February 2018: New passenger vehicle registrations increased in Europe, Russia, Brazil and India but car sales were lower in China, the USA, and Japan.
In February 2018, China remained the largest single car market in the world but sales were lower due to holidays. Car sales grew in Europe, Russia, Brazil and India but were weaker in the USA and Japan. Thus far in 2018, the Russian and Brazilian new car markets expanded by double-digits while sales were also strong in Europe, India and China. The USA market was moderately weaker while sales in Japan were also lower than a year ago.
Worldwide Car Sales in 2018 (January & February)
New light vehicle registrations in various major regions of the world as monitored by the VDA were as following in February 2018 and year-to-date 2018:
|Region||Feb 2018||% Change||Jan-Feb 2018||% Change|
China – Largest Car Market in the World in 2018
In February 2018, new car sales in China were as expected weaker than a year ago due to the Chinese New Year holidays falling in February this year compared to January last year. In February 2018, new car sales in China were down by 8.8% to 1,449,800 cars – still by far the largest single country car market in the world.
During the first two months of 2018, the Chinese new car market expanded by a moderate 3% to 3,870,200 cars.
Europe – Continued Expansion in Car Sales in 2018
New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries increased by 4% during February 2018 to 1,159,000 cars. In Spain, car sales increased by 13%, in Germany by 7% and France by 4%. In contrast, sales were down 1% in Italy – the second largest market in Europe after two months – and down 3% in the UK. Britain was only the fifth largest car market in Europe during the first two months of 2018 but traditionally has low car sales until March marks a change in number plates.
Thus far in 2018, new car sales in Europe grew by 5.5% to 2,445,100 cars – a faster pace of growth than in China and a market size slightly bigger than the USA.
USA – Continued Weakness in the New Car Market in 2018
In February 2018, new light vehicle sales in the USA decreased by 2.3% to 1,293,500 vehicles. Once again, traditional passenger car sales were weak – 421,300 cars / -13% – while SUV and light truck sales were stronger – 872,200 vehicles / +4%.
After moderate growth in January 2018, the weak February numbers again saw new light vehicle sales in the USA thus far in 2018 down by 0.8% to 2,443,400 vehicles.
Japan – Weak Car Sales in 2018 (January & February)
February 2018 was the fifth consecutive month of weaker car sales in Japan. New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan were down 2.8% to 401,800 cars.
Thus far in 2018, the Japanese market for new cars contracted by 2% to 741,400 cars.
India – Continued Expansion in Car Sales in 2018
In February 2018, the Indian new car market grew by 7.8% to 275,300 cars – the second consecutive month that the Indian new car market exceeded the German market in size.
Thus far in 2018, the Indian new car market expanded by 7.7% to 560,800 cars.
Brazil – Strong Growth in Car Sales in 2018
In February 2018, new light vehicle sales in Brazil increased by 14.6% to 152,000 cars – this was the tenth consecutive month of increasing car sales in Brazil.
Year-to-date 2018, the Brazilian new light vehicle market expanded by 18.6%
Russia – Continued Very Strong Recovery in Car Sales in 2018
In February 2018, the Russia was again by far the fastest growing major car market in the world to mark a full year of expansion. New light vehicle sales in Russia increased by a quarter to 133,200 vehicles – the ninth consecutive month of double-digit growth.
Thus far in 2018, the Russian new car market grew by 27.5% to 225,000 vehicles.