Press Releases

Western Europe records fifth month of growth

Berlin, 18 February 2014

January passenger car sales set new record in China

In January developments on the international passenger car markets varied considerably. The Western European market recorded 897,100 units sold, which was a rise of nearly 5 per cent. This means that demand for passenger cars increased for the fifth month in succession. China’s sales totalled 1.7 million new cars, a new monthly record. Demand for passenger cars in Japan also soared in January (+31 per cent), while light vehicle sales in Brazil showed a modest rise on the previous year. By contrast, the light vehicle market contracted in the USA. In Russia and India, demand for new cars also declined.

The Western European passenger car market is continuing its recovery. All the top five markets expanded. In Germany demand for cars rose by a good 7 per cent, in France it increased by nearly 1 per cent, and in Italy it was up by a good 3 per cent. In the United Kingdom and Spain, passenger car sales increased by around 8 per cent. In particular the smaller passenger car markets increased, in some cases quite considerably. Double-digit growth in new registrations was seen in Ireland (+33 per cent), Portugal (+32 per cent), Finland (+24 per cent), Sweden (+19 per cent), Iceland (+17 per cent), Greece (+15 per cent) and Denmark (+10 per cent).

New registrations of passenger cars in the new EU Member States amounted to 70,600 units, i.e. around 13 per cent up on the same month last year. Especially strong rises occurred in car sales in Croatia (+29 per cent), Latvia (+25 per cent) and Slovakia (+25 per cent).

January passenger car sales in China once again expanded strongly. The growth did in fact ease off slightly (+11 per cent), but January 2014 was still the month with the highest sales levels ever in China (1.7 million units).

The US market for light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) totalled 1.0 million new vehicles and therefore started the year with a drop of three per cent. The main reason for this was the extreme winter weather which kept customers away from the showrooms in large parts of the country. The trend towards light trucks continued in January. While sales in this segment increased by almost 3 per cent to 531,000 units, passenger car sales slumped by nearly 9 per cent to 477,600 vehicles.

In Japan, new registrations of passenger cars came to 433,600 units in January, up by almost 31 per cent. However, purchases brought forward are distorting the market – in April Japanese VAT will increase by 3 percentage points.

January passenger car sales in India remained more than 9 per cent below the previous year’s level. A total of 219,800 cars were newly registered.

In Russia, sales of light vehicles decreased last month to 152,700 new vehicles, which was a drop of nearly 6 per cent.

The Brazilian market for light vehicles started the new year in robust form. At 300,100 units, sales were 1 per cent up on the previous year.

New Passenger Car Registrations/Sales

  January 2014
  Units Change 14/13 in %
Europe (EU28+EFTA)* 967.800 5,2
European Union (EU-28)* 935.600 5,5
W. Europe (EU15+EFTA) 897.100 4,6
New EU Countries (EU13)* 70.600 12,8
Russia** 152.700 -5,8
USA** 1.008.600 -3,0
Japan 433.600 30,6
Brazil** 300.100 1,0
India 219.800 -9,3
China 1.710.400 10,8
*without Malta
**Light Vehicles
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