Press Releases

International automotive business starts year well

Berlin, 15 February 2018

China, Europe and US expand – Brazil and Russia show double-digit growth

The international automotive markets have generally made a good start to 2018. In Brazil, China and Russia, January sales showed double-digit growth. Europe (EU28+EFTA), the US and India also recorded rising figures. Only Japan failed to match last year’s level by a slender margin.

New passenger car registrations in Europe rose by 7 percent last month to reach 1.3 million units. However, January had one more working day this year than it had in 2017. Car sales showed growth in double figures in Spain (+20 percent) and Germany (+12 percent). New-year increases were also recorded in Italy (+3 percent) and France (+2 percent). The British market, by contrast, contracted for the tenth time without a break (-6 percent).

Developments on the US light vehicle market were different in the two large segments – passenger cars and light trucks. While passenger car sales lost over 12 percent in January (364,800 vehicles), light trucks added 8 percent that took their total to 785,300 units. This means that the light truck segment is now twice the size of the car segment. The overall US light vehicle market grew by 1 percent.

In China the passenger car market recorded a good 2.4 million new vehicles in January (+12 percent). It should be remembered that the Chinese New Year usually occurs in February, but last year it was in January. So it will be more informative to view the first two months together.

The new year also started well in India. Passenger car sales showed around 8 percent year-on-year growth last month (to 285,500 units) and produced the best January result ever recorded.

In Japan new vehicle registrations narrowly failed to equal last year’s result (-1 percent), reaching a total of 339,600. January was therefore already the fourth month in succession with falling figures.

The Russian light vehicle market expanded markedly in January to 102,500 units (+31 percent). It has been recovering continuously since March last year.

Light vehicle sales in Brazil enjoyed strong growth as the year commenced. In January the market volume came to 175,900 light vehicles, 22 percent above last year’s level. It was the ninth month in succession with rising sales of light vehicles.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  January 2018
  Volume Change
18/17 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)*


  European Union (EU-28)* 1.253.900 7,1
  W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.168.100 5,4
  New EU Countries 118.300 24,1
Russia** 102.500 31,3
USA** 1.150.100 1,0
Japan 339.600 -1,1
Brazil** 175.900 22,3
India 285.500 7,6
China 2.420.500 11,7
* without Malta
** Light Vehicles

* 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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