2015 (January to July) International: Worldwide Car Sales

2015 BMW 750 iL
2015 BMW 750 iL © BMW AG

July 2015: New passenger vehicle registrations increased in Europe, India and the USA but car sales were lower in China, Japan, Russia and Brazil. In July 2015, car sales were stronger in all five largest European countries to record the 23rd consecutive month of year-on-year increases in car sales in the European Union. In July 2015, the Chinese car market was weaker than a year ago and although more light vehicles were sold in the US this month, the Chinese car market still remained the largest in the world over the first seven months of 2015. Car sales in India continued to increase in July but were weaker in Japan. In Brazil and Russia, the new car market remained very weak in July 2015.

Worldwide New Car Markets in 2015 (Jan to July)

New light vehicle registrations in various regions of the world as monitored by the VDA were as follows in July 2015:

RegionJuly 2015% ChangeJan – Jul 2015% Change
Europe (EU+EFTA)1,092,3008.98,012,9008.3
Source: VDA

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

Continued Strong Car Sales in Europe in 2015 (Jan to July)

July 2015 registered the 23rd consecutive month of increases in new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries. Car sales increased by 8.9% in July 2015 but the volume during summer months is traditionally low with just 1,092,300 new car registrations.

During the first seven months of 2015, new car sales in Europe increased by 8.3% – the strongest growth of any of the major car markets in the world. However, total volume at just over 8 million cars are still two million unites behind the USA and nearly 2.7 million less than in China.

In July 2015, all five of the largest European countries registered an increase in car sales. Germany saw an increase of 7% in new passenger vehicle registrations in July 2015 while car sales increased by 3% in Great Britain and a more modest 2% in France. However, sales are booming in Italy (15%) and Spain (23%).

Strong Light Truck Sales in the USA in 2015 (January to July)

In July 2015, light vehicle sales in the USA increased by 5.3% to just over 1.5 million vehicles. For the second consecutive month, new vehicle registrations were higher in the USA than in China.

As in previous months, the increase in vehicle registration in the USA was again mostly due to the popularity of light trucks rather than traditional passenger cars. In July 2015, new light truck registration in the USA increased by 12% to 851,000 trucks while passenger car sales declined by 3% to 652,700 cars.

During the first seven months of 2015, the US light vehicle market grew by 4.6% to 9,989,100 units. Car sales were down by 2% to 4.5 million cars while light truck (SUV) sales raced ahead by 10% to 5.5 million vehicles.

Weaker Car Sales in China in July 2015

In July 2015, the Chinese new vehicle market contracted for the first time this year when 1,194,600 (-5.9%) new cars were registered. This was over 300,000 cars less than sold in the USA in July 2015 but still 100,000 cars more than in the growing European car market.

Over the first seven months of 2015, the Chinese market remained comfortably ahead of both the US and European markets. However, further weakness is expected in the Chinese car market during the second half of 2015.

Strong Car Sales in India in July 2015

In India, the new passenger car market continued to grow with the Indian market growing the fastest in July 2015 of any major market. New car sales in India increased by 11.4% to 222,400 cars in July 2015.

Year-to-date 2015, the Indian new car market expanded by 6.1% – only the European car market is growing faster. However, with the total market only just more than 1.5 million units, the upside potential in India still far exceed other large markets.

Weak Car Sales in Japan in 2015

The Japanese car market remained weak but the 9.1% decreased in new passenger vehicle registration in July 2015 was better than the nearly 12% decline year to date.

In July 2015, new car sales in Japan totaled 355,900 vehicles. During the first even months of 2015 car sales in Japan slumped to only 2.607,600 cars.

Weak Car Sales in Brazil and Russia in July 2015

Russia and Brazil remained the weakest major car markets in 2015. In Russia, new light vehicle sales in July 2015 were down 27.5% to 131,100 cars. The decline was slower than the overall performance for 2015 thus far: during the first seven months of 2015 the Russian car market contracted by more than a third to far fewer than a million units.

The Brazilian car market weakened further in July 2015. New light vehicle registrations were down 21.6% in July 2015 to 219,700 unites – again less than in India. The Brazilian car market has shrunk by a fifth during the first seven months of 2015.

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.