Press Releases

Passenger car markets expand strongly in China, USA and Brazil

Berlin, 17 May 2013

In April the major passenger car markets were generally buoyant. China expanded by 19 per cent, while the USA increased by more than 8 per cent. Passenger car sales in Brazil soared by almost 30 per cent. The Western European passenger car market recorded a slight rise for the first time since September 2011. Only in Russia and India did demand decrease (by 8 per cent in both cases).

April registrations of passenger cars in Western Europe showed a year-on-year increase of around 2 per cent, to exceed 1 million units. However, it should be remembered that in many Western European countries April 2013 had two more working days than the same month last year. The UK passenger car market again turned in positive results, with new registrations rising by nearly 15 per cent to 163,400 units. Car sales were also up in Germany (+4 per cent) and Spain (+11 per cent) compared to the previous year. By contrast, the negative trend continued in Italy (-11 per cent) and France (-5 per cent). On the other hand double-digit growth was seen on the smaller passenger car markets in Belgium (+10 per cent) and Greece (+21 per cent). New registrations showed very positive results in Scandinavia. Sales were well up on April 2012 in Norway (+29 per cent), Denmark (+31 per cent) and Finland (+143 per cent). In the first four months of the current year new car registrations in Western Europe amounted to just over 3.9 million vehicles, which was 7 per cent down on the same period last year.

In the new EU Member States demand for passenger cars totalled 65,500 units, i.e. hovered around last year’s level. Positive development was recorded in Bulgaria (+24 per cent), Estonia (+22 per cent), Romania (+22 per cent), Slovenia (+8 per cent), Hungary (+8 per cent) and Poland (+1 per cent). By contrast, this year so far passenger car sales have decreased by nearly 7 per cent (244,200 units).

The US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) expanded by over 8 per cent in April 2013 to reach around 1.3 million units. Last month the light truck segment dominated the figures – its sales climbed by a good 14 per cent (642,900 new vehicles). Passenger car sales increased by almost 3 per cent (637,400 units). In the first four months of 2013, a total of 4.96 million light vehicles were sold – which represents growth of approximately 7 per cent. Sales of light trucks rose by a little over 11 per cent to almost 2.5 million units. The passenger car segment grew by 3 per cent, also reaching 2.5 million new vehicles.

In China the passenger car market continued to expand. Sales in April 2013 totalled nearly 1.3 million new cars – which is almost one fifth more than in April 2012. In the first four months of the current year sales of new cars were almost 24 per cent up on last year, with a total of just over 5.2 million cars sold.

In April new passenger car registrations in Japan stayed close to last year’s level, at 308,600 new vehicles (+1 per cent). So far this year, car sales have however fallen by more than 7 per cent to a little over 1.6 million units.

April sales on the Indian passenger car market, on the other hand, fell by a good 8 per cent to 208,400 units. From January to April 2013 the sales volume dropped by around 11 per cent to 934,300 new vehicles.

In the first four months of this year the light vehicle market in Russia did not quite equal the number of new registrations in the same period in 2012, reaching only 862,300 new cars (-2 per cent). In April the Russian light vehicle market contracted by 8 per cent, with 245,300 vehicles being sold.

In Brazil the light vehicle market was in a very good mood in April. Sales of new vehicles rose by almost 30 per cent to 317,000 units. However, this was due not only to lower taxes – because the increase in the industrial products tax (IPI) has been postponed until 2014 – but also to the two additional working days in April. From January to April, the volume of new registrations climbed by nearly 9 per cent to 1.1 million vehicles.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  April 2013 January - April 2013
  Units Change 13/12 in % Units Change 13/12 in %
Europe (EU27+EFTA)* 1.081.300 1,8 4.176.700 -7,0
W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 1.015.800 1,9 3.932.500 -7,0
New EU Countries (EU11)* 65.500 0,4 244.200 -6,8
Russia** 245.300 -8,0 862.300 -2,2
USA** 1.280.300 8,4 4.955.800 6,9
Japan 308.600 0,7 1.624.200 -7,5
Brazil** 317.000 29,6 1.105.500 8,7
India 208.400 -8,2 934.300 -10,9
China 1.294.000 18,8 5.213.700 23,7
*without Malta
**Light Vehicles
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