China shows double-digit growth – Russia and Brazil have difficult times – US market expanding
In August the three large passenger car markets all grew, although at varying speeds. While China increased by 10 per cent and the US market grew by 5 per cent, Western Europe recorded only a slight increase of 1 per cent. However, in Europe the month of August had one less working day than it did last year.
The Western European passenger car market rose by a good 1 per cent last month to 640,300 units. This means that Western Europe has been expanding for twelve months. However, the top five markets showed considerable variation. The Spanish passenger car market enjoyed double-digit growth for the seventh time in succession – new registrations were up by nearly 14 per cent. The United Kingdom recorded a rise of a little over 9 per cent. In Germany and Italy, on the other hand, demand just about remained at last year’s level, while France recorded 3 per cent shrinkage.
By contrast, positive trends were seen on the smaller passenger car markets in Western Europe. Demand for cars showed double-figure expansion in Ireland (+32 per cent), Portugal (+26 per cent), Iceland (+16 per cent), Luxembourg (+15 per cent), Sweden (+12 per cent) and Greece (+10 per cent). In the first eight months of 2014 the total Western European passenger car market amounted to 8 million new vehicles, with a good 5 per cent year-on-year growth.
In the new EU Member States, new passenger car registrations climbed by just over 9 per cent in August, to reach 60,800 new cars. Double-digit growth was seen on the markets in Slovakia (+24 per cent), Latvia (+22 per cent), the Czech Republic (+20 per cent), Lithuania (+16 per cent) and Hungary (+14 per cent). The Polish market expanded by almost 5 per cent. This year so far, demand in the new EU countries has risen by a good 16 per cent to 598,400 units.
The US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) expanded by a little more than 5 per cent to nearly 1.6 million units in August. Demand for light trucks continued to dominate the market, with sales climbing by almost 9 per cent to 831,000 new vehicles. Total year-to-date sales of light trucks have risen by over 9 per cent to 5.8 million units. However, in August demand for passenger cars increased by only 2 per cent, to 748,000 units. In the first eight months of this year car sales rose slightly to 5.3 million new cars (+1 per cent). Overall, the volume of the US light vehicle market expanded by 5 per cent during the first eight months, to a good 11.1 million units.
In China, August sales of new cars came to nearly 1.4 million, resulting in a year-on-year rise of almost 10 per cent. In the first eight months of the current year, sales of new vehicles reached a volume of around 11.5 million units – a riseof a little over 13 per cent.
The VAT hike in Japan in April has had an ongoing negative impact on new passenger car registrations. In August the car market contracted by just over 9 per cent, to 281,300 units. However, the market’s year-to-date total includes pre-buy effects and now exceeds 3.2 million units, which is more than 7 per cent above last year’s figure.
The Indian passenger car market demonstrated double-digit growth last month. A total of 213,900 new vehicles were sold – a riseof nearly 13 per cent compared with the same month last year. This year’s new car sales currently amount to 1.7 million units, almost equalling last year’s level.
In Russia, the August light vehicle sales slumped by over one quarter. At 172,000 units, sales of new vehicles were nearly 26 per cent below the figure from last year. From January to August sales of new light vehicles fell by 12 per cent to around 1.6 million units.
The Brazilian light vehicle market remains in a difficult mood. In August it lost 17 per cent of new registrations, falling to 259,500 units. Since January 2014 the volume has contracted by over 9 per cent to 2.1 million vehicles.
|August 2014||January - August 2014|
|Units||Change 14/13 in %||Units||Change 14/13 in %|
|European Union (EU-28)*||669.400||2,1||8.336.200||6,0|
|W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)||640.300||1,2||8.038.200||5,1|
|New EU Countries (EU13)*||60.800||9,2||598.400||16,2|