Press Releases

Automotive markets in Europe, US and China expand in May

Berlin, 15 June 2018

Russia and India enjoy double-digit growth – Brazil also shows slender rise – Contraction on Japanese market

Most of the international automotive markets recorded positive results in May. The two largest markets – China and the US – both recorded keen growth. In Europe (EU28+EFTA) new registrations were slightly up on May last year, despite fewer working days. India and Russia both enjoyed a double-digit rise in sales, and Brazil also recorded an increase. Only the Japanese market contracted last month.

The number of new passenger car registrations in Europe (EU28+EFTA) rose in May by around 1 percent to 1.4 million units. Spain was the most dynamic of the five largest national markets, with growth of 7 percent. In the United Kingdom new registrations also rose (+3 percent). In France they equaled last year’s level, but sales in Italy fell by 3 percent. The German market lost 6 percent in May – which had two working days less than in 2017. In the first five months of the current year a total of 7.1 million passenger cars were newly registered in Europe, representing growth of a good 2 percent.

The US market expanded by 5 percent in May, which was the third increase this year, and reached a volume of nearly 1.6 million light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks). Passenger car sales again recorded a year-on-year fall (-10 percent), although the much larger light truck segment grew by a huge 13 percent. This year so far, the market has added 1 percent to last year’s result, with an accumulated total of 7 million light vehicles sold.

China’s passenger car market also increased again last month. Sales added 8 percent to exceed the 1.8 million mark. In the period from January to May, 9.7 million passenger cars were sold – a year-to-date rise of 6 percent.

The Indian passenger car market grew very dynamically in May. In all, 301,200 new vehicles were sold (+20 percent). More vehicles were sold in a single month in India than ever before. Since January this year, the market has expanded by 10 percent to almost 1.5 million units.

In May the Japanese passenger car market contracted for the fourth time this year (-1 percent). In the first five months, 1.9 million vehicles were newly registered (-2 percent).

The positive trend on Russia’s passenger car market continued in May. The market recorded a volume of 147,500 vehicles, which exceeded the previous year’s figure by 18 percent. So far this year 692,900 vehicles have been sold – up by one fifth on the same period in 2017.

In Brazil the month of May was marked by strikes with considerable effects on the general economy. This left the Brazilian light vehicle market with a rise of 3 percent, i.e. the smallest growth in the last ten months. During the course of this year the market has been much more dynamic, growing by just over 16 percent and totaling 933,800 new vehicles.

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


0,6 7.076.500 2,2
  European Union (EU-28)* 1.398.900 0,8 6.879.900 2,4
  Western Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.312.500 -0,1 6.468.200 1,4
  New EU-Countries (EU13)* 130.200 8,5 608.300 11,6
Russia** 147.500 18,0 692.900 20,0
USA** 1.581.000 4,7 7.022.800 1,2
Japan 307.700 -1,5 1.916.700 -1,7
Brazil** 195.300 2,6 933.800 16,2
India 301.200 19,7 1.461.300 9,6
China 1.840.500 8,1 9.710.000 6,1
* 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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