2015 (January to September) International: Worldwide Car Sales

Chevrolet Corvette at Geneva Auto Show 2015September 2015: Car sales increased strongly in the USA , Europe, China and India but were lower in Japan and down by a third in Russia and Brazil. Although light vehicle sales in the USA grew by 16% – the strongest September in 15 years – China again became the world’s largest single-country car market for the first time since April 2015. Europe remained the world’s fastest growing region during the first three quarters of 2015 while the Brazilian and Russian car markets continued to contract sharply.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2015 (Q1-3)

New passenger vehicle registrations in various major regions of the world monitored by the VDA were as follows during the first nine months (Q1-3) of 2015:

Region In Sep 2015 % Change Jan – Sep 2015 % Change
Europe (EU+EFTA) 1,394,200 9.8 10,776,700 8.8
Russia* 140,900 -28.6 1,192,700 -33.0
USA* 1,435,100 15.9 12,995,900 5.1
Japan 399,800 -7.4 3,278,800 -10.7
Brazil* 192,800 -31.8 1,884,600 -21.7
India 232,200 3.8 2,036,500 5.6
China 1,679,400 5.5 13,702,400 4.7
Source: VDA

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

Record Car Sales in the USA in September 2015

Light vehicle (car and light trucks) sales in the USA in September 2015 increased by 16% to 1,435,100 vehicles. This was the highest US total for a September in 15 years. Car sales in the US were particularly helped by a strong Labor Day weekend – in 2014, this important sales weekend reported in August.

During the first three quarters of 2015, light vehicle sales in the USA increased by 5.1% to 12,995,900 vehicles. This is over 2 million more than in Europe but around 700,000 less than in China.

China – Again the World’s Largest Car Market in September 2015

New passenger vehicle registrations in China increased by 5.5% in September 2015 to 1,679,400 cars. This was the first positive month in China since May and the first time the Chinese car market was bigger than the USA since April 2015.

During the first nine months of 2015, car sales in China increased by 4.7% to 13,7 million cars.

Germany luxury car brands continued to generally outperform the broader market in China during the first three quarters of 2015.

Europe – Strongest Growth Region for Car Sales in 2015

In September 2015, car sales in Europe increased for the 25th consecutive month. New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries increased by nearly 10% in September 2015 to 1,394,200 cars .

Year-to-date 2015, Europe had been the fastest growing car market region in the world with sales up 8.8% to 10,776,700 cars. Only four EU countries failed to increase sales in 2015 compared to the first three quarters of 2014.

However, with the Volkswagen Group having a 25% share of the European new car market, the fall out (and uncertainty) of the VW emissions scandal is likely to be felt the strongest in Europe during the final quarter of 2015.

Higher Car Sales in Indian in September 2015

In India, the new car market expanded by a steady 3.8% in September to 232,200 cars. Year-to-date 2015, the Indian car market grew by 5.6% to just over two million new car registrations.

Lower Car Sales in Japan in 2015 (Q1-3)

In Japan, the contraction of the new car market continued in September 2015. Car sales were down another 7.4% but the slowdown is less severe than earlier in the year.

During the first three quarters of 2015, new passenger vehicle registrations in Japan declined by 10.7% to 3,278,800 cars.

Continued Slow Down in Russia and Brazil

In Brazil and Russia the new vehicle markets continued to shrink in September 2015. In both countries the market slumped by nearly a third compared to September 2014.

The Brazilian market contracted by a fifth this year while the Russian market is down by a third.