicle registrations, i.e. registrations of vehicles that have already been registered once nationally or abroad, are surveyed, regardless of the duration of the registration. 
Based on the motor vehicle stock of the previous year, all registered vehicles of the year - old and new - are added and the deregistrations are deducted, resulting in the annual vehicle stock. 
The determination of CO2-emissions is based on globally harmonized measurements within the framework of the WLTP test procedure ("Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure"), which will apply from September 1st, 2018 - with a transitional period of up to 18 months; this measurement procedure replaces the "New European Driving Cycle" (NEDC).

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Gerda FISCHER, Tel. +43 1 71128-7566 resp.
Stefan PREMM, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7598 resp. and 
Thomas JANKA, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7575 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777