Turbulence for international automotive markets in 2021

    Berlin, January 17, 2022

    Europe and Japan experience drops – USA and China on the rise

    Automotive markets around the world had a turbulent 2021: Whereas considerable boosts could be achieved in the first half of the year, due to the previous year's low figures and the effects of market recovery, the second half of the year painted a less positive picture. The lack of semiconductors placed significant strain on global supply chains, and scarcity of other upstream products and raw materials, as well as increasing prices for energy and logistics, made the year all the more difficult for the industry. Of the three largest profit regions, only Europe (EU27, EFTA & UK) reported a general decrease throughout all of 2021. Sales increased slightly for the USA and China.
    Nearly 11.8 million new cars were approved for the European motor car market in 2021, equating to about 2 per cent less than the previous year. Europe has thus not quite recovered from the drops induced by the coronavirus pandemic. The five largest individual markets experienced different rates of growth in the past year: Italy realised an increase of about 6 per cent, while this figure was significantly lower in France, Spain and the United Kingdom (+1 per cent each). In Germany, however, 10 per cent fewer cars were approved than in the previous year. At the end of the year, the European market as a whole had to suffer more losses: 950,200 approved cars in December equate to a 22 per cent decrease from that same month the previous year.

    Light vehicle sales (cars and light trucks) in the USA grew 3 per cent in 2021, to 14.9 million vehicles, but were still well below the pre-pandemic level of around 17 million in 2019. Sales from light trucks (+5 per cent) were more dynamic than those of motor cars (-2 per cent) in 2021. A decrease of about one quarter (-26 per cent) was experienced in December, with 1.2 million new vehicles sold.

    The Chinese motor car market ended 2021 with a market volume of 21.1 million new approved vehicles, and thus grew by 7 per cent, meaning that the annual balance was better than that in 2019, before the pandemic started. However, sales volume was still considerably lower than it was in the record year 2017. At the end of the year, in December, around 2.4 million new vehicles were sold in China, 2 per cent more than in December of the previous year.
    Sales of brand-new motor cars in Japan decreased by about 4 per cent, to 3.7 million vehicles. 280,100 motor cars were sold in December (-11 per cent). Japan thus experienced consistent decreases throughout the second half of the year. 
    In Russia, light vehicles sales (motor cars and light trucks) increased by 4 per cent last year, to 1.7 million units.

    More than one quarter more vehicles were sold in India in 2021 than in the previous year (+27 per cent). With a market volume of 3.1 million new vehicles, India surpassed the crisis-ridden year of 2019. In the lead-up to the end of the year, 219,400 brand-new vehicles were sold in December, equating to a 13 per cent decrease from the previous year.
    The Brazilian light vehicle market (motor car and light duty) ended 2021 just above the low level reported in the previous year. Around 2.0 million newly approved vehicles equated to an increase of 1 per cent. 194,000 vehicles were sold in December, 17 per cent fewer than in December of the previous year.

      Dez 20 +/-  in % Jan.-Dez. 2021 +/- in %
    Europa (EU-27 + EFTA + UK)*1) 950.200 -21,7 11.774.900 -1,5
    Europäische Union (EU-27)*1) 795.300 -11,4 9.700.200 -2,4
    Westeuropa (EU-14 + EFTA & UK) 1) 860.700 -21,3 10.600.400 -1,9
    Neue EU-Länder (EU-13)*1) 89.600 -26,0 1.174.500 1,5
    USA** ²) 1.194.300 -25,6 14.913.700 3,1
    China ³) 2.380.300 2,2 21.090.200 6,6
    Japan** 4) 280.100 -11,1 3.675.700 -3,5
    Russland** ***5) - - 1.666.800 4,3
    Indien5) 219.400 -13,3 3.082.400 26,7
    Brasilien 6) 194.000 -16,7 1.977.100 1,1

    Quellen: 1) ACEA, 2) WardsIntelligence, 3) JAMA, 4) ANFAVEA, 5) CAAM *ohne Malta **Light Vehicles