Mehmet-E. Aslim VDA - Verband der Automobilindustrie

Strong growth in US, China, India, Japan and Russia

Germany and UK stabilise West European passenger car market

Berlin, 17 July 2012.              While the major international markets outside Europe were all recording double-digit growth in passenger car sales in June, the Western European passenger car market remained slightly below last year’s level. It was stabilised by the keen demand on the German and British markets in particular. The June figures for Western Europe showed a small drop of 2 per cent, which was much better than the result for the first half-year. "The global passenger car market is continuing its path of growth. Both in the US and in Japan around 1 million more cars were sold than in the same period last year. The Chinese market expanded by around 500,000 units. This more than compensated for the fall in Western Europe by a long way,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

US sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) rose by 22 per cent in June to reach 1.28 million units. With growth of nearly 25 per cent, there was a disproportionately large climb in passenger car sales to 645,100 units. Sales of light trucks increased by over 19 per cent to 636,300 units. In the first half-year the total market for light vehicles grew by almost 15 per cent to 7.25 million units. The German manufacturers expanded faster than the market as a whole, pushing up their sales by nearly 21 per cent to 591,700 new vehicles. The German OEMs recorded a marked increase in the passenger car segment in particular – of 23 per cent to 439,900 vehicles – which brought a further improvement in their market position: they increased their share of the passenger car market by 0.5 percentage points to 11.8 per cent. The German group brands expanded their sales of light trucks by 15 per cent in the first half of this year, while the overall light truck market grew by 11 per cent.

The Chinese passenger car market was surprisingly robust in June, expanding by almost 16 per cent to 1.1 million new vehicles sold. In the first half-year, sales of passenger cars climbed by around 9 per cent to exceed 6.4 million units. The Indian passenger car market is also in a buoyant mood. In June a total of 209,000 new cars were sold (+11 per cent). In the first six months sales were just under 1.5 million units, which was around 13 per cent above last year’s level.

In Japan the market continued its recovery in June. At 432,600 units, nearly 47 per cent more new cars were sold than in the same month last year. In first half-year passenger car sales in Japan soared by nearly 57 per cent to just over 2.5 million units.

The automobile business in Russia is maintaining its dynamism. June sales of light vehicles increased by more than 10 per cent to 272,100 units. Over the first half of the year the total market expanded by a good 14 per cent to over 1.4 million new vehicles. The German manufacturers increased their sales by more than 40 per cent. More than one fifth of the new cars sold in Russia in the first half-year bears a German badge.

The Brazilian light vehicle market showed year-on-year growth of nearly 19 per cent in June to 340,600 units. It is being boosted considerably by the newly introduced state incentive programmes. In the first half-year the market came to just over 1.6 million new vehicles, yet this only equalled the previous year’s level.

With almost 1.2 million new cars sold in June, Western Europe was only slightly less than 2 per cent under the level recorded in the same month last year. Once again, the region was stabilised by new passenger car registrations in Germany (+3 per cent) and the United Kingdom (+3 per cent). France experienced a slender fall (-1 per cent). The figures were also down compared with 2011 in Spain (-12 per cent) and Italy (-24 per cent). By contrast, there were strong gains in new registrations in Switzerland (+42 per cent) and the Netherlands (+52 per cent). However, this growth should be seen in the light of anticipation effects. In the first half of 2012 nearly 6.5 million new cars were registered in Western Europe (-7 per cent).

Passenger car sales dropped slightly in the new EU Member States. The market amounted to 71,600 new vehicles sold, i.e. a little below the figure for last year (-1 per cent). Demand fell by 5 per cent in Poland, while the markets showed double-digit growth in Hungary (+18 per cent) and Bulgaria (+17 per cent). In the first six months, new registrations of passenger cars in the new EU countries increased by almost 5 per cent to 404,000 units.


New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales    
 June 2012January - June 2012
 UnitsChange 12/11 in %   UnitsChange 11/10 in % 
Europe (EU27+EFTA)*1.254.100-1,7  6.896.300-6,3
W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)1.182.400-1,7  6.492.400-6,9
New EU Countries (EU11)*71.600-1,1  404.0004,8
Russia**272.10010,2  1.413.80014,3
USA**1.281.40022,2  7.248.90014,9
Japan432.60046,8  2.525.80056,6
Brazil**340.60018,7  1.631.700-0,4
India209.00010,7  1.474.70012,7
China1.107.50015,6  6.418.8008,7
* without Malta      
** Light Vehicles