April 2018: New passenger vehicle registrations increased in the European Union, Russia, Japan, Brazil, India and China but light truck sales were lower in the USA.
During the first four months of 2018, car sales increased in Europe, Russia, Brazil, India and China. New light vehicle sales in the USA were flat while new passenger vehicle registrations in Japan were slightly weaker than a year ago. Russia and Brazil were the fastest growing major light vehicle markets in the world with sales up by a fifth thus far this year.
Worldwide Car Sales in 2018 (January to April)
New light vehicle registrations in various major car markets in the world as monitored by the VDA were as follows during April and the first four months of 2018:
|Region||Apr 2018||% Change||Jan-Apr 2018||% Change|
Brazil – Very Strong Increases in Car Sales in April 2018
New light vehicle registrations in Brazil increased by 37.7% in April 2018 compared to the same month a year ago. April 2018 was the 12th consecutive month of growth in the Brazilian new car market.
Thus far in 2018, car sales in Brazil increased by 20.4% to 738,500 vehicles – only the Russian market expanded faster.
Russia – Continued Strong Growth in Car Sales in April 2018
In Russia, new light vehicle sales in April 2018 increased by 17.6% to 152,400 vehicles. This marked the 14th consecutive month of growth in the Russian new car market.
During the period January to April 2018, the Russian new car market expanded by 20.5% – the fastest growing major car market in the world.
China – Strong Car Sales in April 2018
China – by far the largest single-country car market in the world – car sales increased by a strong 12.6% in April to 1,875,400 vehicles. In April 2018, the Chinese new car market was around half a million vehicles larger than in the USA and European Union.
During the first four months of 2018, new passenger vehicle registrations in China increased by 5.7% to 7,869,500 cars.
Europe – Strong Growth in Car Sales in April 2018
Following weaker sales in March, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries expanded strongly in April 2018 with a 9.6% increase. This strong April result was partly due to the Easter long weekend falling partly in March this year allowing for an additional two shopping days in April 2018 in several countries.
The five largest European new car markets all recorded solid growth in April 2018: Germany (8%), Britain (10%), France (9%), Italy (6%) and Spain (12%). Cyprus was the only EU country with weaker car sales in April 2018.
Car sales in Europe remained at record levels with new passenger vehicle registrations up 2.6% to 5,631,300 car thus far in 2018 – just over half a million vehicles more than in the USA but almost two and a quarter million less than in China.
India – Further Growth in Car Sales in April 2018
In April 2018 the Indian new car market grew by 7.5% to 298,500 cars. Thus far this year, the Indian new car market expanded by a similar 7.3% to 1,160,000.
The Indian new car market has been expanding almost continuously for the past three years but is still only a fraction of the size of neighboring China.
Japan – Increase in Car Sales in April 2018
New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan increased by 2.6% in April 2018 to 305,000 cars – this was the first positive growth month for the Japanese new car market after six consecutive months of contracting.
During the first four months of 2018, the Japanese new passenger car market shrunk by 1.8% to 1,608,900 cars.
USA – Weaker Car Sales in April 2018
New light vehicle sales in the USA were 5% weaker in April 2018 with 1,346,500 light vehicle registrations. The US market was hindered by two fewer business days in April 2018 compared to last year. As before, sales of traditional passenger cars were much weaker – down 21% – while light truck sales increased by 5%.
Thus far in 2018, the US new light vehicle market has been flat with sales increasing by only 0.1% to 5,435,400 vehicles. However, this is near market highs and in contrast to a slight contraction that was predicted for this year.