Market data international

    International automotive markets 2022: Europe, Japan and USA with declines

    Press release

    Press release

    Berlin, January 17, 2023

    Strong growth in China and India – global passenger car market in 2022 at previous year’s level

    The international automotive markets were characterized by very different dynamics in 2022. While the markets in Europe (EU27, EFTA & UK), Japan and the USA lagged behind the previous year's level, sales in China increased significantly. In particular, the lack of preliminary products and raw materials, the sharp rise in energy and logistics prices and the uncertainty triggered by the Russian war of aggression prevented better results on the international automotive markets. Overall, the global passenger car market in 2022 remained at the previous year's level. 71.2mn cars were sold. For the year 2023, the VDA assumes an increase of 4% to 74.0mn units for the global passenger car market.

    In 2022, 11.3mn new vehicles were registered on the European passenger car market, around 4% fewer than in the previous year. This means that there was no recovery from the pandemic-related declines of the two previous years. Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, sales in the past year were reduced by 29%. Most of the five largest individual markets developed negatively in the past year: While new registrations in Germany increased by 1%, the market volume in the United Kingdom (-2%), Spain (-5%) and France (-8%) fell. In Italy, the volume of new registrations fell by as much as 10%. In December, the European passenger car market grew by 15% year-on-year to 1.1mn newly registered cars. However, even this year-end sprint could not prevent the negative annual result.

    23.2mn new vehicles were sold in the Chinese passenger car market last year. That is 10% more than in the previous year. The declines from spring, when lockdowns in key sales regions severely restricted business, were compensated in the second half of the year – also thanks to a tax reduction on a large proportion of the vehicles sold. At the end of the year, a good 2.2mn new vehicles were sold in China in December, 6% less than in the same month last year.

    In the US, light vehicle sales (passenger cars and light trucks) fell by 8% in 2022 compared to 2021 to 13.7mn vehicles. Compared to the pre-crisis year of 2019, the market in 2022 was a good 3.2mn vehicles smaller. Sales of light trucks (-6% compared to 2021) developed less weakly than sales of passenger cars (-15% compared to 2021). In December 2022, with 1.3mn newly registered light vehicles, there was slight growth of 5% compared to the same month last year.

    In Japan, sales of brand-new passenger cars fell last year for the fourth time in a row. With a good 3.4mn passenger cars sold in 2022, the market volume was 6% below that of the previous year. 284,300 passenger cars were sold in December, 1% more than in December 2021.

    In Russia, light vehicle sales fell by 59% to almost 687,400 units in 2022. Due to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, numerous international automobile manufacturers withdrew from Russia since March 2022.

    Almost 3.8mn cars were sold on the Indian car market in 2022. That is almost a quarter more than in the previous year (+23%). In the year-end spurt, 235,300 brand-new vehicles were sold in December, 7% more than in the same month last year.

    The Brazilian light vehicle market (passenger cars and light duty) ended 2022 just below the already weak level of the previous year. Almost 2.0mn newly registered vehicles mean a decrease of 1% compared to the previous year. Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, there is a deficit of 26%. In December 2022, 202,200 vehicles were sold in Brazil, 4% more than in December of the previous year.

    New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales
    Dec. 2022 +/- in % Jan. - Dec. 2022 +/- in %
    Europe (EU27 & EFTA & UK)*1) 1.091.100 14,8 11.286.900 -4,1
    European Union (EU27)*1) 897.000 12,8 9.255.900 -4,6
    W. Europe (EU14 & EFTA & UK)1) 999.900 16,2 10.162.000 -4,1
    New EU Countries after 2004 (EU13)*1) 91.200 1,9 1.124.900 -4,2
    China2) 2.231.000 -6,4 23.240.500 10,0
    USA **3) 1.263.300 4,9 13.734.200 -8,1
    Japan4) 284.300 1,5 3.448.300 -6,2
    Russia** ***5) - - 687.400 -58,8
    India6) 235.300 7,2 3.792.400 23,0
    Brazil**7) 202.200 4,2 1.960.500 -0,8

    Source: 1) ACEA 2) CAAM  3) Wards Intelligence 4) JAMA 5) AEB 6) SIAM 7) ANFAVEA 
    * without Malta
    ** Light Vehicles
    *** Comprehensive figures on the Russian market are currently only available on a quarterly basis.

    Press Office

    Eva Siegfried

    Spokesperson with focus on economics