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Western Europe, USA and China all expand

Berlin, 17 October 2014

India shows slight recovery – Russia has double-digit contraction

In September growth continued on the three large automotive markets – Western Europe, the USA and China. New registrations in Western Europe climbed by almost 6 per cent. The US market grew by more than 9 per cent. Passenger car sales in China rose by a good 8 per cent. And in India the demand for cars increased by over 3 per cent. However, demand was down again in Brazil (-4 per cent) and Russia (-20 per cent).

Over the first three quarters of this year, passenger car sales in Western Europe totalled more than 9.2 million new vehicles – a year-on-year rise of a good 5 per cent. In September 1.2 million units were sold on the Western European car market (+6 per cent). September 2014 had one more working day than the same month last year. The five largest markets have all expanded. In Germany, new registrations were up by over 5 per cent. Demand for passenger cars in France and the United Kingdom increased by 6 per cent. In the UK September traditionally produces strong results owing to the new registration plates and the UK therefore accounted for more than one third of new passenger car registrations in Western Europe. The Italian market increased by a good 3 per cent in September. In Spain, new registrations of passenger cars rose by more than 26 per cent, making September the eighth month in a row with double-digit growth. The smaller Western European passenger car markets continued their recovery. The increase in demand reached double figures in Greece (+33 per cent), Portugal (+31 per cent) and Ireland (+24 per cent).

September registrations of new passenger cars in the new EU Member States expanded by just over 13 per cent to 68,400. Double-digit growth was seen on the markets in Lithuania (+29 per cent), Cyprus (+29 per cent), Romania (+24 per cent), the Czech Republic (+19 per cent), Estonia (+18 per cent), Hungary (+17 per cent) and Slovenia (+11 per cent). This year so far, demand in the new EU countries has climbed by nearly 16 per cent to 666,700 units.

The US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) recorded an increase of a good 9 per cent in September (1.2 million new vehicles). Since the beginning of this year, a total of almost 12.4 million passenger cars and light trucks have been sold in the USA. This represents growth of over 5 per cent as compared with the previous year. However, it is mostly the light truck segment that is so dynamic. September sales of light trucks rose by nearly 17 per cent, reaching 676,400 new vehicles. Since January, demand for light trucks has grown by around 10 per cent to close to 6.5 million units. Passenger car sales rose by only about 2 per cent (562,600 units) in September. In the first three quarters of 2014 their total rose by nearly one per cent, bringing the absolute figure to around 5.9 million new vehicles.

The Chinese passenger car market again expanded in September. At around 1.6 million units, last month’s sales of new cars exceeded the already very high 2013 result by a good 8 per cent. In the first nine months of this year the passenger car market in China recorded a volume of nearly 13.1 million vehicles – a rise of almost 13 per cent compared with the same period in 2013.

In Japan, the April hike in value-added tax continues to impact negatively on the passenger car market. In September new registrations amounted to 431,800 units, which was a drop of a little over 3 per cent. The year-to-date figure for the market is however still up by almost 6 per cent (at 3.7 million units) due to pre-buy effects in the first quarter.

In India sales of passenger cars rose by more than 3 per cent last month, with a volume in the region of 223,600 units. After the first three quarters, the Indian car market is now exactly where it was this time last year – from January to September 2014 a good 1.9 million new vehicles were sold.

The Russian market for light vehicles recorded significant shrinkage in September: at 197,200 units, sales of new cars remained one fifth down on the previous year’s result. This year so far, light vehicle sales have slumped by 13 per cent in Russia – in the first nine months around 1.8 million vehicles were sold. The contraction of the Brazilian light vehicle market last month was nearly 4 per cent, i.e. much smaller than in the preceding months. In September 282,900 new cars were registered. Since January of this year, the total volume of new registrations has also failed to match last year’s level, falling by almost 9 per cent to 2.4 million vehicles.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  September 2014 January - September 2014
  Units Change 14/13 in % Units Change 14/13 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)* 1.269.500 6,1 9.906.700 5,8
European Union (EU-28)* 1.235.500 6,4 9.572.300 6,1
W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.201.100 5,7 9.240.000 5,2
New EU Countries (EU13)* 68.400 13,1 666.700 15,9
Russia** 197.200 -20,1 1.779.900 -13,0
USA** 1.239.000 9,3 12.371.200 5,4
Japan 431.800 -3,2 3.671.100 5,8
Brazil** 282.900 -3,9 2.407.400 -8,9
India 223.600 3,3 1.927.900 0,0
China 1.591.700 8,1 13.086.200 12,8
*without Malta
**Light Vehicles
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