New-car sales improved slightly for the first time in four years, up 0.9 percent to 3.27 million registrations.
These were the results of a 2004 survey by Deutsche Automobil Treuhand (German automotive trust).
The survey says that the number of car ownership transfers is at its lowest level in eight years. Car ownership transfers have fallen for the past five years,
Total new- and used-car transactions fell below 10 million for the first time since 1990, well below the 12.1 million record year of 1991.
Only 39.9 percent of the total transactions were used cars, the lowest in 25 years.
How used cars were sold also changed last year. While new-car dealers' share of the business was unchanged at 34 percent, private sales of used cars fell to 50 percent from 54 percent. Used car dealers' proportion of the industry rose to 16 percent from 12 percent in 2003.