2014 (Jan to August) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Qaunt E-sportlimousine at Geneva Auto Salon 2014In August 2014, new vehicle registrations increased in the USA, China, India and Europe but car sales were lower in Russia, Brazil and Japan. The USA was again the world’s largest single-country vehicle market in August 2014 but year to date, the Chinese car market remains the largest and fastest growing in the world. Car sales in Western Europe increased in August 2014 for the tenth consecutive month. The Russian light vehicle market contracted by a quarter, the Brazilian by nearly a fifth while the Japanese car market shrank 10% in August 2014.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2014 (January to August)

New vehicle registrations in various regions of the world monitored by the VDA were as follows in August 2014:

Region August 2014 % Change Jan to Aug 2014 % Change
Europe (EU+EFTA) 701’100 1.8 8’636’600 5.8
Russia* 172’000 -25.8 1’582’700 -12.1
USA* 1’579’000 5.4 11’132’200 5
Japan 281’300 -9.5 3’239’200 7.1
Brazil* 259’500 -17.1 2’124’600 -9.5
India 213’900 12.5 1’704’300 -0.4
China 1’368’000 9.9 11’494’900 13.5

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

USA Again Largest Car Market in the World

In August 2014, the USA was again the largest car market in the world, although the faster growing Chinese market is still leading for the whole of the current calendar year. In August 2014, new light vehicle registrations increased by 5.4% to 1,579,000 vehicles. Year-to-date, the US vehicle market grew by 5% to just over 11 million car and trucks.

Light trucks remain the driving force in the American new light vehicle market. In August 2014, light truck sales increased by nearly 9% to 831,000 new registrations. Year-to-date, 5,8 million (+9%) new trucks were sold in the USA.

New car registration in the USA increased by 2% in August 2014 to 748,000 cars. Thus far in 2014, new car sales in the USA grew by only 1% to 5.3 million cars.

Strong Growth in Car Sales in China and India

Thus far in 2014, China remains the strongest and fastest growing single-country market in the world. Between January and August 2014, car sales in China grew by 13.5% to 11,494,400 vehicles. In recent months, the pace of growth has slowed in China but with an increase of 9.9% in August, China easily remains the largest and fastest growing car market in the world.

India, for once, was the fastest growing major car market in the world in August 2014 with an increase in new registrations of 12.5%. However, at 213,900 cars, the Indian car market remains much smaller than that of China or Japan. The Indian car market is likely to turn positive for the year as a whole.

Slump in Car Sales in Japan, Russia and Brazil

The Russian car market continues to weaken. In August 2014, light vehicle registrations were down by a quarter with the contraction for the year thus far 12%.

The light vehicle market in Brazil also continues to weaken despite fiscal measures. New registrations in Brazil in August 2014 were down by 17% with the year-to-date contraction nearing 10%.

In Japan, car sales were sharply down in August 2014. An increase in value added tax from April 1, 2014, saw many purchases brought forward but the initial contraction in the second quarter of the year was much less severe than anticipated. However, the Japanese economy and car sales in particular have been suffering since the start of summer. Year-to-date figures for 2014 remain positive at 7.1% but a further weakening is expected.

Positive Car Sales Growth in Europe in August 2014

The European new car market saw its tenth consecutive month of increases in new passenger vehicle registrations in August 2014 when the market grew by 1.8%. August is traditionally a weak month for car sales in Europe and 2014 was hindered by one fewer working day compared to 2013. Year-to-date car sales in Europe are up nearly 6%.

The European car market remains rather unbalances in August 2014. Car sales were slightly negative in Germany and Italy but sharply down in France (-2.8%) while the British market continue to expand rapidly – up around 10% in August and year-to-date. The Spanish market also expanded by near 14% in August.

See Also: