2014 (January to September) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Ferrari California at the Geneva Auto Salon 2014New vehicle registrations in September 2014 were stronger in Europe, China, India and the USA but weaker in Brazil, Japan and Russia. China remained the world’s largest and fastest growing passenger vehicle market during the first three quarters of 2014 but the USA and European car markets are also growing steadily. Car sales in Japan remained positive for the period January to September 2014 but have been mostly negative since April. The Brazilian car market continued to struggle but in India, the past couple of months have been mostly positive. The Russian market weakened further in September 2014.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2014 (January to September)

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

Region September 2014 % Change Jan to Sep 2014 % Change
Europe (EU+EFTA) 1’269’500 6.1 9’906’700 5.8
Russia* 197’200 -20.1 1’779’900 -13
USA* 1’239’000 9.3 12’371’200 5.4
Japan 431’800 -3.2 3’671’100 5.8
Brazil* 282’900 -3.9 2’407’400 -8.9
India 223’600 3.3 1’927’900 0
China 1’591’700 8.1 13’086’200 12.8
Source: VDA

*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 2104 (Q1-3)

China remained the world’s largest and fastest growing car market during the first three quarters of 2014. From January to September 2014, new passenger vehicle registrations in China increased by nearly 13% to just over 13 million cars.

China was also again the world’s largest single-country car market in September 2014 when nearly 1.6 million new cars (+8.1%) were registered.

German luxury carmakers continue to perform very well in China during the first three quarters of 2014.

In Japan, car sales were down 3.2% in September 2014. However, Japanese car sales year -to-date 2014 remained positive due to the fast growth in the first quarter of 2014 prior to a sales tax increase on April 1, 2014.

In India, where the car market remains only a fraction of the size of the Chinese market, new passenger vehicle registrations have been mostly positive in recent months. In September 2014, car sales in India grew by 3.3% allowing the market to be flat at the end of the third quarter of the year, the first time in 2014 that cumulative figures have not been negative.

Strong Car Sales in the USA in September 2014

The US light vehicle market expanded by 9.3% during September 2014 but not sufficient to maintain largest-market in the world status ahead of China. The year-to-date expansion of 5.4% was less than half the growth recorded in China.

Growth in new vehicle registrations in the USA were again mostly due to the popularity of light trucks. In September 2014, sales of new light trucks increased by 17% to 676,400 units. During the first three quarters of 2014, sales of light trucks in the US increased by around 10% to 6.5 million trucks.

In contrast, passenger car sales in the USA grew by only 2% in September 2014 to 562,600 cars. January to September 2014, passenger car sales in the USA grew by only 1% to 5.9 million cars.

Further south, the Brazilian light vehicle market continued to struggle. Vehicle sales in September 2014 were down 3.9% with sales during the first three quarters of 2014 down by nearly 9% to 2.4 million vehicles.

Car Sales Stronger in the EU in 2014 (Q1-3)

New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA grew for the 13th consecutive month in September 2014 – only three EU markets (Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands) had negative figures for the month. September is traditionally a very important month for the car market in Britain – a 6% growth saw the British market account for more than a third of all new passenger vehicle registrations in the EU in September 2014.

During the first three quarters of 2014, car sales in the EU and EFTA have increased by 5.8% to just shy of 10 million cars. Volkswagen remained the top-selling car manufacturer in Europe.

In Russia, the car market weakened by a fifth during September with sales down by 13% thus far in 2014.