Press Releases

Automobile markets in Western Europe, USA and China grow in first half

Berlin, 15 July 2016

New EU countries show strong growth – Russia and Brazil remain weak

The three major automobile markets boosted the international automobile industry in the first half of the year. Western Europe posted a clear growth of 9 percent, the USA grew by more than 1 percent, and China achieved a growth rate of 12 per cent. Russia (-14 percent) and Brazil (-25 percent) remained the problem markets.

In Western Europe new car registrations increased by 6 percent to 1.4 million vehicles in June. Of the top five markets, the Italian market again grew most strongly with an increase of 12 percent. The Spanish automobile market (+11 percent) and the German market (+8 percent) were also buoyant. In France sales increased by one per cent. The British market dipped by one per cent in June. The distinctly positive general trend continued in the smaller West European automobile markets as well, with double-digit increases in sales in Finland (+20 percent), Sweden (+13 percent), Ireland (+12 percent), Belgium (+12 percent) Iceland (+11 percent) Austria (+11 percent), Portugal (+11 percent) and Denmark (+11 percent). New registrations in the Netherlands rose by 7 percent. Sales declined only in Greece (-2 percent), Norway (-4 percent) and Switzerland (-6 percent). In the first half of the year, the volume of new registrations in Western Europe grew by 9 percent to 7.5 million vehicles.

In the new EU Member States, car sales rose by 18 per cent to 109,900 units in June. In the first half of the year altogether 580,000 new cars were registered (+17 percent). Market developments were particularly dynamic in Cyprus (+40 percent), Latvia (+29 percent), Lithuania (+25 percent) and Hungary (+24 percent).

Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented, “Performance so far shows that 2016 will be another growth year. The German corporate brands are benefiting especially from the dynamic automobile market in Western Europe and the new EU Member States, where their market share is around 50 percent in each case.”

In the USA, light vehicle (automobiles and light trucks) sales grew by more than 2 percent in the past months to 1.5 million units. While sales in the light truck segment increased by 11 percent, automobile sales dipped by 9 percent. The overall volume of the light vehicle market expanded in the first half by one percent to around 8.6 million new vehicles.

In China, the reduced value added tax (VAT) for cars with a cubic capacity of up to 1.6 litres and not least the brisk pace in the SUV segment fuelled the automobile market. 1.7 million new cars were sold in June, a good 21 percent more than in the same month last year. However, this had displayed a slight decline at the time. In the first half of 2016 everything ran smoothly in the People’s Republic too – new vehicle sales reached a good 10.6 million units (+12 percent).

In Japan, new car registrations shrank by about 6 percent in June to 344,300 units. In the first six months of the year, the market volume at 2.1 million units was more than 5 percent below the level for the same period last year.

India’s automobile market grew by almost 3 percent (223,500 units) in the past months. Owing to the start of the summer monsoon season, June is generally one of the weaker selling months in India. New car sales increased here too – climbing by a good 4 percent to 1.4 million units since the beginning of 2016.

No trend reversal was observed in Russia either in June. Sales of new vehicles totalled 122,600, down by 13 percent. During the first six month of the year Russian light vehicle sales shrank to 672,100 units (-14 percent), the worst half-year result on the Russian market since the year 2003.

The Brazilian light vehicle market also continued downhill in the past month. The volume of new registrations contracted by almost 19 percent to 166,600 units. Given the weak Brazilian economy, many new car buyers are currently deferring the purchase of an automobile – in the year to date 952,300 new vehicles were registered (-25 percent).

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  June 2016 January - June 2016
  Units Change 16/15 in % Units Change 16/15 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)* 1.507.300 6,5 8.090.900 9,1
  European Union (EU-28)* 1.459.500 6,9 7.843.000 9,4
  W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.397.400 5,8 7.510.800 8,5
  New EU Countries (EU13)* 109.900 17,5 580.000 17,2
Russia** 122.600 -12,5 672.100 -14,1
USA** 1.506.000 2,4 8.598.300 1,3
Japan 344.300 -5,6 2.132.700 -5,3
Brazil** 166.600 -18,7 952.300 -25,1
India 223.500 2,7 1.420.300 4,5
China 1.727.800 21,3 10.618.600 12,0

* 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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