2015 (January to October) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Orange LamborghiniOctober 2015: New vehicle registrations increased strongly in India, China and the USA while the slump in car sales continued in Brazil and Russia. New passenger vehicle registrations continued to increase in Europe but the UK had its first negative month in two and a half years. The Japanese car market remained weak but the contraction was less severe than earlier in the year.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2015 (January to October)

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

RegionOct 2015% ChangeJan – Oct 2015% Change
Europe (EU+EFTA)1,144,1002.711,926,1008.2
Source: VDA

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

Strong Car Sales Growth in China in October 2015

In October 2015, the Chinese new car market expanded by double-digit growth for the first time since the first quarter of the year. Car sales grew by 15.1% in China in October 2015 – the strongest growth month thus far in 2015.

The strong growth in the Chinese new car market in October 2015 was partly due to a change in the tax regime that lowered tariffs on cars with smaller engines. The Chinese car market remained the largest single-country market in the world with sales more than 400,000 cars ahead of the US market.

The Chinese car market also remained the largest single-country market on year-to-date figures for 2015 although the European and US car markets have been growing faster.

Strong Trucks Sales in the USA in October 2015

The USA also saw strong growth in October 2015 with the sales of light vehicles increasing by 13.6% to 1,446,600 vehicles. This was the strongest October since 2001.

In October 2015, new truck sales in the US increased by 22% to 845,000 vehicles while passenger car sales also increased by 4% to 601,300 cars. During the first ten months of 2015, truck sales in the USA increased by 12% to 8.1 million vehicles while passenger car sales contracted by 1% to 6.4 million cars.

Car Sales Strong in India, Weak in Japan in October 2015

India was the strongest growth region in the world in October 2015 with car sales increasing by over a fifth to 268,600 cars. During the first ten months of 2015, the Indian new car market grew by 7.3% to 2.3 million cars.

In Japan, new passenger vehicle registrations were down by 4% to 315,200 cars. The contraction was less severe than earlier in the year with the Japanese car market shrinking by a tenth thus far this year.

Continued Growth in Car Sales in Europe in 2015

The European new car market expanded in October 2015 for the 26th consecutive month with sales up 2.7% in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries. Year-to-date the European new car market expanded by a more impressive 8.2% – the strongest major growth region in the world.

Although car sales remained strong in Italy (+9%) and Spain (+5%), the major German and French markets expanded only by around one percentage point each. In the UK, the new car market was marginally down (-1%) after 43 months of uninterrupted expansion.

Further Contractions in the Russian and Brazilian Car Markets

In both Brazil and Russia the new vehicle market again contracted sharply with sales down by well over a third in October 2015. Thus far in 2015, the Russian market had shrunk by over a third while the Brazilian new vehicle market was down by nearly a quarter.

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.