2013 (Jan to Sep) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Car sales in September 2013 were surprisingly strong with even Europe and Japan recording strong growth with new vehicle registrations highest in China.

Car sales in September 2013 were surprisingly strong with even Europe and Japan recording strong growth with new vehicle registrations highest in China.

Car sales in various regions of the world were robust during September 2013. Europe had a rare positive month while new vehicle registrations in Japan were up by almost a fifth. Light vehicle sales in the USA were down, as was expected due to vacation days. Brazil had a positive month while India continued to disappoint. Growth in China was again just shy of 30% with year-to-date passenger vehicle registrations in China up by more than a fifth. January to September 2013 saw the USA narrowly ahead of China as the largest single-country auto market.

New Car Sales Worldwide in 2013 (January to September)

New passenger (or light) vehicle registrations in different regions of the world during September 2013 according to car sales statistics monitored by the VDA were as follows:

Region Jan-Sep 2013% September 2013% August 2013 July 2013 Jan-June 2013
Europe (EU+EFTA) 9,338,900-4.0 1,194,2005.5 687,000 1,019,600 6,436,700
Russia 2,046,700-6.6 246,900-5.0 231,900 234,600 1,333,300
USA 11,742,0008.1 1,133,800-4.2 1,497,700 1,309,300 7,789,200
Japan 3,470,000-5.3 446,00018.1 310,700 401,900 2,311,300
Brazil 2,641,300-0.9 294,4006.0 313,000 324,300 1,709,500
India 1,926,700-7.7 216,000-4.5 190,100 186,200 1,333,400
China 11,602,50020.8 1,472,00029.0 1,244,800 1,147,200 7,738,600
Source: VDA 42,768,100  5,003,300  4,475,200 4,623,100 28,652,000

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

European Car Sales in 2013 (January to September)

The biggest surprise in the worldwide car sales data was that Europe experienced fairly strong growth during September 2013. New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA increased by 5.5%, however, it should be born in mind that September 2012 was the worst September on record.

The British car market, Europe鈥檚 second largest, remained the driving force in Europe. Car sales in the UK increased by a further 12% during September 2013 and for once even France (+3.4%) saw a positive growth month.

Year-to-date the European car market remains weak (-4%) but appearing in much better shape than earlier in 2013. The Russian market continued to weaken but at a slower pace than earlier in 2013.

International Car Sales in 2013 (January to September)

The USA light truck market was weaker in September (-4.2%) but the lower figures were expected as the Labor Day weekend fell in August this year with September 2013 having two working days less than a year ago. In August 2013, the US market grew by a phenomenal 17% making for a stable 7% growth for August and September 2013 combined. January to September 2013, the US light vehicle market grew by 8.1% to remain narrowly bigger than China.

The Japanese car market showed remarkable growth in September with car sales increasing by 18.1%. During the first three quarters of 2013, the Japanese car market weakened by 5.3%. The Indian car market continued to disappoint.

The Brazil light vehicle market also grew during September 2013 (6%). January to September 2013 sales figures for Brazil remained flat.

China continues to be the strongest growth vehicle market in the world. In September 2013, new passenger vehicle registrations grew by 29%. The Chinese car market grew by 20.8% from January to September 2013 to leave the Chinese auto market just 140,000 cars smaller than the US.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.