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China adds one fifth, US and Western Europe also expand

Berlin, 15 December 2016

International passenger car markets: strong growth in new EU countries – Russia starts to pick up

The international automotive business turned in strong results for November: China added 20 percent, while Western Europe grew by 5 percent. In the US, sales of light vehicles increased by nearly 4 percent. And Russia recorded its first growth for nearly two years.

New passenger car registrations in Western Europe rose to nearly 1.1 million in November (+5 percent). This was the best November figure since 2009. Among the top five markets Spain had the strongest growth, of 13 percent. Good results were also reported by France (+9 percent) and Italy (+8 percent). New registrations in the UK rose by 3 percent, while Germany recorded growth of around 2 percent.

The smaller Western European markets also enjoyed strong dynamism last month. Double-digit growth occurred in Portugal (+24 percent), Iceland (+20 percent) and Luxembourg (+12 percent). Positive developments were also seen on the passenger car markets in Belgium and Austria (+9 percent each), Denmark and Norway (+5 percent each) and Sweden (+1 percent). New registrations in Finland and Switzerland equaled last year’s levels. The markets contracted in Ireland (-21 percent) and the Netherlands (-20 percent).

Since January 2016, almost 12.9 million passenger cars have been newly registered on the Western European market (+6 percent).

In the new EU Member States the number of new passenger car registrations climbed by 19 percent in November to reach 103,100 new cars. The keenest growth was seen in Hungary (+43 percent), Croatia (+24 percent) and Poland (+23 percent). Since the beginning of this year 1.1 million cars have been newly registered in the new EU countries (+16 percent).

The US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) totaled nearly 1.4 million units in November, which was roughly 4 percent up on the same month last year. Demand was boosted by two additional trading days and the intensified marketing initiatives surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday. While passenger car sales fell by 4 percent to 509,000 units, sales of light trucks added almost 9 percent to reach 863,400 units. Nearly 15.8 million light vehicles were sold in the US in the first eleven months of the current year. That matches last year’s figure.

The Chinese passenger car market grew by one fifth in November, rising to a good 2.5 million new vehicles. That is the highest monthly result ever recorded in China. One reason for the high sales volume is that the reduced rate of VAT on vehicles with small engines (up to 1.6 liters), applicable since October 2015, could be raised again at the end of the year. Almost 21.1 million units were sold in the first eleven months of this year, generating a year-to-date rise of close to 19 percent.

The passenger car market in Japan produced a pleasant surprise in November: at 341,800 units, nearly 9 percent more new vehicles were registered than in the same month last year. This represents the strongest annual increase reported in any month since March 2014. So far this year, the market volume has lost 2 percent and fallen to 3.8 million new cars.

The Indian passenger car market showed only slender growth in November, rising almost 2 percent to 241,000 units. From January to November, vehicle sales totaled just over 2.7 million units, which is nearly 8 percent up on last year.

The Russian light vehicle market expanded by 1 percent in November to 132,300 units. This year’s new vehicle sales are still 12 percent down on the 2015 level (1.3 million units).

In Brazil, November new registrations of light vehicles fell 8 percent to 173,700 units, which is the smallest contraction this year. From January to November a total of 1.8 million new vehicles were sold – a fall of almost 21 percent.

  November 2016 January - November 2016
  Units Change 16/15 in % Units Change 16/15 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)* 1.189.200 5,6 13.938.300 6,9
  European Union (EU-28)* 1.148.600 5,8 13.497.500 7,1
  W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.086.100 4,6 12.886.500 6,2
  New EU Countries (EU13)* 103.100 18,8 1.051.800 15,7
Russia** 132.300 0,6 1.280.000 -12,0
USA** 1.372.400 3,7 15.783.700 0,1
Japan 341.800 8,8 3.813.600 -2,4
Brazil** 173.700 -8,3 1.789.400 -20,8
India 241.000 1,8 2.738.800 7,8
China 2.537.800 19,8 21.058.400 18,6
Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

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