Press Releases

Western Europe continues on growth track – all Top-5 markets in the plus zone

Berlin, 19 May 2015

China and USA keep going in forward gear

All the three major automobile markets – Western Europe, USA and China – reported gains in April. The new registrations on the West European automobile market rose by almost 7 per cent. In the USA, light vehicle sales grew by around 5 per cent. In China, car sales increased by nearly 6 per cent. Demand for new cars declined once again in Russia (-42 per cent) and Brazil (-24 per cent).

In Western Europe new car registrations increased in April by almost 7 per cent to a good 1.1 million units. All Top-5 markets grew in size. Surprisingly, Italy even displayed two-digit growth (+24 per cent). The new vehicle registration level in the United Kingdom rose by a good 5 per cent. In France, the demand for cars grew by more than 2 per cent. The rate of growth slowed down in Spain due to depletion of the scrappage programme – the figures here showed a plus of a good 3 per cent. New car registrations in Germany grew by over 6 per cent. The smaller automobile markets in Greece, (+43 per cent), Portugal (+22 per cent), Ireland (+21 per cent) and Sweden (+11 per cent) all showed double-digit growth rates. In the first four months of the year the volume of new registrations in Western Europe grew by a good 8 per cent to 4.5 million units.

In the new EU Member States, new car registrations increased in April by almost 8 per cent to 84,500 new vehicles. The markets in Lithuania (+23 per cent), Hungary (+22 per cent), the Czech Republic (+18 per cent), Latvia (+16 per cent), Romania (+11 per cent) and Slovenia (+10 per cent) all displayed double-digit growth rates. In the year to date, nearly 6 per cent more new vehicles (320,400 units) were registered than during the comparative period in the year before.

In the USA the market volume for light vehicles (automobiles and light trucks) grew in April by around 5 per cent to 1.45 million units. The light-truck segment displayed a double-digit growth rate (+11 per cent), while automobile sales declined slightly (-1 per cent). In the first four months, the overall US market grew by a good 5 per cent to just under 5.4 million units.

The Chinese automobile market expanded once again in April. Sales reached almost 1.6 million new cars, a growth of around 6 per cent compared with the same month last year. Car sales have increased by nearly 10 per cent since January – altogether a good 6.5 million vehicles have been sold.

In Japan, car demand dropped by a good 10 per cent in the past month to 263,400 units. A tax increase on mini-vehicles (up to 660 ccm) that has been in force since April produced a negative effect. In the course of the year to date, the market volume with 1.6 million vehicles has remained nearly 15 per cent below that of the previous year.

In India the automobile market showed a plus of 16 per cent in April. Altogether 217,900 new vehicles were sold. From January to April 2015 the Indian automobile market grew by 7 per cent to 924,100 units.

As expected, the downward trend in the Russian light-vehicle market continued in April – with a drop of almost 42 per cent. Since January, light-vehicle sales have declined by almost 38 per cent, leaving the new car market currently at a volume of just 516,100 units.

The light-vehicle market in Brazil continued to shrink. In the past month a good 24 per cent fewer vehicles (211,900 units) than in April 2014 were registered. In the course of the year to date the new registration volume has declined by more than 18 per cent to 861,800 vehicles.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  April 2015 January - April 2015
  Units Change 15/14 in % Units Change 15/14 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)* 1.209.600 6,9 4.848.100 8,1
  European Union (EU-28)* 1.166.500 6,9 4.695.100 8,2
  W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.125.000 6,8 4.527.700 8,3
  New EU Countries (EU13)* 84.500 7,7 320.400 5,5
Russia** 132.500 -41,5 516.100 -37,7
USA** 1.448.400 4,9 5.385.700 5,4
Japan 263.400 -10,1 1.607.400 -14,6
Brazil** 211.900 -24,4 861.800 -18,4
India 217.900 15,8 924.100 7,0
China 1.560.600 5,5 6.539.300 9,9

* without Malta
** Light Vehicles

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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