May 2018: Car sales were sharply higher in India and Russia with growth also recorded in China, the USA, Brazil and Europe but lower in Japan.
January to May 2018: Thus far in 2018, new passenger vehicle registrations have been stronger in all major regions of the world with the exception of Japan. In Russia, car sales are up by a fifth while sales in Brazil increased by 16%. In India, car sales are up by 10% while China remains the world’s largest single-country car market with an increase of 6%. Growth is more restrained in the USA and Europe while the Japanese market remains weak.
Global Car Sales in 2018 (January to May)
New light vehicle registrations in various major markets of the world as monitored by the VDA were as follows during May 2018 and the first five months of 2018:
|Region||May 2018||% Change||Jan-May 2018||% Change|
India – Record Car Sales in May 2018
In May 2018, the Indian new car market expanded by a fifth to 301,200 cars – the best single month car sales in India ever and only 6,500 cars fewer than were sold in Japan during the same period.
The Indian new car market has been growing almost without interruption for the past three years. Thus far in 2018, the Indian new car market expanded by almost 10%.
Russia – Strong Car Sales in May 2018
The Russian new car market expanded in May 2018 for the 15th consecutive month when new light vehicle registrations increased by 18% to 147,500 units.
Thus far in 2018, car sales in Russia increased by a fifth to almost 700,000 vehicles.
China – Continued Strong Car Sales in May 2018
China remained the world’s largest single country car market in May 2018 with sales increasing by 8% to 1,840,500 cars. The growth in new passenger vehicle registrations in China remained faster than in both the USA and Europe.
During the first five months of 2018, car sales in China increased by 6% to 9,710,000 cars – over 2.5 million more than were sold in the USA or Europe.
USA – Solid Car Sales in May 2018
After a weak April, new light vehicle registrations in the USA increased by a solid 5% in May 2018 to 1,581,000 vehicles – 140,000 more than in Europe. As before, traditional passenger car sales were 10% weaker but SUV / light truck sales were up by 13%
Thus far in 2018, light vehicle sales in the USA increased by 1.2% to just over 7 million vehicles. The USA remained the second largest single country market in the world and only around 50,000 cars behind the EU and EFTA market.
Brazil – Continues Car Sales Growth in May 2018
Despite strikes and road blockages, the Brazilian new car market expanded in May 2018 for the 13th consecutive month. In May, car sales increased by 2.6% to 195,300 vehicles.
During the first five months of 2018, the Brazilian light vehicle market grew by 16% to 933,800 cars – only the smaller Russian market expanded faster.
Europe – Flat Car Sales in May 2018
In May 2018, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries were flat with only a 0.6% increase. Weak sales were largely blamed on fewer business days in May 2018 compared to the same month last year. In the larger European car markets, sales were up in Spain (7%) and Britain (3%), flat in France and weaker in Italy (-3%) and especially Germany (-6%).
Year-to-date 2018, car sales in Europe increased by 2.2% to 7,076,500 cars – near historic highs.
Japan – Weaker Car Sales in May 2018
In Japan, new passenger vehicle registrations were slightly weaker in May 2018 – down 1.5% to 307,700 cars. With the exception of April 2018, the Japanese market has contracted for the past eight months. Thus far in 2018, the Japanese new car market shrunk by 1.7% to just below two million cars.