International passenger car markets clearly up after first quarter
Europe, USA and Japan picking up significantly – China declining – most of pre-crisis levels have not yet been reached
Most of the international automotive markets experienced a dynamic and positive first quarter. With the exception of the Chinese market, all major automotive regions recorded significant increases in new registrations compared to the first quarter of the previous year. In Europe (EU, EFTA & UK) as well as in Japan and the USA, the market is currently benefiting from a gradual improvement in the supply situation and from the weak prior-year figures. The first quarter of 2022 was largely characterized by the lack of material and the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The Chinese market developed significantly weaker at the beginning of the current year.
Around 3.2mn vehicles were newly registered on the European passenger car market in the first quarter of 2023. This is a good 17% more than in the same period of the previous year. However, there is still a sales gap of 22% compared to the first quarter of the pre-crisis year 2019. The five largest individual markets developed positively: Spain (+45%) and Italy (+26%) recorded the most dynamic growth in the first quarter. The United Kingdom (+18%) and France (+15%) also achieved double-digit growth rates. The German market indicated less growth at 7%. In March, the overall European market grew significantly by 26% and reached a volume of 1.4mn cars.
In the United States, light vehicle sales (passenger cars and light trucks) increased 8% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year. A total of almost 3.6mn vehicles were sold. The light truck segment (+8%) and the passenger car segment (+7%) developed with similar dynamics. The popular light truck segment now accounts for a good 79% of the overall market. In the first quarter of 2023 also the American market is still 11% below the first quarter of the pre-crisis year 2019.
In March 2023, with 1.4mn brand-new light vehicles sold, a growth of 9% was recorded compared to March 2022.
5.1mn new vehicles were sold in the Chinese passenger car market in the first quarter of the year. That is 7% less than in the first quarter of the previous year. The declines from the first two months of this year could not be fully compensated by a stronger March. Almost 2mn units were sold in March. This was 23% more than in March of the previous year.
In Japan, sales of brand new passenger cars increased noticeably in the first quarter (+17% compared to the first quarter of 2022). It reached a volume of almost 1.2mn units. The extremely weak level of the previous year, combined with an improved supply situation, is stimulating the market and production in Japan. However, it also applies to the Japanese market that this is still below the pre-crisis level: In Q1 2023 there is a sales deficit of 10% compared to Q1 2019. In March, sales of 477,900 units represented an increase of 12%.
The Indian passenger car market continues on its growth path by +11% in the first quarter compared to the previous year. After three months, 1.0mn cars were newly registered. A volume of 292,000 units was reached in March, which corresponds to a growth of 4% compared to the same month last year.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Brazilian light vehicle market (passenger cars and light duty) grew noticeably (+16% compared to the same period of the previous year). Among other things, the weak values at the beginning of 2022 should be taken into account here. A total volume of 436,900 units was sold in the first three months of the current year. In March, 186,400 vehicles were sold in Brazil, 38% more than in March last year.
|Neuzulassungen/Verkäufe von Personenkraftwagen|
|März. 2023||+/- in %||Jan. - März 2023||+/- in %|
|Europa (EU27 & EFTA & UK)* 1)||1.422.100||26,1||3.236.00||17,5|
|Europäische Union (EU27) 1)||1.087.900||28,8||2.650.700||17,9|
|Westeuropa (EU14 & EFTA & UK)1)||1.295.100||26,5||2.912.000||17,4|
|Neue EU-Länder (EU13) 1)||127.000||21,8||324.000||17,8|
|USA * 2)||1.366.000||8,6||3.563.300||8,1|
Quellen: 1) ACEA 2) Wards Intelligence 3) CAAM 4) JAMA 5) SIAM AEB 6) ANFAVEA