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2016 (First Half) International: Worldwide Car Sales

by Henk Bekker

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June 2016: new passenger car registrations increased in China, Europe, the USA and India but sales were weaker in Brazil, Russia and Japan. During the first half of 2016, car sales in China increased by 12%, in Europe by 9%, in India by 4.5% and in the USA by a moderate 1.3%. During the first six months of 2016, car sales contracted in Japan by 5%, in Russia by 14% and in Brazil by 25%.

Porsche 718 Boxster at Geneva 2016

Worldwide Car Sales in 2016 (First Half)

During June 2016 and the first half year of 2016, new light vehicle registrations in various major regions in the world as monitored by the VDA were as follows:

Region

June 2016

% Change

Half-Year 2016

% Change

Europe (EU+EFTA)

1,507,300

6.5

8,090,900

9.1

Russia*

122,600

-12.5

672,100

-14.1

USA*

1,506,000

2.4

8,598,300

1.3

Japan

344,300

-5.6

2,132,700

-5.3

Brazil*

166,600

-18.4

952,300

-25.1

India

223,500

2.7

1,420,300

4.5

China

1,727,800

21.3

10,618,600

12.0

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Note: *USA, Brazil and Russia include light vehicles (trucks). % Change refers to same period the previous year.

China the World’s Largest Car Market in 2016 (Half Year)

China remained the world’s largest and fastest growing light vehicle market in June 2016, as well as for the first six months of 2016. In June 2016, new passenger vehicle registrations in China increased by 21.3% to 1,727,800 cars – impressive figures even taking into account that June 2015 was a relatively weak month for car sales in China.

During the first half of 2016, new car sales in China increased by a strong 12% to 10,618,600 cars. Continued growth in the Chinese car market is partly credited to lower taxes on cars with smaller engines but also a continued boom in the popularity of SUVs.

Continued Growth in the European New Car Market in 2016 (First Half)

In June 2016, the European Union (EU) and EFTA new passenger vehicle market expanded for the 34th consecutive month. Car sales grew by 6.6% to 1,507,300 cars. Growth was registered in all major markets except the British market that shrunk by 1%.

During the first half of 2016, new passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA increased by 9.1% to 8,090,900 cars. The European new car market is thus just half a million units smaller than the US but still a significant 2.5 million cars less than were sold in China during the first six months of 2016.

Stable Growth in the US Light Vehicle Market in 2016 (Half Year)

Registrations of new light vehicles in the USA continued to increase moderately in the USA during June 2016. Sales for the month was up 2.4% to 1,506,000 united – just over a thousand less than in Europe. Car sales were down 9% while light vehicle (trucks and SUVs) were up by 11%.

During the first half of 2016, light vehicle sales in the USA increased by 1.3% to 8,598,300 cars and trucks.

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Stronger Car Sales in India in 2016 (Half Year)

Car sales in India continued to expand in June 2016 with sales up 2.7% to 223,500 cars. During the first six months of 2016, car sales in India increased by 4.5% to 1,420,000 vehicles.

Continued Weakness in Japanese Car Sales in 2016 (First Half)

New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan were again weaker in June 2016 than earlier in the year. The Japanese car market contracted by 5.6% in June 2016 to 344,300 cars.

During the first half of 2016, the Japanese new passenger vehicle market shrank by 5.3% to 2,132,700 cars.

Continued Weakness in the Russian Car Market in 2016 (First Half)

Light vehicle sales in Russia remained very weak during June 2016. The market contracted by 12.5% to 122,600 cars and light trucks.

The Russian light vehicle market contracted by 14.1% during the first half of 2016.

Continued Weakness in the Brazilian Car Market in 2016 (First Half)

The Brazilian light vehicle market continued to contracts in June 2016 although at a slightly slower pace. In June 2016, light vehicle sales were down 18.4% to 166,600 units.

During the first half of 2016, the Brazilian new light vehicle market contracted by just more than a quarter to less than a million units.

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