Press Releases

Western Europe shows first double-digit growth in four years

Berlin, 16 January 2014

Passenger car sales in China up by one third in December

In December 2013, the Western European passenger car market showed double-digit growth again for the first time in almost four years. Sales climbed by nearly 13 per cent to 881,900 units. The last time Western Europe recorded double-digit growth (also of 13 per cent) was in March 2010. “It is especially welcome that the states which were previously in crisis are now moving forward once again. December sales of new cars increased by 16 per cent in Greece, 18 per cent in Spain, and by a whole 36 per cent in Portugal. The European recovery is clearly getting underway, and people are regaining their confidence in economic development – so new cars are back at the top of the shopping list,” stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). France increased its sales by a good 9 per cent. In the United Kingdom the rise of 24 per cent was the greatest increase of any month in the year 2013. In Germany new registrations expanded by just over 5 per cent, while Italy also recorded a positive December trend (+1 per cent) after eleven months of shrinkage.

In many smaller EU states, too, new car sales enjoyed double-digit growth, for example in Belgium (+12 per cent), Austria (+13 per cent), Norway (+22 per cent) and Denmark (+33 per cent). And in the Netherlands passenger car sales more than doubled (+115 per cent).

“Whereas in the first half 2013 sales of new cars in Western Europe remained almost 7 per cent below last year’s figure, demand in the second half-year grew by 4 per cent. For 2013 as a whole, the Western European passenger car market totalled nearly 11.6 million new cars, which is about 2 per cent less than in 2012,” Wissmann said.

New passenger car registrations in the new EU countries also recorded growth in double figures in December. Demand soared to 66,200 units – a rise of a good 17 per cent. Over the entire year 2013 passenger car sales in these countries came to 754,100 units, i.e. hovered around the previous year’s level.

China’s passenger car market continued its successful trend in December. The volume of cars sold amounted to around 1.7 million vehicles, which was one third more than in the same month last year. The total number of cars sold in 2013 exceeded the 2012 result by almost one quarter (+23 per cent), climbing to 16.3 million new vehicles.

The US market grew by nearly 8 per cent over 2013 as a whole, reaching a good 15.5 million light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) and thus turning in the best result since 2007. However, the December figure of almost 1.4 million light vehicles only equalled the previous year’s level.

In Japan, December registrations of new passenger cars increased by more than one quarter (+26 per cent) to 359,200 units. Over the entire year the Japanese passenger car market totalled nearly 4.6 million new vehicles, which matched the 2012 figure.

On the Indian passenger car market, December sales of new vehicles showed a year-on-year fall of 9 per cent, amounting to 186,200 units. Total sales in 2013 dropped by somewhat more than 7 per cent to nearly 2.6 million units.

The Russian market eased up a little as the year came to a close. Sales amounted to 264,300 units, which means that demand for light vehicles in December rose by a good 4 per cent. The total figure for 2013 fell by over 5 per cent – to around 2.8 million units.

In Brazil new registrations (of light vehicles) decreased by just over 2 per cent in December to 336,200 units. The figure of nearly 3.6 million new vehicles for 2013 as a whole almost equalled the previous year’s level (-1 per cent).

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  December 2013 January - December 2013
  Units Change 13/12 in % Units Change 13/12 in %
Europe (EU27+EFTA)* 948.100 13,0 12.308.200 -1,8
European Union (EU-27)* 906.300 13,3 11.850.900 -1,7
W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 881.900 12,7 11.554.100 -1,9
New EU Countries (EU11)* 66.200 17,1 754.100 -0,1
Russia** 264.300 4,2 2.777.400 -5,5
USA** 1.352.300 0,0 15.531.600 7,5
Japan 359.200 26,5 4.562.300 -0,2
Brazil** 336.200 -2,2 3.579.900 -1,5
India 186.200 -9,0 2.554.000 -7,5
China 1.651.500 32,5 16.303.700 23,1
*without Malta
**Light Vehicles
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