2013 (Jan to Oct) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Car sales in October 2013 were surprisingly strong in most parts of the world with positive figures in Europe, Japan, the USA and China.

10 million VW in China
10 millionth VW produced in China © Volkswagen AG

New passenger vehicle registrations in the major car markets were surprisingly strong during October 2013. Sales in China increased by a third, in the USA by over 10%, and in Japan by almost a fifth. Even Europe had positive car sales for the second month in a row. Car sales were weaker in Russia, Brazil and India.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2013 (January to October)

New passenger (or light) vehicle registrations in different parts of the world during October 2013 as monitored by the VDA were as follows:

Region  Jan-Oct 2013  % Change  October 2013  % Change  Jan-June 2013   Q3/2013
Europe (EU+EFTA)  10’385’100 -3.1  1’044’900 4.6  6’436’700  2’900’800
Russia  2’281’200 -6.7  234’500 -7.7  1’333’300  713’400
USA  12’942’300 8.3  1’202’000 10.5  7’789’200  3’940’800
Japan  3’824’500 -3.5  354’500 18.4  2’311’300  1’158’600
Brazil  2’955’100 -1.3  313’900 -4  1’709’500  931’700
India  2’166’300 -7.1  239’100 -2  1’333’400  592’300
China  13’080’900 22  1’478’400 33.1  7’738’600  3’864’000
Source: VDA  47’635’400  4’867’300  28’652’000  14’101’600

*Russia, USA & Brazil include light vehicles (trucks), other markets passenger vehicles (cars) only.

According to IHS / Polk, total worldwide car sales from January to October amounts to 62,856,155 (+4.7%) new passenger car registrations.

Car Sales in China and Asia in 2013 (January to October)

In October, China was the largest single country car market in the world for the second month running. Year-to-date the Chinese car market is again slightly ahead of the USA.

After a 30% increase in car sales in China in September 2013, new passenger vehicle registrations raced ahead by 33% in October. The massive increases are in part due to September and October 2012 being relative weak months due to a political spat between Japan and China last year.

Japan had a strong October 2013 with the sales increase of 18.4%, similar to the increase in September. Year-to-date, the Japanese market is down 3.5% compared to -8.5% mid-year.

The Indian car market continued to decline although the 2% contraction in October 2013 was far smaller than the decline of 7% thus far in 2013.

Car Sales in Europe in 2013 (January to October)

October 2013 was a surprisingly strong month for new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union. Despite coming from a weak 2012, the increase of nearly 5% in car sales in Western Europe confirm the upswing in the European car market since the middle of the year.

In October 2013, Italy (-6%) was the only major market with negative growth. In the important German market, new passenger vehicle registrations in October 2013 increased by 2% and in France by 3%. The UK (+4%) is still the major growth factor but the increase in sales in Britain is weakening compared to earlier in the year. Spain surprised by a sales increase of over a third.

The Russian car market continues to weaken with October 2013 figures (-7.7%) a percentage point weaker than for the first ten months of 2013 as a whole.

Light Vehicle Sales in the Americas

Light vehicle sales in the USA increased by 10.4% in October 2013 despite fears that the government shutdown would have a negative influence on vehicle registrations. In October 2013, as well as for the first ten months of the year, the USA has slipped again into second place behind China.

Light vehicle sales in Brazil declined by 4% in October 2013. Year-to-date the Brazilian car market is flat with a contraction of 1.3%.