The German market, the third market in the world


BOSCHOnly China, with its 1355 million inhabitants, and the United States of America, with their 318 million inhabitants, surpass Germany in terms of household appliance market sizes.

According to the most recent calculations by the statistical body Destatis, Germany currently counts around 80.8 million inhabitants and is preceded only by Russia, which counts 142.5 millions. Even with such neatly larger population, the Russian market is however slightly inferior to the German one from the quantitative point of view.



According to the evaluation by the trade association Zvei, in 2013 they sold in Germany 17.2 million big white goods, with the 1.2% growth versus 2012. This typology includes however also microwave ovens; if we exclude them, the sale total corresponds to 15.5 million pieces, with the 0.6% growth versus the previous year.

In 2013, the sales of the whole white good sector reached in value 8 billion Euros, with the 2% rise in comparison with 2012. The values are indicated in prices applied by the producer or importer, net of the MWSt tax, corresponding to the Italian VAT.

5.2 billion Euros of this total derive from big appliances, 2.4 billions from small ones and 0.4 billions from thermal appliances, which in the German list are not included among the small ones.

The table 1 highlights a fundamental aspect: the big appliance market, nowadays saturated, is stable. From 2012 to 2013 very modest growths were scored only for refrigerators and microwave ovens, while the sales of all other products changed only to an infinitesimal extent from one year to the other.

In a press conference, the President of the Big Appliance Group by the trade association Zvei, Dr. Zinkann, indicated as determinant factors in the purchase “the energy efficiency, the user friendliness and the high comfort offered by the appliances”. Besides, he affirmed that design holds increasingly growing importance among the choice criteria.

Small household appliances scored instead the 4% growth in value versus 2012. In their choice – according to the association Zvei, are essential consumers’ wish for wellness and healthy foods, besides design. Fine colours and good quality materials are requested. Small appliances increasingly become “Lifestyle” products.


Production and foreign trade

Germany is, with Italy, the biggest producer of household appliances in Europe. In 2013 the produced value amounted to about 7 billion Euros; about two thirds of them were exported, while the home market was mostly satisfied by import.

Particular relevance has here the Italian provenience: in 2013 Germany was the most important destination of the Italian export, absorbing 13.9% of it.


Consumer electronics

In 2013, the market of brown goods, according to the estimates by the research centre GfU, dropped to 10.7 billion Euros against 12.6 billion Euros in 2012, with the 15.1% downturn. In 2012 sales were boosted by Olympic Games, whose effect has obviously ceased. Besides, for almost all products, with the exception of camcorders, still scarcely diffused, the German market is almost saturated and the developments come only from novelties.

As everywhere, consumer electronics is affected by the competition of tablets and smartphones, whose sales in Germany exceeded the value of 8 billion Euros in 2013. All that has triggered a negative trend whose relevance is not completely clear, yet.



The presence of the various appliances in German houses mirrors the excellent economic situation of the Country. Not only the essential appliances, but also others like the dryer and the freezer have a strong diffusion. It is however worth noticing that the washing machine is missing in 5.5% of dwellings, thanks to the fact that lots of singles turn to services of home collection and delivery offered by laundries.

For the first time, among the appliances for the body care, appear then the personal trainers, present in almost one fourth of German houses. This product is not surveyed by Zvei statistics, yet, but they estimate that its sales exceed one million of units per year.



In 2014 the official prospects indicate the maintenance of the current trend for white goods, with a growth by about 2% in value. This thanks to consumer’s tendency to prefer better quality appliances. The number of sold appliances should instead remain almost constant. Also the export is envisaged to benefit from the overcoming of the general crisis, with the approximate 4% growth.

More cautious the expectations for brown goods. Next summer, the world football championships will undoubtedly determine a sale increase, but few believe that they can recover the 2012-levels. The competition by tablets still constitutes a hindrance of not negligible entity.





2012 2013 2013/12 % variation
Washing machines 2.9 2.9
Dryers 1.0 1.0
Dishwashers 2.2 2.2
Ovens and cookers 2.1 2.1
Hobs 1.9 1.9
Microwave ovens 1.6 1.7 6.2
Suction hoods 1.4 1.4
Refrigerators 3.1 3.2 3.2
Freezers 0.8 0.8
Total 17.0 17.2 1.2

Source: Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie (ZVEI)



2012 2013 % 2013/2012 variation
TV sets  9.5 7.8 -17.9
Videorecorders, DVD Players   3.1 2.8 – 9.7
Camcorders   0.6 0.7 16.7
Digital Still Cameras   7.0 5.6 – 20.0
Home audio   2.6 2.5 – 3.8
Portable audio/DVD   3.8 2.4 – 36.8
Car multimedia   4.4 3.8 – 13.6
Recording media   4.8 5.1  6.3
Videogames and consoles   2.6 2.3 – 11.5
Total 38.3 33.0 – 13.8

Source: GFU – Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und Konsumelektronik




Refrigerator 99.7
Freezer 50.5
Washing machine 94.5
Dryer 39.1
Dishwasher 67.3
Oven (traditional or built-in) 94.0
Microwave oven 71.1
Personal trainer 24.6
TV set 95.1
Of which: with flat screen 67.1
            Satellite antenna 44.6
            Cable TV 47.1
DVD Player/Recorder 70.8
Camcorder 18.8
MP3 Player 45.3
CD Player or recorder 84.9
Video console 48.5

Source: Destatis (German governmental statistical Body)