First half 2014 new vehicle registrations increased in most regions of the world with China and the USA the biggest car markets.
In June 2014, new passenger vehicle registrations increased in most regions of the world with China again the biggest single-country car market. Car sales increased in June, as well as the full first semester of 2014, in China, Europe, the USA and Japan. In India, car sales were up June 2014 but down year to date. In Brazil and Russia, car sales have been weaker in both June and the first half of 2014.
Worldwide Car Sales in 2014 (First Half)
First half 2014 new vehicle registrations in various regions of the world as monitored by the VDA were as follows:
|Region||June 2014||% Change||Jan – Jun 2014||% Change|
* USA, Brazil and Russia include light vehicles (trucks). % Change refers to same period the previous year.
China Again the World’s Largest Car Market in June 2014
China regained its position as the largest single-country car market in the world in June 2014 – car sales were higher in the USA in May 2014. The Chinese car market grew by nearly 14% in June with the first half of 2014 showing growth in China of 14.5%. This is easily the strongest growth region for June and first semester 2014 by far.
In Japan, the market surprised by being positive in June 2014. Although the growth was only 0.1%, negative numbers were predicted after sales taxes were increased on April 1, 2014. The Japanese market was down in April (-12%) and May (-1.3%) but following very strong growth during the first quarter (20.9%) remained strongly positive for the first half of 2014. On the whole, the sales tax increase had a weaker effect on car sales in Japan than initially feared.
Changes in the tax regime in India also get part of the credit for the positive growth in June 2014. A temporary reduction in taxes was due to expire in July but has been extended. Year-to-date car sales in India remain negative.
Flat Car Sales in the USA in June 2014
The US light vehicle market remained fairly weak during June 2014, allowing the Chinese market to regain the lead after the US car market was biggest in May 2014. The flat sales in the USA are largely blamed on June 2014 having two fewer sales days than in 2013.
The growth in the USA is largely due to increases in sales of light trucks rather than in passenger cars. Passenger car sales in June 2014 were 684,100 cars (-1%) while truck sales increased by 3% to 730,300 vehicles. First semester 2014 passenger car sales in the USA were flat at around 3.9 million cars while light truck sales increased by 8% to 4.2 million vehicles.
Further south, in Brazil, vehicle sales slipped by 17% in June 2014. Year-to-date, light vehicle sales in Brazil are down by 7.3%. An increase in production taxes planned for July 1, 2014 has been postponed.
Strong Car Sales in Europe in June 2014
The European Union and EFTA countries recorded its tenth consecutive month of car sales growth in June 2014. At 4.3% in June 2014 and 6.2% during the first half of 2014, the European car market has been expanding faster than the US market. However, numbers remain low with the increase percentages being flattered by very weak sales early in 2013.
See 2014 (Half Year) Europe: Car Sales per EU Country for more details.
In Russia, car sales continue to weaken. In June 2014, the market contracted by 17.3% while first semester car sales are down 7.6%