May 2017: New car sales increased in Europe, Russia, Japan, Brazil and India but new vehicle registrations were slightly lower in the USA and China.
In May 2017, new passenger vehicle registrations increased by double-digit percentages in Brazil, Russia, and Japan and were strongly up in India and the European Union. Light vehicle sales were slightly weaker in the USA and sales also contracted in China. The VDA lowered its predictions for car sales in China for 2017 to 2% growth.
Worldwide Car Sales in 2017 (January to May)
New light vehicle registrations in various major regions of the world according to car sales statistics monitored by the VDA were as follows in May and the first five months of 2017:
|Region||May 2017||% Change||Jan-May 2017||% Change|
Brazil – Strong Car Sales in May 2017
The Brazilian new light vehicle market surprised with a strong 17.3% increase in car sales in May 2017. This was only the second month of sales growth since December 2014.
The strong performance in May 2017 saw the Brazilian car market swinging into positive figures for the year to date: thus far in 2017 the Brazilian new car market grew by 2.3% to 803,600 light vehicles.
Russia – Another Car Sales Increase in May 2017
The Russian new light vehicle market expanded for the third consecutive month when new car sales in May 2017 increased by nearly 15%. Thus far in 2017, the Russian car market expanded at the same speed as car sales in the EU – by 5.1% to 577,400 vehicles.
Japan – Further Car Sales Growth in May 2017
New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan expanded in May 2017 for the seventh consecutive month. In May 2017, new car sales in Japan were up by 13.4% to 312,400 cars. Thus far in 2017, the Japanese new car market grew by 9.1% to nearly 2 million cars – only the Indian new car market expanded faster.
India – Higher Car Sales in May 2017
In India, new passenger vehicle registrations were up by 8.6% in May 2017. This was the fifth consecutive month of car sales increases in India.
In 2017, the Indian new car market has been the fastest growing major car market in the world with sales up by 11.3% to 1,332,500 vehicles.
Europe – Higher Car Sales in May 2017
New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA increased by 7.7% in May 2017 to 1,433,200 cars – a figure close to that achieved in May 2007 before the economic crisis. After vacation days had influenced sales figures in March and April, the May sales data confirmed that the European new car market continued to grow strongly in 2017.
In May 2017, car sales in Germany increased by 13%, in Spain by 11%, France by 9% and in Italy by 8%. Of the big five markets, only the British market was down by 9%. A contraction in the British new car market was expected after high numbers earlier in the year due to a change in tax regime. However, the outlook for the UK market for the rest of the year remains slightly negative.
During the first five months of 2017, new passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA countries increased by 5.1% to just less than 7 million cars.
USA – Flat Car Sales in May 2017
In the USA, new light vehicle sales were slightly down by 0.6% to 1,509,600 vehicles. The trend away from traditional passenger cars continued. Passenger car sales were down by 10% while light trucks (and SUV) sales increased by 6%.
During the first five months of 2017, the American new light vehicle market contracted by 2% to just below 7 million vehicles – the only major car market with weaker sales over the first five months of 2017.
China – Weaker Car Sales in May 2017
New passenger vehicle registrations in China contracted by 1.8% to 1,703,200 cars in May 2017. During the first five months of 2017, new car sales in China increased by 2.6% to 9,148,100 cars.
Although China remains by far the largest single-country car market in the world, the expansion of sales thus far in 2017 had been far below the fast-paced growth of recent years. The VDA has lowered its sales forecast for the Chinese new car market for 2017 to 2% from the previously expected 5% growth.