2017 (Jan to June) International: Worldwide Car Sales

June 2017: New car sales were sharply up in Japan, Russia and Brazil, slightly stronger in Europe and China but weaker in the USA and India.

AC Schnitzer BMW i8

Light vehicle registrations in Japan, Russia and Brazil increased by around 15% in June 2017 while the growth in car sales in Europe and China were more moderate at 2% and 3% respectively. For the sixth consecutive month, light vehicle sales in the USA were weaker than last year. After five months of growth, the Indian car market contracted by 11% in June 2017. With the exception of the USA, all these major markets had a better first semester 2017 than the first six months of 2016.

Worldwide Car Sales in 2017 (January to June)

New light vehicle registrations in various major regions of the world according to car sales statistics monitored by the VDA were as follows in June and the first six months of 2017:

Region Jun 2017 % Change HY / 2017 % Change
Europe (EU+EFTA) 1,540,300 2.1 8,461,500 4.6
Russia* 141,100 15.0 718,500 6.9
USA* 1,464,300 -3.2 8,401,700 -2.2
Japan 396,500 15.1 2,346,600 10.0
Brazil* 189,500 13.7 993,100 4.3
India 198,400 -11.2 1,530,900 7.8
China 1,788,100 3.1 10,929,100 2.7
*Light vehicles
Source: VDA

Japan – Strong Car Sales in June 2017

In Japan, new passenger vehicle registrations in June 2017 increased by 15.1% to 396,500 cars. June 2017 was the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year car sales increases in Japan.

During the first half of 2017, new passenger car registrations in Japan increased by 10% to 2,346,600 cars. No other major car market has grown faster thus far in 2017.

Russia – Very Strong Car Sales in June 2017

In June 2017, new light vehicle sales in Russia increased by 15% to 141,100 vehicles. This followed a similar increase in car sales in May 2017 and the fourth consecutive month of car sales growth in Russia.

In the first semester of 2017, the Russian new car market expanded by 6.9% to 718,000 vehicles.

Brazil – Strong Car Sales in June 2017

New light vehicle registrations in Brazil increased by 13.7% to 189,500 cars. This sales increase followed a strong 17% improvement in May 2017, which was the first positive month for car sales in Brazil since December 2014.

After two strong months, the Brazilian new car market is up 4.3% to 993,100 cars for the first six months of 2017. After two and a half years of contraction, the Brazilian car market has enormous growth potential.

China – Increase in Car Sales in June 2017

After two negative months, car sales in China again increased in June 2017. New car sales in China were up 3.1% to 1,788,100 cars in June 2017.

During the first six months of 2017, new car sales in China increased by 2.7% to 10,929,100 cars leaving China by far the largest single country market in the world. German luxury car brands generally outperformed the broader market in China during the first half of 2017.

Europe – Stronger Car Sales in June 2017

New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA increased by 2.1% in June 2017 to 1,540,000 cars. During June and the first semester of 2017, the European new car market exceeded the US market.

During the first six months of 2017, new car sales in Europe increased by 4.6% to 8,461,500 cars. A small contraction in Britain was the only decline in major markets thus far in 2017.

USA – Continued Weak Vehicle Sales in June 2017

In June 2017, new light vehicle registrations in the USA contracted for the sixth consecutive month. Light vehicle sales in the US were down 3.1% to 1,464,300 in June 2017 – lower than the number in Europe although the USA remained by far the second largest single-country car market in the world.

New light vehicle sales in the USA were down 2.2% thus far in 2017 to 8,401,700 vehicles. The trend away from traditional passenger cars in the USA continued throughout the semester. Passenger car sales were down 12% while light trucks and SUV sales were up 5% for a 63% (+4%) market share.

India – Weak Car Sales in June 2017

The Indian new car market contracted for the first time this year in June 2017. Car sales were down 11.2% – largely due to a change in tax regime.

Despite a weak June, the Indian new car market remained at record levels. New car sales in India during the first six months of 2017 increased by 7.8% to 1,530,900 cars.