2015 (January to November) International: Worldwide Car Sales

11-Suzukis at Geneva Auto Show 2015November 2015: The Chinese car market expanded by a quarter while sales were also up in Europe, India and the USA. Russia, Brazil and Japan contracted.

Year-to-date 2015, new passenger vehicle registrations increased the most in Europe (8.6%) but increases have also been strong in China, India and the USA. New car sales in Japan contracted during the first eleven months of 2015 by 10% but were down by a quarter in Brazil and just over a third in Russia.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2015 (January to November)

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

Region November 2015 % Change Jan – Nov 2015 % Change
Europe (EU+EFTA) 1,125,000 13.7 13,045,800 8.6
Russia* 131,600 -42.7 1,454,300 -34.5
USA* 1,310,800 1.3 15,752,300 5.5
Japan 314,100 -7.6 3,908,000 -9.9
Brazil* 189,600 -32.3 2,259,700 -24.2
India 236,700 11.4 2,541,800 7.6
China 2,105,200 24.6 17,676,800 7.8
Source: VDA

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

Strong Car Sales Growth in China in November 2015

The Chinese new car market grew by 24.6% in November after expanding by 15% the previous month. After some lackluster performances earlier in the year, new vehicle registrations in China seemed to have returned to a high-growth path. Car sales were helped by changes in the tax regime that lowered taxes on cars with engines smaller than 1600 cc.

In November 2015, the Chinese car market exceeded two million units in a calendar month for the first time this year – nearly a million cars more than were sold in Europe. During the first eleven months of 2015, nearly 17.7 million cars were sold in China – nearly two million more than in the USA and 4.5 million more than in Europe.

Continued Strong Growth in European Car Sales in 2015 (November)

In November 2015, new passenger vehicle registrations in Europe (EU & EFTA) increased by 13.7% – the 27th consecutive months of market expansion. All five largest car markets in Europe expanded in November 2015: Spain (25.4%), Italy (23.5%), France (11.3%), Germany (8.9%) and the UK (3.8%).

Volkswagen remained the strongest selling car brand in Europe but with growth of 3.1% seriously underperforming the broader market. In November 2015, the VW brand’s market share shrunk from 13.5% to 12.2% compared to a year ago with the larger Volkswagen Group loosing 2% market share but still with 24.5% dominating the European new car market.

During the first eleven months of 2015, the European new car market grew by 8.6% – the strongest performance of all the major regions in the world. Year-to-date, 13,045,800 cars were sold in the EU and EFTA – nearly 40,000 more than in the whole of 2014.

Further Growth in the American Vehicle Market in November 2015

Light vehicle registrations in the USA expanded by 1.3% in November 2015 with light vehicles (trucks & SUVs) sales increasing by 9% to 783,700 vehicles while car sales shrunk by 9% to 527,100 cars. November 2015 vehicle sales were the strongest November in the USA since 2001.

Year-to-date, light vehicle registrations in the USA increased by 5.5% to 15,752,300 vehicles. Light truck sales increased by 12% to 8.9 million vehicles while car sales contracted by 2% to 6.9 million cars.

Strong Car Sales in India in November 2015

The Indian new car market continued its expansion in November with an increase of 11.4% to 236,700 vehicles. Year-to-date, the Indian car market grew by 7.6% to 2,541,800 cars – only around 30,000 fewer cars than in the whole of 2014.

Continued Weakness in the Japanese Car Market in 2015

In November 2015, new passenger vehicle registrations in Japan shrunk by 7.6% to 314,100 cars. The Japanese car market has been weak all year but especially during early months of the year. Year to date, the Japanese car market is down by nearly 10% to just below 4 million cars.

Further Decline in the Brazilian and Russian Car Markets in 2015

Light vehicle sales in Brazil and Russia continued to contract in November 2015. The Brazilian market shrank by a third while Russia was down 42.7% – its worst month thus far in 2015.

Year-to-date 2015, the Brazilian car market contracted by a quarter while the Russian market is down by just more than a third.

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.