Press Releases

Western Europe continues stable growth

Berlin, 15 September 2016

Passenger car markets: China stays dynamic, strong growth in new EU Member States, US eases off

The automotive business showed a varied pattern on the major markets in August. China added 30 percent and the new EU Member States recorded double-digit growth. Western Europe also enjoyed a rise of 8 percent. By contrast, the US market contracted by 3 per cent last month. In Brazil and Russia the sales of new cars decreased, as expected.

In Western Europe, 765,800 new passenger cars were registered in August. All of the five largest markets showed strong expansion. Double-digit growth was recorded in Italy (+20 percent) and Spain (+15 percent). New registrations rose by 8 percent in Germany and 7 percent in France. New passenger car registrations in the UK increased by 3 percent.

Demand was keen on the smaller European markets, too. Double-digit growth occurred in Iceland (+40 percent), Luxembourg (+27 percent), Belgium (+24 percent), Ireland (+14 percent) and Portugal (+13 percent). Positive trends in new registrations were also seen in Finland (+9 percent), Denmark (+8 percent), Norway (+5 percent), Austria (+4 percent) and Sweden (+2 percent). In contrast, passenger car sales failed to reach last year’s level in Switzerland (-6 percent), Greece (-7 percent) and the Netherlands (-12 percent). This year so far, the passenger car market in Western Europe has added 7 percent, rising to 9.3 million new vehicles.

In the new EU Member States, new passenger car registrations rose by more than 23 percent in August to 89,700 new vehicles. The most dynamic growth was seen in Romania (+69 percent), Hungary (+44 percent) and Croatia (+39 percent). Since January, in all 762,000 passenger cars have been newly registered in the new EU countries (+16 percent).

The US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks), recorded a volume of 1.5 million units in August, with a year-on-year fall of 3 percent. However, August 2016 had one trading weekend less than the same month last year. After eight months the market reached an accumulated volume of 11.6 million light vehicles – slightly up on the figure from the same period last year. While light truck sales increased by 8 percent to 6.9 million units, passenger car sales lost 9 percent, falling to 4.7 million units.

China’s passenger car market was strongly dynamic in August. Almost 1.8 million new cars were sold – 30 percent more than in the same month last year. From January to August, sales of new cars totaled over 13.9 million units, which was nearly 16 percent above last year’s level.

Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), stressed: “The Chinese passenger car market is developing better than expected. We are therefore increasing our growth forecast for 2016 from 8 to 10 percent. That means a total market volume of 22.1 million passenger cars. The current high growth rates result in particular from the reduced rate of VAT on cars with small engines, and the relatively weak months last year. The US market for light vehicles is rather less dynamic. During 2016 we expect it to show a slender 2 percent fall to 17.1 million light vehicles. This year the Western European passenger car market will expand by 5 percent to 13.8 million new cars. Overall, the global passenger car market will therefore continue its growth in 2016; it will add 3 percent, rising to 80.4 million cars.”

In Japan, new passenger car registrations rose by 3 percent last month to 279,400 units. So far this year the market volume has lost 4 percent, down to 2.8 million new cars.

The Indian market for new cars showed another strong increase in August. At 258,700 units, passenger car sales in India rose by almost 17 percent as compared with last year. Year-to-date vehicle sales have also increased – by a good 7 percent to 1.9 million units.

In Russia there is still no sign of recovery on the light vehicle market. At 113,700 vehicles, last month’s sales volume was 18 percent down on the 2015 level. Year-to-date sales of new light vehicles in Russia have now fallen 15 percent to 895,400 units.

The Brazilian light vehicle market continued its downward trend in August. A slump of 11 percent took the number of new registrations down to a total of 178,300 units. From January to August 2016 the volume of new registrations lost 23 percent, falling to 1.3 million vehicles – with demand severely affected by the economic and political crisis.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  August 2016 Januar - August 2016
  Units Change 16/15 in % Units Change 16/15 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)* 855.500 9,5 10.110.700 7,8
  European Union (EU-28)* 819.100 10,0 9.787.800 8,1
  W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)) 765.800 8,0 9.348.700 7,2
  New EU Countries (EU13)* 89.700 23,5 762.000 15,8
Russia** 113.700 -18,0 895.400 -14,9
USA** 1.505.900 -3,4 11.615.100 0,5
Japan 279.400 2,9 2.760.200 -4,1
Brazil** 178.300 -10,9 1.305.600 -22,8
India 258.700 16,7 1.938.700 7,5
China 1.750.700 29,7 13.928.400 15,8
* 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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