India returns to growth – difficulties remain in Russia and Brazil
In May the dynamism on the world passenger car market was once again fuelled by the three major automotive markets – Western Europe, the USA and China. Sales showed double-digit increases both in the USA (+11 per cent) and in China (+16 per cent) while Western Europe continued its growth, expanding by 4 per cent. The Indian passenger car market increased for the first time this year (+3 per cent). In contrast, the demand for vehicles fell in Brazil, Russia and Japan.
The Western European passenger car market increased by nearly four per cent in May to around 1.1 million vehicles – the ninth rise in succession. The German market grew by a good 5 per cent. In the United Kingdom the market expanded by about 8 per cent, which means that new registrations there have been increasing continuously since March 2012. Demand in Spain rose by almost 17 per cent – which was the ninth increase in succession. In May new passenger car registrations in France hovered around last year’s level, but with a year-to-date increase of 3 per cent. Of the five largest Western European markets, only Italy recorded a drop in demand (-4 per cent). Smaller car markets in Western Europe experienced some welcome strong growth, for example new registrations rose by double figures in Portugal (+36 per cent) and Greece (+42 per cent). This year so far, the Western European passenger car market has totalled just over 5.2 million new vehicles, with a year-on-year rise of nearly 6 per cent.
In the new EU Member States, new registrations of passenger cars in May climbed 9 per cent to reach 73,200. Double-digit growth rates were seen in Romania (+46 per cent), Lithuania (+21 per cent), Latvia (+17 per cent) and Hungary (+15 per cent). Poland expanded by 9 per cent, Slovakia by 6 per cent, and the Czech Republic by 4 per cent. By the end of May, total demand in the new EU countries had risen byalmost 18 per cent to 376,900 units.
In the USA, May demand for light vehicles showed another strong increase. Sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) rose by a little over 11 per cent, to 1.6 millionnew vehicles. This was definitely the market’s the best monthly result for nearly nine years. In the first five months of the current yearsales rose bynearly 5 per cent to 6.7 millionunits. May sales of passenger cars showed a good 9 per cent increase (773,900 vehicles). Since the beginning of this year, however, they have amounted to 3.2 million, which only equals last year’s level. In May the demand for light trucks recorded its third double-digit increase in a row – sales came to 826,500 units, which was a good 13 per cent up on 2013. From January to May of 2014 sales of light trucks climbed byalmost 10 per cent to roughly 3.5 million new vehicles.
In China, May sales of passenger cars totalled nearly 1.5 millionnew vehicles, a year-on-year increase of just over 16 per cent. In the first five months car sales reached 7.4 millionunits, i.e. almost 15 per cent above the level from the same period in 2013. So far this year the German group brands have pushed up their market share by almost 2 percentage points to a good 23 per cent.
In Japan, on the other hand, new registrations of passenger cars slumped by a little over 1 per cent last month, to 304,400 units, following the increase in VAT in April. The total car market volume since January comes to around 2.2 millionnew vehicles, which is a little more than 13 per cent down on last year’s figure.
In India, eight months of shrinkage were finally followed in May by the first month with a return to growth. New vehicle sales rose by 3 per cent to 208,000 units. So it seems that February’s reduction in consumption tax is gradually having an effect. In addition, consumer confidence is starting to improve slightly following the parliamentary elections in May. This year so far, however, the sales volume has decreased bynearly 6 per cent, toabout 1.1 million new vehicles.
In Russia the light vehicle market lost more than 12 per cent in May, with 201,500 vehicles being sold. Since the beginning of the year Russia has recorded a fall of almost 6 per cent to just over 1 million new vehicles.
In Brazil sales of light vehicles decreased by a little over 7 per cent last month to 278,400 units. From January to May 2014 the Brazilian light vehicle market contracted by a good 5 per cent to a volume of over 1.3 millionnew registrations.
|May 2014||January - May 2014|
|Units||Change 14/13 in %||Units||Change 14/13 in %|
|European Union (EU-28)*||1.093.400||4,5||5.431.900||6,9|
|W. Europe (EU15+EFTA)||1.060.500||3,9||5.242.400||5,8|
|New EU Countries (EU13)*||73.200||9,0||376.900||17,9|