International passenger car markets: strong growth in the new EU Member States – calendar effects in Western Europe and US
The world’s passenger car markets once again demonstrated varying trends in October. While the Chinese market enjoyed a double-digit growth, calendar effects prevented Western Europe and the US from reaching last year’s levels.
The 1 percent fall in Western Europe to just over 1.0 million vehicles was partly due to October having one working day less than it had last year in most European countries. Among the five largest markets, Italy again recorded the keenest growth – of 10 percent. Expansion was also seen in Spain (+4 percent) and the United Kingdom (+1 percent). By contrast, passenger car registrations declined in France (-4 percent) and Germany (-6 percent).
On the smaller Western European passenger car markets, too, October saw differing growth rates in Iceland (+12 percent), Portugal (+9 percent), Belgium (+6 percent) and Austria (+4 percent). Denmark, Greece and Sweden all recorded a 1 percent increase. Finland’s new registrations matched last year’s level. Marked falls occurred in Norway (-10 percent) and Ireland (-12 percent). New registrations in the Netherlands were 22 percent below the high figure from last year, which had been caused by early purchases in anticipation of the sizeable reduction in the tax benefit on plug-in hybrid vehicles at the end of 2015.
All these effects took the volume for the Western European car market to over 11.8 million new vehicles in the first ten months of 2016 (+6 percent).
In the new EU Member States, new passenger car registrations rose by 8 percent in October to 93,600 new vehicles. The largest growth occurred in Croatia (+18 percent), Slovakia (+12 percent) and the Czech Republic (+11 percent). Since the beginning of the year 948,700 passenger cars have been newly registered in the new EU countries (+15 percent).
October sales on the US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) fell by 6 percent to just under 1.4 million units. It should be remembered that October had two trading days less this year than in 2015. So far this year the market has totaled 14.4 million vehicles sold, which equals last year’s level.
The Chinese passenger car market grew by 22 percent in October to around 2.3 million units. One reason for this strong growth is that according to current information the reduced rate of VAT effective since October 2015 on vehicles with small engines is to be raised again at the end of the year. At present it is unclear whether this tax break will be extended. Since January, the Chinese passenger car market has accumulated a volume of almost 18.5 million vehicles – a rise of 18 percent.
The Japanese passenger car market reached 314,700 new registrations in October, equal to its 2015 figure. Year-to-date sales have lost 3 percent, falling to nearly 3.5 million new vehicles.
Last month the Indian passenger car market remained on a stable course. October sales of new vehicles increased to 280,700 units (+4 percent). Since January the sales volume has grown by 8 percent to around 2.5 million cars.
The Russian light vehicle market contracted again in October. It lost 3 percent, down to 126,700 units, but this was a much smaller decrease than in recent months. This year so far Russia’s new vehicle sales have amounted to 1.1 million units, which is a long way below last year’s result (-13 percent).
In Brazil the light vehicle market again failed to show any dynamism in October. At 155,000 units, 16 percent fewer new vehicles were registered than in the same month last year. Since January the volume of new registrations has fallen by 22 percent to 1.6 million vehicles.
|October 2016||January - October 2016|
|Units||Change 16/15 in %||Units||Change 16/15 in %|
|European Union (EU-28)*||1104500||0,0||12348500||7,2|
|W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)||1047100||-1,0||11800000||6,3|
|New EU Countries (EU13)*||93600||8,1||948700||15,4|
* without Malta
** Light Vehicles