Socio-Economic Data on grid level (SUF 4). Car segments

Resource Type
  • RWI
  • microm Micromarketing-Systeme und Consult GmbH
Collective Title
Publication Date
Publication Place
  • RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Editor)
  • microm Micromarketing-Systeme und Consult GmbH (Data Collector)
Free Keywords
car segments; mini cars; compact cars; mid-range; estate cars; van; utility vehicle; cabriolets; all-terain vehicle; ATV; raster data
  • Abstract

    Due to an increasing variety in the product lines of car manufacturers, brand manufactureres supply cars in almost every segment. The brand of one's car does not allow for conclusions about the socio-economic status. For the car segments, cars have been aggregated to classes that allow for this kind of conclusion. In addition to the car capability, car segments provide information on the intended use of the car. The dataset comprises of 12 car segemtns: mini cars, compact cars, lower mid-range cars, mid-range cars, upper mid-range cars, top-of-the-range cars, ATVs, cabriolets, estate cars, vans, utility vehicles, other vehicles (microm 2014, S. 64).

    Mini cars: Mini cars used to be included in the segment of small cars, but not constitute an own segment due to an increased market share. These vehicles are characterised by an exceptionally small size. Sometimes they only provide two seats (exampels: Renault Twingo, Ford Ka, VW Up, Peugeot 107 und smart fortwo) (microm 2014, p. 65).

    Compact cars: The definition of a compact car is controversial and has changed over time. The genearl idea is that of a cheap way to be mobile on four wheels with a roof, often with compromises regarding space and comfort (examples: VW Polo, Opel Corsa, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Punto, Peugeot 207 und Renault Clio) (microm 2014, p. 65).

    Lower mid-range cars: Lower mid-range cars comprise the largest segments with a market share of roughly 25 percent. This segment is dominated by VW Golf and its competitors Opel Astra and Ford Focus. In addition, the Mercedes A-class and the Audi A3 hold a sizeable market share in that segment (microm 2014, p. 66).

    Mid-range cars: The segment of mid-range cars is shaped by the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C-class, the VW Passat, the Audi A4, the Opel Vectra and the Ford Mondeo. Those account for more than 60 percent of this segment (microm 2014, p. 66).

    Upper mid-range cars: The segment of upper mid-range cars predominantly consists of Mercedes' E-class, the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6. In addition, the Opel Insignia and the Volvo V70 hold important market shares.

    Top-of-the-range cars: A rather small and exquisite segment, that is represented by brands such as Rolls-Royce and Jaguar. Further cars in that segment are the Mercedes S-class, the BMW 7 Series, teh Porsche 911, and the Audi A8 (mictrom 2014, p. 66).

    ATVs: ATVs are vehicles that are capable of passing difficult terrain off-street due to a higehr chassise clearance, a broader tyre tread, and four-wheel drive. Representatives of this segment are: Land Rover, Toyota RAV 4, Opel Frontera, Mitsubishi Pajero, VW Touareg, the Merced M-class, and BMW's X3 and X5 (microm 2014, p.66).

    Cabriolets: A cabriolets means a vehicle of an open design. Usually they are sportive cars, ranging from 2 to 5 seats, convertible hood, and submersible window panes. Many cars from other segments comprise this segment in their "open design version". Examples are: Audi TT, Mercedes SLK, VW Golf Cabrio, Peugeot 207, and MAzda MX-5 (microm 2014, p. 67).

    Estate cars: Estate cars are usually saloon cars with a longer back shell or with a hatchback which allows for larger storage space in the car boot. They are especially suit families with children. Example VW Passat (microm 2014, p. 67).

    Vans: Originally the term van refers to vehicles that were used small utility van in the US. With increasing poularity of the Chrysler Voyager and subsequently the Renaut Espace, this segment has become more important in Germany as another fit for families. Furher examples are: VW Sharan, Opel Zafira, Ford Galaxy, Citroën Evasion, Peugeot 807, and Fiat Ulyssee (microm 2014, p. 67).

    Utility vehicles: Utility vehicles are light commercial vehciles below 2.8 tons. They are treated and taxed like motorcars (PKW). Reprsentatives are: Mercedes Vito and Sprinter, Citroën Berlingo, Ford Transit, and VW Transporter.

    Other vehicles: This group consists of other vehicles that currently only hold a very low market share. Often they include classic cars, but also converted military vehicles, amphibious vehicles and former Eastern European brands such as Moskwitsch and Wolga.

Temporal Coverage
  • 2005
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2015
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
Sampled Universe

Mircom uses more than a billion individual datapoints for the aggregation of the microm dataset. These are mainly information on approximately 40.7 million households in Germany.


The data are not computed for each of the householdes but for all of the approximately 19.7 million German houses (microm 2014, p. 1). For data privacy reasons, houses within a residential environment are summed up to a "virtual" micro-geographic segment (so-called micro-cell), which on average comprises eight, but at least five households. The underlying data is aggregated from the level of the houses to the level of the micro-cells, which are the basis for all further calculations and aggregations. If such data exist, the calculated data is made consistent with official data sources (microm 2014, p. 2). In addition, microm geocodes all micro-cells, i.e. matches it to geographic coordinates. Hence, the data can be aggregated from the household level to the 1km² raster level.

Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Other
Besides information on the car segments, the dataset contains the geographical key of the raster point. These variables are data provided for scientific use by the FDZ Ruhr at RWI. Data on such a small regional scale (1km²) is not collected directly for all parts of Germany, which makes this dataset a valuable addition for small-scale regional analyses. A basic description on the data collection of the individual variables is found in the microm handbook (microm 2014). Details on the data generation are not publicly available, however the procedure of collecting particular data is known (cf. procedure of data collection). Screenings of the FDZ Ruhr do not indicate issues with data quality.
microm Micromarketing- System und Consult GmbH
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Update Metadata: 2020-02-20 | Issue Number: 54 | Registration Date: 2016-10-20