Press Releases

Passenger car markets in USA, China and Brazil show double-digit growth

Berlin, 19 February 2013

As the new year started, as expected trends on the world’s passenger car markets varied. Sales showed marked double-digit growth in China (+59 per cent), the USA (+14 per cent) and Brazil (+18 per cent). The Russian market also expanded (+5 per cent). New registrations of passenger cars in Western Europe, by contrast, were down by 9 per cent owing to the weak demand in key countries.

January sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) in the USA climbed by a good 14 per cent to 1.04 million units. In the light truck segment the German brands grew faster than the market itself. They pushed up their sales by over 15 per cent, to just over 26,000 units, while the overall light truck market increased by more than 14 per cent to around 518,000 units. In the passenger car segment the German brands increased their sales by 4.5 per cent to reach around 60,700 units. The overall passenger car market grew by 14 per cent to about 522,000 new cars. Totalling 86,700 light vehicles, the German makes achieved a year-on-year rise of nearly 8 per cent in their in their US sales in January.

In China the passenger car market proved to be in especially good form last month. The volume of new registrations leapt up almost 60 per cent, to exceed 1.5 million vehicles. This very high growth rate is largely a result of the Chinese New Year: in 2012 the New Year festival was celebrated in January, but in 2013 it came in February. The figures for January 2012 were accordingly weak owing to the holidays.

Last month the Brazilian market for light vehicles expanded once again. New registrations rose by nearly 18 per cent to 297,200 units. Sales of light vehicles were promoted by the Brazilian Government’s decision to extend the market incentives once more. However, the industrial products tax (IPI) is to be increased again in several steps over the current year.

Sales of new cars in India came to 242,400 units in January, which was around 5 per cent below last year’s level.

The Russian light vehicle market once again proved to be a stable factor: at 162,100 new vehicles sold, the figure for January was nearly 5 per cent above that for the same month last year.

Due to the very strong January 2012, new passenger car registrations in Japan in January this year fell by over 7 per cent to 332,100 units.

Demand for new cars on the Western European market slumped by almost 9 per cent last month to 857,500 units. There were double-digit falls on the difficult markets in France (-15 per cent), Italy (-18 per cent) and Spain (-10 per cent). New registrations in Germany in January totalled about 192,100 units, showing a year-on-year fall of nearly 9 per cent.

By contrast, demand for automobiles in the UK continued its positive trend at the beginning of the year: new registrations on the second most important Western European market climbed by a good 11 per cent to 143,600 cars. In the smaller countries of Western Europe, too, new registrations showed welcome growth: demand showed a double-digit increase in Denmark (+15 per cent) and Belgium (+13 per cent).

The passenger car markets in the new EU Member States contracted slightly in January – by nearly 3 per cent. The only exceptions were Estonia and Poland, where new registrations of passenger cars were 28 and 9 per cent respectively above the previous year’s figure.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  January 2013 January - January 2013
  Units Change 13/12 in % Units Change 13/12 in %
Europe (EU27+EFTA)* 918.300 -8,5 918.300 -8,5
W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 857.500 -8,9 857.500 -8,9
New EU Countries (EU11)* 60.800 -2,8 60.800 -2,8
Russia** 162.100 4,8 162.100 4,8
USA** 1.039.900 14,3 1.039.900 14,3
Japan 332.100 -7,4 332.100 -7,4
Brazil** 297.200 17,6 297.200 17,6
India 242.400 -4,6 242.400 -4,6
China 1.528.400 59,2 1.528.400 59,2
*without Malta
**Light Vehicles
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