Press Releases

Half-year result on European passenger car market far below pre-corona level

Berlin, 16 July 2021

Keen growth on US market – Falling figures in China – Brazil and Russia double their second-quarter sales

The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting developments on the international car markets. Following the lockdowns in the spring of 2020 and the associated lost sales, in the first half of 2021 all the major markets recorded double-digit growth compared with last year’s figures. However, some of them still have a long way to go to reach their pre-crisis levels. The combined result from the seven markets shown here (Europe, US, China, Japan, India, Brazil and Russia) for the first half of 2021 was 8 percent, or 2.7 million units, below that for the same period in 2019.

The European passenger car market (EU-27, EFTA & UK) expanded in the first half of this year in comparison with the historically low 2020 figure. New registrations rose by 27 percent to 6.5 million units. Despite this apparently strong growth, the European market was around one quarter down on the same period in 2019. Continuing lockdowns, closed showrooms and incentive programs that finished at the beginning of 2021 held sales back early this year. Now the ongoing shortage of semiconductors is preventing a speedier recovery on the market. The largest national markets all showed positive developments in the first six months. In Italy, sales grew by more than half (+51 percent), while increases of over one third were recorded in the UK (+39 percent) and Spain (+34 percent). The French market added 29 percent. In Germany new registrations rose by 15 percent. In the second quarter of this year, the total number of cars newly registered in Europe came to 3.4 million, which equates to an increase of 66 percent.

In the US, sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) added almost one third (+29 percent) in the first half of 2021, with an accumulated total of around 8.3 million units. Sales in the car segment rose by 21 percent, while the light truck segment gained 32 percent. In the second quarter of this year, new vehicle sales in the US increased by 50 percent to 4.4 million units.

Sales of new passenger cars in China totaled 9.8 million in the first half-year, which was a rise of 27 percent. They eased off slightly in the second quarter, falling by 1 percent to 4.8 million units. This was because the demand that had built up during last year’s spring lockdown was then satisfied in the early summer. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Chinese market is now shrinking slightly. Furthermore, the shortage of semiconductors is also causing difficulties in China.

The Japanese passenger car market recorded 2.0 million new registrations in the first six months of this year – an increase of about 12 percent compared with the 2020 result. During the last three months, 846,500 new vehicles were sold, up by a fifth on the same period last year.

Passenger car sales in India nearly doubled in the first half-year (+93 percent). In all, 1.5 million new vehicles were sold. The second quarter produced an especially strong result with sales adding 320 percent to reach 646,300 units.

The Brazilian light vehicle market increased by one third (+32 percent) in the first half of the year, and rose to 1.0 million units. The market developed particularly well in the second quarter, growing by 121 percent to total 509,400 new vehicles.

Light vehicle sales in Russia came to 870,700 units during the first half-year, with a rise of 37 percent. The market was very dynamic in the second quarter, climbing by 104 percent and reaching 483,400 units.

  April-Juni 2021 Januar-Juni 2021
  Anzahl Veränderung
21/20 in %
Anzahl Veränderung
21/20 in %
Europa (EU27+EFTA+UK)*1) 3.405.700 66,3 6.486.400 27,1
Europäische Union (EU-27)*1) 2.801.600 55,5 5.361.900 25,2
Westeuropa (EU14+EFTA & UK) 1)1 3.072.000 67,7 5.865.000 27,7
Neue EU-Länder (EU13)*1) 333.700 54,4 621.300 22,5
USA** ²) 4.392.800 49,6 8.294.100 29,3
China ³)2.328 4.809.000 -1,2 9.830.000 27,3
Japan** 4) 846.500 24,9 2.043.400 11,9
Russland** ***5) 483.400 103,6 870.700 36,9
Indien5) 646.300 320,4 1.495.100 92,6
Brasilien 6) 509.400 120,5 1.007.900 31,7
Eva Siegfried
Eva Siegfried Sprecherin

  
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