In August dynamic developments on the global passenger car markets were once again driven by the two growth engines, the USA and China. In the USA demand for light vehicles rose by 17 per cent, while in China passenger car sales climbed by over 16 per cent. This means that by the end of August both countries had broken through the 10 million mark. The passenger car market in Western Europe remained sluggish, contracting by 5 per cent. So the tendency towards stabilisation – that was already visible – is continuing. August, a traditionally weak month, has only minimal influence on the year as a whole.
The US market increased by 17 per cent in August to 1.5 million light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks), which was the best monthly result since May 2007. The German group brands matched this rapid growth, pushing up their light vehicles sales by nearly 14 per cent to reach 115,400 units. In the first eight months of 2013 their sales increased by around 8 per cent to a good 855,700 new cars. By August the overall light vehicle market had expanded by almost 10 per cent to just over 10.6 million new vehicles. In the passenger car segment, August sales by German group brands climbed by a good 15 per cent to around 84,600 new cars, while the total car market grew by nearly 16 per cent, to a little over 734,200 units. In light trucks, the German brands had increased their sales by almost 18 per cent by the end of August, to reach 240,900 vehicles, and the light truck market overall expanded by nearly 13 per cent to a good 5.3 million units over the same period.
TheChinese automobile market is still demonstrating its “powerful torque”: in August a good 1.2 million new cars were sold, i.e. 16 per cent more than in the same month last year. In the first eight months of the current year, passenger car sales totalled just over 10 million units. This puts sales this year at nearly 20 per cent up on last year’s level.
The Indian passenger car market expanded slightly in August. In total, 190,100 new vehicles were sold – a year-on-year rise of just over 4 per cent. However, from January to August 2013 vehicle sales came to 1.7 million units, which was a good 8 per cent below the 2012 level.
Demand for passenger cars in Japan dropped by almost 2 per cent in August, down to 310,700 units. However, the figure in Augustlast year benefited from the environmental bonus. In the first eight months of this year, new passenger car registrations fell by 8 per cent to a little over 3 million units.
In Russia light vehicle sales decreased once again. They totalled 231,900 new cars, which meant that sales last month were over 10 per cent down on the year before. So far this year, sales of light vehicles in Russia have dropped – to about 1.8 million units, which is a year-on-year fall of almost 7 per cent.
The light vehicle market in Brazil continued to cool down in August. New registrations slumped nearly 23 per cent to a total of 313,000 units. Yet this decrease is largely due to the strong result in August 2012, when the Brazilian Government’s introduction of incentives provided a huge boost to sales of new cars. By August 2013 the volume of new registrations had fallen by nearly 2 per cent to just over 2.3 million vehicles.
In Western Europe, August registrations of new passenger cars came to 632,800 units – a good 5 per cent down on the same month last year. However, August 2012 had had one more working day. New passenger car registrations in Germany fell by a good 5 per cent. In Italy the market shrank by almost 7 per cent, in France it contracted by nearly 11 per cent, and in Spain by over 18 per cent – although in August 2012 Spain had turned in an artificially high figure due to sales bought forward in anticipation of the value-added tax increase in September 2012. Once again the British passenger car market showed a marked rise, this time of 11 per cent. So August was the sixth month with double-digit growth this year. Portugal also recorded double-digit expansion in August (+13 per cent), as did Ireland (+20 per cent). In all, new registrations in Western Europe over the first eight months of 2013 amounted to 7.65 million units, which is a good 5 per cent below the 2012 figure.
In the new EU Member States demand for passenger cars came to 54,100 units, equalling last year’s level. Positive developments in new car registrations were seen in Romania (+26 per cent), Hungary (+18 per cent), Bulgaria (+12 per cent), Slovenia (+10 per cent), Estonia (+9 per cent) and Poland (+6 per cent). This year so far, car sales have fallen by a good 4 per cent (494,700 units).
|August 2013||January - August 2013|
|Units||Change 13/12 in %||Units||Change 13/12 in %|
|European Union (EU-27)*||653.900||-5,0||7.841.600||-5,2|
|W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)||632.800||-5,3||7.650.000||-5,3|
|New EU Countries (EU11)*||54.100||-0,4||494.700||-4,3|