2015 (January to August) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Quant F Electric Sportscar at Geneva Auto Show 2015August 2015: new passenger vehicle registrations increased in Europe and India but car sales were lower in the US, Japan, China, Russia and Brazil. Car sales have been higher in the European Union (EU) every month for the past two years making Europe the fastest growing major region in the world. Year-to-date China remains the largest car market in the world but sales in the US had been higher the last three months. The Indian car market continued to expand while the Japanese car market remained weak. Car sales in Russia and Brazil were again very weak.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2015 (January to August)

New passenger vehicle registrations in various major regions of the world according to car sales statistics monitored by the VDA were as follows in August 2015:

RegionAugust 2015% ChangeJan – Aug 2015% Change
Europe (EU+EFTA)781,70011.59,382,2008.6
Russia*138,700-19.41,051,900-33.5
USA*1,569,200-0.611,560,2003.9
Japan271,400-3.52,879,000-11.1
Brazil*200,100-22.91,691,800-20.4
India222,5004.01,804,3005.9
China1,347,500-1.512,008,5004.5
Source: VDA

Note: * US, Brazil and Russia include light vehicles (trucks)

Strong Car Sales in Europe in August 2015

The European car market continued to expand in August 2015 for the 24th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. In August 2015, new passenger vehicle registrations expanded in the European Union and EFTA by 11.5%.

All five largest European car markets had strong growth but volumes are traditionally relatively low in August. New passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 6%, in Britain, France and Italy around 10% and in Spain by 23%.

Thus far in 2015, car sales expanded faster in Europe than any other major region of the world. The European market grew by 8.6% but was still significantly smaller than the slower growing US and Chinese vehicle markets.

Continued Weakness in the Chinese Car Market in 2015 (August)

The Chinese car market was again weaker in August 2015 compared to a year ago. This was the fourth consecutive weaker month in China, although the contraction in August was a modest 1.5%.

Year-to-date, the Chinese car market has grown by 4.5% to just over 12 million cars – still the largest single-country car market in world.

Flat Car Market in the US in August 2015

In the USA, light vehicle registrations were marginally weaker in August 2015 compared to a year ago. The slight contraction was due to the important Labor Day weekend sales in 2015 being recorded in September rather than in August. It was the third month in succession that the US light vehicle market was larger than the Chinese market although year-to-date car sales in China are still 450,000 units ahead.

Car Sales in Other Regions in August 2015

India was the only major car market other than Europe to have expanded in August 2015. Car sales were up 4% with the Indian car market growing a strong 6% during the first seven months of 2015.

In Japan, new passenger vehicle registrations remained weak in August with the market contracting 3.5%. However, it is an improvement on earlier months with the year-to-date contraction a sharper 11%

In Russia, the light vehicle market contracted by another fifth in August although the figure was better than the 33% contraction during the first seven months of 2015.

In Brazil, the light vehicle market was again down by more than a fifth – roughly in line with the overall contraction thus far this year.

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.